Overclock AMD Athlon 3200+ w/stock cooling

June 23, 2011 at 20:15:55
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium x86 (32-bit), 2 GHz / 1022 MB
Hi, I'm looking to boost my performance somewhat in certain games (such as Audiosurf w/ Premium graphics on and Mass Effect at my native resolution) and I've already used AMD's Overdrive feature for my graphics card (Auto Tune boosted it by a huge margin). I'd also like to prepare my system for when I finally get off my lazy butt and start seriously rendering some stuff. The only way I can imagine how to do this, without upgrading any components, is overclocking.

Now, I'd rather not have to go out and buy another CPU HS/F if I don't have to, but if I do, I will. More likely I will have to buy a decent brand of thermal paste.

What I'd like to know is, first of all, can I use some sort of official over-clocking tool by AMD, with a feature similar to ATi Catalyst's Auto Tune? Or can over-clocking only be done via the BIOS? And, if there is no specialized application, how far do you recommend I over-clock? With the stock cooling, which maintains a good temp of average low-30s degrees Celsius, should I even bother with buying another HS/F?

Thanks in advance for any help. I still need to read up on how to properly overclock a processor such as mine, so bear with me if there are any terms I don't understand. (I know base clock, speeds, and a few other things. Treat me like a novice, if you so desire.)

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June 23, 2011 at 20:46:30
Overclocking is best undertaken thru BIOS

Motherboard Model ??
Memory type and quantity ??

Basically system specifications are supposed to always be listed.....

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June 23, 2011 at 21:30:06
My memory quantity IS listed - under my username. Memory is 2GB of DDR2 running at 667 MHz or something. It's Corsair Value Select. Motherboard, believe it or not, is no particular brand. Every piece of software I've used to determine it says it's a "Standard Viak8m" motherboard. Opening it up, I've seen that it just says "Micro AM2" on it; no manufacturer as far as I can recall.

I've already mentioned the processor: AMD Athlon 64 3200+, running (currently) at 2 GHz, or so Windows says. I've had System Requirement Labs' "Can You Run IT?" test tell me otherwise; it says it's rated at 2 GHz performing at 3.6 GHz, though I doubt that.

The video card I have, though how that would be related to CPU Overclocking I don't know, is an ATi (or, I guess it's AMD now) HD Radeon 3650 AGP card. I believe it's 1GB, but I could be wrong; CYRI says I have 760 MB or so of total video memory (likely virtual memory is included, making it 512 MB).

Finally, sound is onboard (putting strain on CPU when playing games), network adapter (Wireless N) is plugged in via USB 2.0, and that's all the specifications you should possibly need.

I apologize for the delay in my response: I was letting Windows refresh my Experience Rating. Funnily enough, my processor is rated the lowest at 3.9.

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June 24, 2011 at 06:40:35
Make and models of components DO matter.
Is this a factory built machine? If so then what brand and model number? If you or someone built it, that matters.
Your motherboard WILL have in addition to printed on information a white sticker with model number and serial number and possibly a version number (s/n not needed).
Power supply Make model or at least Wattage AND 12Volt rail Amperage.
These are the minimum needed in addition to what you supplied.

Know that the video card and the amount of memory you have will have a greater effect on gaming performance even than the CPU or clock speed will. An upgrade on your graphics card and more memory if you can afford it will help with or without overclocking.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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June 24, 2011 at 07:43:23
Your last tips there are pretty basic, though I appreciate them nonetheless.
Were I to upgrade my video card and/or get more memory, I would first need to upgrade my motherboard, and then I would just upgrade my processor anyway - revamping my whole system, likely not even needing to ask my original question. The reason I say this is that it is a Micro AM2 motherboard - meaning, it is Micro ATX. That means that, seeing as how I received my computer with such older components, I am limited in the upgrades I can make. The max amount of RAM this mobo can handle is 2GB - 1GB per slot (meaning, I have 2 slots). The mobo does not even have PCIe - though it does have AGP 8x, meaning my HD Radeon 3650 is being used the best of its abilities, especially after I Auto-Tuned it.

