Is it worth overclocking?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, May 12, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Just ordered my new computer.

    I ditched Alienware. If I had to read one
    more Alienware complaint I was going to to
    have a stroke. It was a risky investment
    based on the fact so many people are
    dissatisfied with that company.

    I decided to spend a little more money
    and go with the very highly-rated Velocity
    Micro
    computers.

    You can see the computer I ordered HERE

    The new dual-core Pentiums peak out at 3.2.

    The company will overclock it for a few
    hundred dollars more. I had them send me
    a unit overclocked to 3.8.

    Was this a good idea? Will I see a boost
    of performance from such overclocking?

    These come liquid-cooled which the company
    claims will handle the excessive heat caused
    by overclocking.


    Thanks for your replies in advance.
     
  2. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    it depends, you may see a boost and you may not, it depends on what applications you use. as long as the heat is taken care of properly (which it sounds like it is), you have a true 3.8 GHZ machine, instead of a 3.2. it's (basically) like upgrading your cpu, even though they only come in 3.2 GHz max.

    CJ
     
  3. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    Something else to think about is that most processors are geared towards running at a higher cleck speed than they are advertised at, like AMD traditionally gears their batches to operate at 200mhz higher than what the highest clockspeed that they intend to sell at.

    This is primarily to account for the statistical variation, with the mean 200mhz higher than needed, a good majority of the processors that are made will be able to operate at the desired speed.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I agree with Christ. For most routine aps, you will see no difference. But if you use heavily CPU intensive applications, or ones that may be CPU intensive, depending on how you use them.

    For example you would see no difference in almost any use of Word or the Internet. And so long as you don't have massive spreadsheets with a lot of complex calculations, you also will not see a difference.

    But for many graphics apps, especially if you are into editing HD movies and various motion capture effects, you should see a difference. Here, in fact two processors are better than one.

    BTW, for most applications of this type, additional memory is even more important than a higher processor speed.
     
  5. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    According to my benchmarks ran before and after overclocking I averaged about 10% performace increase. This was on a Athlon 64 3500+ with 1 gig of ram that was overclocked from 2.2ghz to 2.4 ghz. The main benefit of having the company do the overclocking is that you don't lose the warranty which is nice. Since usually any overclocking of the CPU voids it. Heat shouldn't be a problem since it is watercooled. I always see overclocking as free performance, after all you pay good money for a fast system, why not make it faster for free.
     
  6. Thomas J. Coyle III

    Thomas J. Coyle III Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron,

    You should have waited for the AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors. The Intel dual-core Pentiums dissipate as much power idling as the AMD dual-core X2s at full power (Check out Tom's Hardware website). Hope that the water cooling works as well as they say it does.
    Regards,
    TCIII
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Thaks for the great responses thus far.

    Next question....

    Does overclocking affect the life of a CPU?

    This may be a mute question because I have
    never had a CPU fail on me due to age, and
    I buy a new computer every 2-3 years anyway.
     
  8. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    It shouldn't effect it all providing your watercooling system is working properly and doesn't fail. Looking at the specs you have a 3 year warranty, if your planning to buy a pc in 2-3 years you should be fine.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    The speed will not affect life. Heat, however, will. As mentioned, your water-cooling system should keep things running smoothly. But you might want to keep an eye on the CPU temperature to make sure it stays in a normal range.
     
  10. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    A few hundred dollars to overclock? Wow...

    Maybe it's just me, but all I did to overclock my p4 1.6 to 2.13 is to increase the FSB in the BIOS to 133 Mhz instead of 100, which took all of a minute, plus maybe ten minutes of research on what speeds/settings worked for my CPU. Is there something else these guys could be doing that would make it a more involved process?

    As for whether this affects the CPU life, I haven't seen any adverse effects yet, and I've had this CPU for about 3 years now. The only problem is increased risk of overheating, but I'm pretty sure that the P4 CPUs will automatically slow themselves down to prevent burnout (so you're saved if your cooling system fails). Honestly, I'd be more worried about the water cooling system leaking.

    You should notice a bump in anything that's calculation intensive though. Some aspects of gaming will improve, as will things like video encoding.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    The hard fact of life is you pay more
    when you don't have the knowledge to do
    it yourself.

    I appreciate the comments here. This has
    been a real learning experience.

    Now, to continue my education....

    What software do I need to effectively
    monitor my CPU temperature, and, what is
    the SAFE and DANGER temperature zones I
    should look out for?

    Thanks again!
     
  12. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Motherboard Monitor is supposed to be good

    CPU-Z is another good utility which gives lots of info about the CPU itself.

    Some motherboards are designed so that their BIOS has a lot options to enable overclocking, but I've never done it myself. To me, a system is more than just the raw CPU speed. It's a combination of the other architecture too.

    Ron, have you ever considered self-building a PC. There are loads of helpful articles and I'm sure people on here will be able to offer advice. It can be more expensive, and sometimes it can be frustrating if things don't quite work, but in the end you have a system with all the components you want, built the exact way you want it. Just an idea [​IMG]

    Darren.
     
  13. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    it was, but development stopped on it almost a year ago. so it probably wont support newer motherboards and chipsets.

    CJ
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I get asked this all the time and my answer is
    that I don't have the time. I work an additional
    job in addition to this forum and time just does
    not permit me to learn now nor build a computer.

    I actuially got all the components I wanted, but
    I paid a hefty price to have someone else do it.


    Back to the CPU temperature question...

    I will try that CPU-Z software. What are the
    SAFE and DANGEROUS zones when it comes to CPU
    temperature?
     
  15. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    When you startup in the bios it will tell you the normal CPU temp then you can see the rise in temp by gradually overclocking it.
    Keep in mind a 1.6 GHZ P4 overclocked to 2.13 GHZ is very different from overclocking a 3.2 GHZ by 25%.
    I overclocked my Athlon64 3400+ by 5% and got a 3 degree increase with no extra cooling features.The Athlons also run cooler than the Pentiums.
    The 5% increase stopped a problem I had with studdering from a sse2 version of ffdshow. I wouldn't increase my Athlon by more than 2 or 3 degrees.
    I also overclocked my graphics card by 25% as well.
     
  16. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    As long as your system dosn't crash under load you're fine.
     
  17. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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