View Full Version : General overclocking shinnanigans

12 December 2003, 07:56 PM
Well, it's come time for me to buy myself a new computer....but I have a question concerning overclocking that will affect which chip I'll be purchasing, so your help would be appreciated!

Right now I'm looking at getting the

Abit AI7 motherboard w/
P4 3.2 ghz FSB800 CPU

But! The owner of the store I buy my hardware from suggests that I simply buy a 2.4 ghz (FSB 800) P4 chip, and overclock it to 3.2 ghz using that supposedly stable motherboard (he says he's been testing that setup for 48 hours and it's been stable ie...2.4 @ 3.2 is stable w/ that mobo)

So, let's say that overclocking it to 3.2 works and my computer is it REALLY going to perform the same way as the 3.2 chip? or just kind of? is it worth saving over 100 dollars to cheat a little, or should I buy the real mcCoy?

Also, do overclocked CPUs work well with hefty 3d apps, or is the overclocking function just good for games that don't eat up your CPU too much.

Overall, what I'm really asking is, is overclocking a 2.4 ghz chip (FSB 800) to 3.2 ghz really going to allow it to perform at exactly the same speed as the real 3.2 ghz chip? Cause if not, I'll just go for the real thing and save myself the hassle.

Thanks in advance!

12 December 2003, 08:38 PM
Heh, CRAZY. I think the shop guy is trying to fool u into buying something slower, damaging it, and then buying something else. By overclocking, you instantly void warranty and u also make the system madly unstable unless you can keep that thing damn cool. I have no idea what that guy is using to cool his system but overclocking is definitely not something you want to do especially when dealing with mission critical work that you need to get done w/ no hassle and no haggle. Get the real thing and don't mess w/ this overclocking business. It's not worth the world of trouble you'll be finding by doing it. The 2.4 was not build for such a large overclock.... 2.4 to 3.2 is pretty large... that's REALLY large. You may get the clock speed sure if you overclock, but you will most likely not get the same reliability and performance of the real thing (you would probably end up frying the CPU and maybe board, which voids warranty and means no returns or exchanges regardless of who told u to do it).

12 December 2003, 10:43 PM
While I don't believe his idea's are crazy like Singularity2006 implies, I do understand where Singularity2006 is coming from. If you don't know how to overclock don't do it. If you do then there isn't this huge risk that singularity says. I've been overclocking for years and feel I am a decent enough advocate for both sides. So, if you know what your doing and buy proper quality stuff, no problems.

Having said that, I would agree that for people that aren't really into it, which often is the case with artists...the technical ins and outs aren't something they care about, then don't bother and spend the extra money for the fastest you can afford and just leave it be.

Anyways, I just wanted to say my peace. Also this forum isn't the one you want if you want to know about overclocking hence the probable majority would consider it a horrible idea.


12 December 2003, 11:15 PM
A 2.4 running at 3.2 will be the same speed as the more expensive chip. Currently, the 2.4 chips are highly popular with overclockers as they will go quite far, there are many reports of people getting 3.2 from them. If you have any doubts, kicking it back down to 3.0 will only knock off 6% of the speed, so it won't be a major loss.

12 December 2003, 02:34 AM
Ask the fella trying to sell the rig the following question/statement.

Ok, so your running a 2.4 at 3.2 for the past 48 hours stable. And you say it'll perform exactly as a 3.2 will.

Ok thats great.

Are you willing to warranty this system against any and all crashes due to it being overclocked?

Are you willing to provide financial compensation for lost work, renders, and possibly clients due to hardware failure after an extended render due to overclocking?

Can you ensure that this system will not falter on a week long render?

Most likely he'll say no.

If he says yes, get it in writing and buy the system.

Stress tests and burn-in's are no comparison to actual rendering.

Overclocking introduces instability variables into long term stability under stress.

It only takes a single ram error to completely fubar a render.

If your just doing 3d for a hobby, overclocking is fine, and a great learning experience.

But there is money involved in any way, shape, or form, then avoid it at all costs.

The last think you want to be doing is explaining to your landlord you can't make rent this month cause some guy said your system would be stable, and it isn't.

12 December 2003, 02:52 AM
Thanks for the replies!

Yeah...I guess I am crazy lol...or just not experienced in the overclocking field.

Well, looks like I'll be spending the extra couple hundred, but I think I'll be much more at ease with my purchase that way (by buying the 3.2). I'd hate to screw up my system and lose a lot of work on account of saving a few pennies for a cheap thrill ;)

Btw...even though I don't plan on getting the 2.4 anymore...I think I might use your ideas Greg just to see what the guy says! ;

Thanks again

12 December 2003, 06:02 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
Are you willing to warranty this system against any and all crashes due to it being overclocked?