My system was originally bought at Canada Computers, then handed over to me second-hand after a Windows XP activation error. The person who gave me the comp. was going to buy an iMac anyway, so I wiped the hard drive and installed a few upgrades (the RAM, video card, 500GB hard drive, case fans, and Windows 7 are all things I have done to this computer. It originally only had the mobo, CPU, PS, 1GB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive - onboard everything, no fans in the case).

I will open the PC later and check for the information specified, as I'm kind of busy right now. I'll even take pictures, if you want, give you an idea of how... different the components are to what you're probably used to.

EDIT: Sorry, almost forgot: Power supply is 500W with 12A Rails, about the only decent thing that was included in the PC. Well, it does have "MULTIMEDIA COMPUTER SYSTEM" written on the front, so I can only assume it was meant to have upgrades installed, which would need a decent PS, no?

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June 24, 2011 at 10:22:50
"My memory quantity IS listed - under my username. Memory is 2GB of DDR2 running at 667 MHz or something"

Really? Then why does it say "1022 MB" if you actually have 2048MB? And just so you know, DDR2-667 is the incorrect RAM for an A64 setup. It should be DDR2-800 for best performance.

"sound is onboard (putting strain on CPU when playing games)"

Modern onboard sound doesn't put nearly the "strain" on the CPU as you may think. That may have been the case 15 yrs ago when CPUs were only running at 500MHz or so, but it's pretty much a non factor these days.

" "Standard Viak8m" motherboard"

That's the chipset, not the motherboard make/model. You need to determine the manufacturer. Don't depend on software to find it for you. Open the case & look for a model number printed somewhere on the board. If you can't find it, try identifying the board thru the BIOS string that's displayed on the POST screen when you 1st boot up. Also, being that you claim to have an AM2 board based on the VIA K8M with DDR2 & AGP, it shouldn't be too hard to narrow down. Could it be either of these?



Here's your CPU specs:


If you want some generic BIOS settings to try for overclocking, here you go:

CPU multiplier = 10.0x
CPU frequency = 250MHz
CPU voltage = increase as necessary to stabilize overclock (what is it currently?)
HT multiplier = 4x (or 800MHz)
RAM frequency = 266MHz (or DDR2-533)
AGP = 67MHz
Cool 'n' Quiet = disabled
Spread Spectrum = disabled

If you can pull it off, the CPU will run at 2.5GHz, RAM at 667MHz & HT bus at 1000MHz.

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June 27, 2011 at 09:02:57
Sorry for taking so long to reply.
I took some pictures, but it seems that was unnecessary.
I guess I didn't look hard enough online for it; my motherboard is the first link that Mickliq posted. I guess it's a Biostar motherboard, but it says nowhere on the board; as I have said before, all that is on the mobo is big, printed letters that say "K8M800 Micro AM2 Ver: 1.0" with a sticker nearby with "K8M80M2 R03P" on it.

Power supply is indeed 500W running on 12V rails. No manufacturer (ie Ultra, Corsair, etc.) is listed; the text in big, bold and italicized letters is "ATX Switching Power Supply". Leave it to Canada Computers to use obscure parts (I don't think they do that anymore, but I could be wrong).
As per RAM, sorry, still haven't run the system scanner since I installed the two sticks. The reason I got 667 MHz is because that's what the stick of RAM that came with the system was, and I wanted to make sure it was compatible. I'm not going to buy more RAM now, as I'm pretty sure the 30-day return period has expired for the sticks; how, in the future, can I check which is best for my (or someone else's) system? Looking at the specs now, the link you gave says "Support Dual Channel DDR2 533/667 MHz" so, actually, that is the correct speed of RAM for my setup.

I'll check CPU voltage, but I want to make sure that these are all optimal overclock settings for my system before I do anything. I'm fairly confident my comp can handle those generic settings you gave, but I want to be certain of it.

EDIT: Just thought I'd mention, there's a barcode with what I'm assuming is a serial code that says: "KWD8500583058". The BIOS, just in case you can't make it out from the Biostar screenshot, is a VIA VT8237R Plus chip.

