Be nice if this could be a sticky - also if people could post results/experiences using this method...or any mistakes experienced OCers might see...good luck, and thanks to Tesla for the initial procedure which I have adapted. Version 1 - 29/10/03 - By Tesla and NF7-S Any questions to be kept in this thread. PLEASE read this fully BEFORE even starting - then ONLY use it as a guide for reference. To start with benchmark your PC with 3DMark2001 (link below) and make sure the PC is stable at stock with Prime95 (link below) run this overnight or whilst at work. Get a big bit of paper and pen - make a note of your 3DMark score as this is what we're looking to improve...make a point of jotting down everything that happens - so if all fails you know what worked and can revert to it easily. WARNING: I hold NO responsibility for any damage caused WARNING: Before starting make sure you find out how to reset your BIOS for if the PC fails to boot and doesn't recover itself Okay, I'll start with what you need... Prime 95 - http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm Mobo Monitor (or your own mobo specific one) - http://mbm.livewiredev.com/download.html Memory tester - http://www.memtest86.com/ (you might need this to test your RAM is ok if there are strange problems) 3D Mark 2001 SE build 330 - http://futuremark.com/download/ (there are other benchmarks at this link to if you want them) Now what you need to know... HEAT is the enemy, heat is what limits overclocking most of all - and it also kills stuff! Due to heat you might want to consider a few more purchases... Coolermaster Aero 7 Lite - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Coolermaster_122.html Arctic Silver III Thermal Compound - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Thermal_Materials_27.html Some cleaning fluid that evaporates - Isopropyl alcohol (tape head cleaner) is a good example. This will set you back about £20-£25, but IMHO well worth it, and at least you're setting good foundations to help with dissipation of heat. There's great advise on the AS website on how to apply... http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm and before that you'll need how to clean the CPU - here... http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/TechnicalResources/0,,30_182_869_4348^6678,00.html (for AMD users) You also need to know... That this COULD damage your components, the key to success is patience and understanding...I've read hours of things related to overclocking that has lead to this guide. You need to know your components limits... RAM & CPU is what we're dealing with, you need to know what the limits are of your components - RAM is a major factor on bus speed limitations as is the motherboard. You need to be able to lock your PCI and AGP bus speeds to 6/6 (or any other figure that your bios might display to mean '1' (i.e. 1, 3/3 etc)...some mobos do not support PCI & AGP locking - again this is a major limiting factor. As a result I ended up buying new RAM and a new Mobo so I could get some extra speed - of course you can sell on your old kit - so it need not be too expensive - I would guess (inc. the heat sink etc) if you wanted to buy better components for overclocking the overall expense would be between £50-£100. Now that might sound expensive - but believe me speed per £££ it's much cheaper than buying the components that'll run at the speeds we will get! I have my £75 CPU running FASTER than a £280 CPU!! CPU is (of course) another limiting factor - not all XP1700 (or whatever CPU it is) are the same - some will have different cores which mean they already run hotter/cooler, then there's the fact that some will just be better 'clockers' - a lot is pot luck, but looking round at some sites (www.overclockers.com forum is a great place to look) you can even find specifics about what your CPU will do - dependant on what core it's got - or even what WEEK it was made!! In a nutshell you need to know... CPU - Core, stock voltage and FSB http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/TechnicalResources/0,,30_182_739,00.html (for AMD users). Also safe temperatures to run at (try a search on the overclockers forum). You will also need to know how to unlock your CPU multiplier! RAM - Speed - example PC2700 (DDR333) = 333Mhz = 166 FSB Mobo - Will it lock PCI/AGP? Also how to reset the bios. (this is VERY important) Tips: Good components means good performance..."buy cheap, buy twice - buy good, buy once" - never a truer word spoken - I should know!! Get a mobo that locks the PCI & AGP, also RAM that's as fast as you can afford...you might want to get a more 'overclocker friendly' CPU - remember you can sell off your old kit and therefore the whole experience needn't cost lots...even with the system you have now (without any extras) - I'm sure we can get a little more out of it!! Ok...now on the fun bit... Firstly, you need to set AGP & PCI locks to on or AGP=66mhz and PCI=33mhz before doing the following. (Refer to the manual - usually there's a setting of 6/6) Put your multiplier on a low setting (10) and up the FSB in increments of 5mhz. After each increase of the FSB run stress tests such as 3DMark, prime 95. When your computer does not complete these stress tests increase the DDR voltage by 0.1v. Re-test. If the tests complete keep going in 5mhz increments. When you get to a unstable FSB again increase the DDR voltage by 0.1v. (I wouldn't recommend going over 2.8v) You will reach a point when the tests fail even at 2.8v this means you have overclocked the FSB too much so lower the FSB to the highest setting in which the test completed (you should have taken a note of the last successful setting (FSB & DDR) you had). You now know the FSB limit of your setup. Now increase the multiplier in increments of 0.5. After each increment run the stress tests mentioned above. Eventually you will get to a multiplier which is unstable. Try increasing the vcore voltage by 0.025v and re-test. If the pc is still unstable increase the vcore again by 0.025v. (Keep an eye on the temperatures). re-test. If the tests still fail and temperatures are getting what you consider too hot, I would not recommend increasing your vcore any higher . So put your multiplier on the highest stable setting (again you should have noted the last successful multiplier AND voltage setting). You now have the highest overclock possible for your setup. Do not worry if you couldn't set the multiplier any higher than 10 - FSB is the single most effective speed setting in your CPU setup - for example - a machine set to 215x10 (2150MHz) is faster than a machine set to 200x11 (2200MHz). Lots of people do not like to run there system right on the edge. I would advise to lower the FSB by 5mhz after finding the maximum stable system overclock. Just to be on the safe side...but that's up to you. An example: (Completely made up!) Athlon XP1800+ Stock = 1533mHz FSB = 133mhz Multiplier = 11.5 1. Lower multiplier to 10. CPU now at 1330MHz 2. Increase the FSB by 5mhz. CPU now at 138*10=1380 3. Keep increasing by 5mhz and testing in between each increase. 4. FSB at 178mhz = unstable. (CPU= 178*10=1780MHz) 5. Increase DDR voltage to 2.6v 6. Can increase FSB to 184MHz before becoming unstable. (CPU= 184*10=1840MHz) 7. Increase DDR voltage to 2.7v. This did not improve overclockability. Lower DDR and FSB back to the last successful setting. So max stable FSB for system is 179MHz @ 2.6V. 8. Increase multiplier to 10.5 (CPU = 179*10.5=1879.5MHz) 9. Keep increasing multiplier by 0.5 until unstable. PC unstable at a multiplier of 12. 10. Increase vcore voltage by 0.025v. CPU stable with a multiplier of 12. (CPU= 12*179=2148MHz) 11. Cannot increase multiplier without causing stability issues so increase the vcore by another 0.025v. 12. Cannot get PC to run with stability at 12.5 multiplier. (CPU= 12.5*179=2238MHz) 13. Cannot increase Multiplier any further. Temperatures are too high to increase vcore...revert multiplier & vcore back to the last successful setting. Max Stable Overclock = 12.5*179=2238MHz Default = 1533mHz An Overclock of 705MHz Good luck!