I can personally guarantee you no system builder or reseller on earth will say yes to that one. And if they have a moment of insanity and do, get it in writing.

Seriously, overclocking is pot luck. There are no guarantees and no certainties. You will not be guaranteed that an 2.4 will overclock past 2.4 and you will not be guaranteed that even if you do the chip will last longer than a day before it blows.

I overclock my "play" systems all the time. These are systems at home that I muck about with, and contain nothing I hold valuable or dear to me. These are mainly gaming systems and not much else.

On the other hand, all of my work systems (at work and home) run at stock speed. These are untweaked and left at defaults. These systems also pay my mortgage and put food on the table for my family. I don't muck with that kind of stuff.

12 December 2003, 08:07 AM
on a totally random note, we used to have these old P75's in our old space tech lab at school that we were getting rid of. One of the instructors was a mad computer overclocker and he did something freaking in that he got the reading on the screen on boot to say 300. It promptly shut down and fumes started coming from the case. We had it under the hood though since we were expecting some nice carcinogens. =)

We were getting rid of the old things and he was screwing around w/ the thing here and there for fun before we trashed them.

12 December 2003, 11:36 AM
Overclocking is a hobby...

I enjoy it every day.

buying a 2.4 is not worth it anymore, your best bet at todays prices is to get the 2.8 just dont forget hyper thrading it helps a bit.

All Overclocking will VOID all warranteesif you can get a 3.2 for 100 bucks more than a than a 2.4 hmmm you figure the price of a better fan and extractors and better ram...

besides the 2.4 "C" that over clocks to 3.2 is or at least no longer in stock... it must be 'c' SERIES... IF YOU DONT KNOW... THEN DONT DO IT. the last thing you need is a fast macine that wont boot cause it smoked the big one. My pent 1 90 used to do 150 though speaking of olde days. My current PIII 700 sitts happily at 1.1 but so much cooler at 933 as its been doing since october 2000 to ringht now these pixels here...... sa I look to my left is my Hammer... hmmm zoooooom zoom... Did any one see the QUAD HAMMER at the ANIMATION FESTIVAL in sydney this week? ... dead set 4X 64 bit cpus with ram hangin off each cpu... render like hot knife thru butter.... zooom zoom keyframe done zoom zoom... pity it will only take PCI vid cards... hmmm got this olde matrox one here someplace..... hmmmm just a thought.... I found the QUAD AMD big thinkin numba cruncha right after I found tis fella telling me how his dual G5 is soooo fast.... I forgot about him promtly... but then again the quad 64 bit is 60 grand... anyone good for a loan? :BEER:

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 02:48 AM
there is alot involved in getting a stable overclock
and datya corruption is something Id imagine youd rather avoid
everything from the memory timings ( to the importance of a very good and reliable thermal solution, make it a hit or miss proposition, besides IC chips (CPU, GPU, your RAM) typically fall into a classic bell curve ( the vast majority falling in the middle with a few "golden chips" and a few defectives, of course its fairly easy to degrade any of them into trash ( :p

its the luck of the draw, just because so and so can take the "same" :rolleyes: components and get X of an overclock, doesnt translate across the board to other "identical" :rolleyes: components

you dont find many overclocked workstations and even fewer servers ;)

and yeh I caught some coverage of that quad

12 December 2003, 03:54 AM
Originally posted by grubGrob
but then again the quad 64 bit is 60 grand... anyone good for a loan? :BEER:

Try 13 grand, for a render node with 4 Opteron 848s, 8 GB RAM total, one 36 Gb HD, Gigabit Ethernet (of course), pre-installed linux, in a 4U case.

Man, would I like one of those!

Of course, for the price of 13 grand, you could build (though it would take a while) 26 P4 HT 2.8 Ghz, 1 GB RAM rendernodes, but parallel processing can be more useful in many cases (scene previewing for example, you wouldn't network render).

12 December 2003, 06:16 AM
The web site that has it at 16 ... well its in texas look at this
16,000.00 USD United States Dollars = 21,720.47 AUD Australia Dollars which ALSO = 9,692,000.00 CLP Chile Pesos by the way...
Mind you thats still not 60.... however the guy on the stand DID say 60. I guess he was adding his commision ... besides that.. the render farm that you mentioned minus 2 machines cause of the cost to create the network to be a farm... i think would be much better and also better for when your mates rock around and wanna frag each other for hours and hours..

At the college I go to, the students all lurk till close of shop and tghen they make a mad rush to have as many machines crunching all night to render their stuff... its quite funny really.

anyway, its all outa my price range but its good to dream.. like i mentioned b4 pity it has no AGP slot


12 December 2003, 06:30 AM
Quad Processor would be a waste of resources on any modelling machine, hence why it has no AGP port.