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June 27, 2011 at 09:23:14
"Power supply is indeed 500W running on 12V rails", meaningless you need a PSU with at least 30A on a Single 12V Rail, dual rails and under $50.00 PSU are not good.

Coraisr sell quality power supplies starting at around $60.00.


Support Dual Channel DDR2 533/667 MHz, that is ridiculous of Biostar, it should be PC6400 DDR2 800Mhz for AMD AM2 CPU, also only supports 65W TDP CPU.

Obviously the motherboard is very crippled and a budget range.......

The only upgrade is a dual core AM2 CPU if you can find one cheap enough... I seems like it supports Windsor (Energy Efficient) Core CPU's up to 4800+:



Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2400 MHz 2 × 1024 KB 1000 MHz 12x 1.20/1.25 V 65 W Socket AM2 May 23, 2006 ADO4800IAA6CS

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June 27, 2011 at 14:15:56
Fine, I'll open up the case again and have another look to see what voltage is on one rail, but later.

I would indeed like a dual core CPU, but alas, I have no money for upgrades. I have already spent all the money I had alloted for that purpose on the RAM, fans, hard drive, etc. Thermal paste and maybe a $20 CPU fan I could afford, but I doubt I could find an Athlon X2 or Athlon 64 X2 for under $50 (which is what TigerDirect.ca lists them, all are socket AM2+, but those will still work in an AM2 socket).

I'll put it this way: is there any possible way to overclock, however mildly, without having to purchase any new components? Because if it comes to buying a new CPU, power supply, et cetera, then I'll just make do with what I have now, then, in the future, when I have money to spare, I'll just build or buy a whole new PC.

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June 27, 2011 at 21:34:33
AM2+ will not work in your motherboard, where do you get these ideas ??

Athlon X2 3600+ AM2 Used:


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June 28, 2011 at 14:35:18

That is where I get my ideas. Among other sources, too.
Basically, AM2+ should be backwards-compatible with any AM2 motherboard, just without all the special features of AM2+.

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June 30, 2011 at 14:45:27
Once again, you need to determine the make/model of the motherboard. Once you have that, go to the manufacturer's website & check the CPU support list. Assuming you have the Biostar, here's the list:


As for the link you provided as proof that your board supports AM2+ CPUs, all I see is a bunch of comments from 2007 from forum members, but there's not a single link to back up their claims.

And a comment about the RAM: the memory controller is built into the CPU & supports up to DDR2-800. I have no idea why Biostar would state that only DDR2-533 & DDR2-667 are supported? However, if you look at the memory support list, they DO show DDR2-800 as being supported:


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June 30, 2011 at 19:53:02
Ah, I see. Thanks, you've cleared some things up. This is why we have forums like this: to fill in ignorant people like me!

I still haven't reopened my case yet to check the PSU, but I changed the CPU V-Core to +0.05V in the BIOS, and changed the CPU Clock (ie base clock) to 205 MHz: default is 200, which is the min, while the max is 232. Extremely minor, I know, but I just wanted to tinker a bit. Obviously, as I just stated, the CPU frequency won't be able to reach 2.5 GHz, which is unfortunate - max at 2.32 GHz, it seems. Right now, CPU-z reports it as running at 2.05 GHz, so base clock is the CPU frequency, just divided by 100. (Not a question, just confirming this to myself.)
So, should I just max out the base clock at 232 MHz, and adjust the CPU V-Core as I go? I'll also report back on what my BIOS offers in the way of memory voltage and clock speed settings, which I saw while I was poking around.

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July 1, 2011 at 07:46:13
By the way, here's a picture of the side of my PSU; I don't know exactly what I'm looking at. How can I tell if it's dual rail?

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July 4, 2011 at 09:47:13
Can somebody please just tell me how to determine how much I must increase the V-Core of the CPU in order to stabilize my system if I overclock to 2.32 GHz? Also, is my PSU a dual-rail, and what is the significance of that?

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