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Checkpoint: Overclocking Edition


I’ve overclocked my CPU and/or GPU since my first ever computer. Pushing an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 from 2.13 GHz all the way to 3.2 GHz was a very nice bonus. That was my last major overclock. After I acquired my Intel Core i5 750, I decided it wasn’t worth pushing for GHz since most games didn’t take advantage of it and I wasn’t willing to lose the dynamic varying of clockspeed and voltage that came with a “stock” processor.

I looked into “dynamic overclocking” a couple of years ago but the initial clockspeeds I set it at were not stable and I didn’t want to sink anymore time subjecting my brand new PC to Prime95 tests. Bored and curious I performed another search and found this wonderful “Efficiency” article from Tom’s Hardware. Apparently I was close the last time around.

Back in 2010 I initially set the BCLK (Base clock) to 166 which I read was a conservative clock speed without increasing voltage. I experienced a couple of hard locks with that speed and called it quits. Apparently all I had to do was drop it 6 MHz and that would have been hunky-dory

I find GPU overclocking is a bit trickier because unlike CPU overclocking there isn’t a universally established stability test like Prime95. I thought Furmark was the clear choice back when I got my 5770 but apparently they don’t properly test the complexities of a GPU. Thus I’ve been slowly dropping my the clock speed of my 7850’s GPU core with each hard lock or “engine crash”.

The “engine crash” is a weird phenomenon where my screen would flicker and then the framerate in MechWarrior Online would drop to single digits. Clockspeeds for both the GPU’s memory and core would then be stuck at 150 MHz; only a restart of the entire system would restore performance.

The troubling thing about this testing via game (in this MechWarrior Online) is that I don’t know who to lay blame on when things go awry. I assume it’s my overclocking but it could very well be the drivers or the beta nature of MechWarrior Online. The most sensible option is to try other games, use other drivers and restore clocks to stock speeds but I enjoy living on the edge, man.

I’ve been playing lots of Mechwarrior Online with GAF folks or who I think are GAF folks. I’m not playing towards any kind of goal, I just enjoy shooting mechs.

I’ve also been playing Rayman: Origins and I continue to enjoy playing it in chunks. I don’t know how long it will take for me to complete it since Tomb Raider is coming and I want to get in on that on day one. I have it preloaded thanks to AMD’s freebie and I want to see that fancy hair in motion.

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