This sort of thing is for dedicated server stuff only. For that you don't need the instability/cost/heat AGP adds to a system.

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by elvis
Quad Processor would be a waste of resources on any modelling machine, hence why it has no AGP port.

Id disagree, it would depend on if the complexity of the modeling

"Toy Story, Disney's first full-length computer-generated animation, required a networked bank of 117 dual and multi-processor workstations to render the 114,000 frames in the 77-minute film. "

but realistically if you wanted that power youd probably be better off building your own cluster ( out of cheaper components

but your right about that mobo, its a server not a workstation

12 December 2003, 02:03 PM
Ice Czar,

Modeling is almost entirely a single threaded operation.

There are very few video cards which have multithreaded ogl drivers, and even those usually are a bit fickle. (as to whether they're working stable or not).

Whats this mean?

It means in a Quad processor system, only CPU #1 is affecting the performance of your viewports.

CPU 2-4 is just sitting there idle.

Advantages of a dual are in rendering, and the ability to assign multiple tasks to multiple processors. Aka you could run combustion on cpu 3 and 4, while rendering in max on cpu 1 and 2.

Of course this is instantly negated by the utterly MASSIVE difference in price between a Dual CPU system and a Quad CPU system.

You can easily build a multiple dual cpu rackmount system, along with a workstation, for the price of a single quad rig.

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
Ice Czar,

Modeling is almost entirely a single threaded operation.

Thanx. this is why Im lurking here
Im a n00b to animation (but not content creation)
Ive just finished my Animation workstation
and Im saving up for Maya Complete

But I did get the 3Dlabs Wildcat VP990
(with the Tyan K8W)
as the only tested card I could find for Maya 5

12 December 2003, 02:39 PM

Maya5 supports a wide variety of graphics cards.

If you don't "have" the 990 yet...I'd return it and get a quadro instead.

Ironically the Wildcat VP990 is "NOT" fully supported under Maya5, as it won't allow you use of the Hardware GPU renderer.

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 02:48 PM
I carefully reviewed those before I bought
however I think Alias is a bit behind and hasnt completed thier testing.

in addition I think 3Dlabs is pretty commited to the Maya Platform
and expect further optimizations since the VP is 100% programmable

3D labs testing

12 December 2003, 02:54 PM
Do a search for Wildcat V990 on this forum. You'll find its pretty much universally NOT RECOMMENDED.

And I was just posting those links, cause you said only the Wildcat was supported...which isn't true.

As for which is supported...I'd trust alias's site before I'd trust 3dlabs PR.

12 December 2003, 03:02 PM
Because I'm's some quotes.

(You have to search for "WILDCAT" to find these)

The FX 2000 is multiples faster than the VP990 Pro.

If you have a specific development or application need that requires >128 MB then also note that nVidia just launched the FX 3000 with 256 MB.

The memory on the VP990 Pro is very slow. 3dlabs is selling that to people that still believe gfx mem size == performance. It doesn't, especially in this case, unless you are doing something unique that has you running out on a 128 MB or 256 MB card and that can't be handled by using additional AGP memory (DMA from main mem via the AGP Aperture setting) -CgFX

The Wildcat is slower than even your GeForce2MX. I found the (almost) prefect review for you; a comparison of a GeForce2MX, a Wildcat VP 870, and a Quadro4 Pro. it was in another language but I ran it through Google. All you really have to take a look at is the graphs. (In direct3d)

Here's a major review showcases some of the downfalls of the 990.

Should I get more?

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by GregHess

Should I get more?

not for several hours please :p

Im still inside the RMA period
so Ive some more reading to do ;)
Thank You

12 December 2003, 03:25 PM

Just want ya to know other "better" and even "cheaper" options are available :).

12 December 2003, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by Ice Czar
Id disagree, it would depend on if the complexity of the modeling

"Toy Story, Disney's first full-length computer-generated animation, required a networked bank of 117 dual and multi-processor workstations to render the 114,000 frames in the 77-minute film. "

but realistically if you wanted that power youd probably be better off building your own cluster ( out of cheaper components

but your right about that mobo, its a server not a workstation

mate, read your own post!

the mutliprocessor machines were used for RENDERING not MODELLING.

as already mentioned, modelling rarely needs massive CPU power. a single-processor 2.5GHz machine or modern equivalent is probably plenty for most modellers. mutli-processing only becomes important when you don't want to spend a day per frame rendering stuff out.

12 December 2003, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
You can easily build a multiple dual cpu rackmount system, along with a workstation, for the price of a single quad rig.

