We are starting a new column today here at Guru3D.com, an overclockers diary of one of our staff members. So Shripad aka Funkymonkey (game reviewer) basically was always wondering how far he could overclock his system.
In this diary we'll follow Shripad and his overclocking findings where we'll see techniques used with air and later on LN2 cooling to achieve the maximum overclock.
In this first edition he'll tell you a little about the project, what to expect,where top go and of course the first results where he took an Athlon 64 3000+ towards 3.1 GHz on just air cooling.
September 19, 2005 - The First Success
Ever since I got my AMD Athlon64, I always wanted to overclock it as I have done with every single system I have purchased in past.
The problem for me was the availability of so called enthusiast hardware in India. There was a point when I was frustrated. Not being able to find DFI UT Lanparty boards, quality RAM was simply frustrating.
I always wanted to push the hardware to the limits. Since I got my Venice 3000+ I was really surprised with the overclocking potential of that CPU. And the one I got was 0517EPAW stepping CPU.
The CPU is known good overclocker. But I had Asus A8N SLI Deluxe motherboard and crappy Hynix D43 RAM. Though none of these components are bad they are simply not aimed at the overclockers. A8N SLI Deluxe is rock solid and one of the most stable motherboards I have ever used on A64 platform. But it simply doesnt cut it for some really above average overclocking.
I discussed my plans with Hilbert a while ago about some really extreme overclocking using Liquid Nitrogen. And things started to roll. Hilbert got in touch with DFI (visit them here)and DFI was kind enough to arrange for DFI Lanparty UT NF4 Ultra-D.
I arranged for Ocz Gold VX PC3200 Winbond UTT RAM in mean while.
My aim was to get maximum overclock out of the CPU on Air, water and finally extreme cooling . Ideally I would have loved to use cascade cooler or readymade kits like vapochill as its more convenient for day to day use and less messy. But I dont have time to make one custom cascade myself and not enough budget to buy myself Vapochill. And also its not available in India. So with the limited sources available with me, I am going to give Liquid Nitrogen and Dry ice + Ethanol a try. And remember the aim is to test for both stable and max overclock.
I am no expert when it comes to metal work, block design and making actual all copper block so I am going to take help of couple of enthusiast guru3d members from India which are ready to help. This is not a short project and needs a time to work on it as I am also doing my internship in meanwhile. I immediately ran into some problems. Liquid Nitrogen is not freely available here in India. It requires special order and license to get the same. So it will take some time. So in the mean while I decided to push this particular CPU to its maximum limit on air and water and I will keep you guys updated as I make progress.
But first the list of components I am going to use. If I change any components I will let you know in the future.
CPU1 : AMD Athlon64 3000+ Venice core 0517 EPAW
CPU2 : AMD Athlon64 3700+ San Diego core 0516 MPMW
LN2/Dry ice block : custom design ( work in progress )
Thermal compounds : Arctic Silver 5 & CM premium
Till now I pushed the 3000+Venice to amazing 3.1Ghz on air with XP-90 and sunon 92MM fan. This is extremely good overclocking only on air to be honest. The max stable benchmarkable overclock on air is 2.88Ghz. In coming days I will be performing chilled water cooling using DD TDX waterblock and also Dry ice + Ethanol slush until I get my hands on liquid nitrogen.
Enjoy some of the images of parts and screenshots till then and stay tuned to Guru3d for further updates on this project. Expect the pics of the block, design drawings of the block soon.