Ya, but like I said, there are advantage to having a quad system. For instance, some renderers can't network render but they can multi-thread with multiple processors. If you have one of those renderers, then a quad station would help. Of course, if you can afford a quad station, you can probably afford a plug-in that makes your renderer network render (thought it might not be multi-threaded, just distribution of frames).

And, IF it had an AGP slot, then it would be good for the actual content creation cause you can preview your renders blazingly fast.

12 December 2003, 01:07 AM
Aye but the other problem with quad systems is scalability.

Though I haven't done any testing on the newer opterons, in general, the performance increase you get from the addition of a second processor, is HALVED when you add an additional two.

Aka if you increase rendering performance 90% by adding one cpu (dual system), moving that dual to a quad only increases performance another 40-50%.(Performance indicating rendering)

This is both the fault of hardware and software.

First the hardware...Intel's buses require that each CPU share the same FSB. This means if you had a 533 Quad Xeon, each processor would only have access to a measly 133 megahertz of that bus....effecting performance significantly enough (and memory bandwidth) to warrant the decrease I talked about above.

Secondly the software...many 3d applications do not exclusively multithread every portion of the rendering process. Prep stages, dynamics, subdiv's, mapping, particle systems, post effects...can be limited to a single thread. (Depends on application in question).

Which means on your 10-20k computer...only one of the four cpu's is working at certain stages of the rendering process.

Whats the way around the software limitation? 3rd party renderers.

But the instant you purchase a 3rd party renderer, you've eliminated the reason for having a quad system.

Newer 3rd party renderers have the capability of not only extensive net rendering, but also distributed rendering...assigning portions of the single render frame to multiple machines across the network...even across the internet.

Quad's do have their uses...but for the general 3d artist/animator/modeler they are an enormous waste of money and serve only as bragging rights. There are far more efficent uses for your money.

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 01:51 AM
first returns

translated French VP990 21-09-03

3DLabs Wildcat VP990 512 MB LFB @ Lost Circuts 01-08-03

Anand 03-05-02

3Dlabs Forum, Maya 5 Hardware Renderer Support 26-11-26-03
"The Wildcat VP Certifications page lists all the official certifications we have received
from manufacturers together with a link to the certified driver. Maya's site may be a little
slow in updating their page.
You will note that only the Windows XP drivers have been officially certified at this time
and not the W2K drivers"

"Thanks David. I contacted Alias tech support and they confirmed the same thing and admitted
they are slow to update their qual charts"

" found another OpenGL video card comparison at
The Wildcat VP 870 and 990 cards are included in this review along with high-end cards from ATI and nVidia/PNY.
Results show the nVidia/PNY Quadro FX series out-performed all others in Maya 5.
Wildcat VP cards performed on-par with ATI FireGL X1/X2.
The latest Maya SPECapc for Maya 5 was used, however the new advanced Hardware Rendering feature was not included.

Although this review is very helpful, it doesn't compare performance using Maya 5's Hardware Renderer,
particularly with Wildcat VP cards and the new Acuity driver.
If anyone knows of any recent tests, please post them.

I'm told by a few Maya experts that the new hardware render shaders in Maya 5 are written in
a standard Nvidia language. For this reason, they're recommending using nVidia Quadro4 750/980 XGL or
Quadro FX 1000/2000/3000 cards over other manufacturers.
Can we get any comment from 3Dlabs on this? My understanding is 3Dlabs worked closely with Alias to develop
the advanced hardware rendering routines in the new Wildcat VP Acuity drivers.
Does this mean the drivers conform to the same nVidia language?

The hardware renderer in Maya 5 was originally designed to use only the Nvidia and ATI specific OpenGL extensions.
However in Alias's latest release (version 5.01) they also included support for the universal ARB OpenGL extensions
which enable the hardware render to work happily with the Wildcat VP's.

still researching ;)

12 December 2003, 12:45 PM
Here's something that will almost instantly bring a sour taste to your mouth.

Creative Labs bought 3dlabs.

That is enough for most people to go immediately running to ATI or Nvidia.

Realistically, just from this forum, I've heard almost nothing but complaints from the current VP line from 3dlabs.

I'm sure there is a satisfied user somewhere on this forum, but their either not very vocal, or definitely a minority.

I'd stick with the readily available and highly recommended quadro's.

Oops, I keep forgetting you already bought a VP990 didn't you?

Anyway you can return it? :)

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
Creative Labs bought 3dlabs.

Yes that gave me pause
I detest Creative

from all accounts (but no posted benchmarks yet)
the new Acuity drivers just scream.

Im not quite ready to plunk down nearly twice as much
and take the RMA hit just yet ;)

Going to do a bit more research

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