View Full Version : Overclocking the GA-7N400Pro2

January 14th 06, 04:42 PM
I haven't bothered trying any overclocking on my GA-7N400Pro2
motherboard since I got it a few years ago, but I put in some new
Kingston HyperX memory lately and did a few tests with nTune and
EasyTune, so I thought I'd pass along the information for anyone else
who's interested.

I'm using an AMD AthlonXP 2500+ CPU (Barton core). The new memory is 2
x 512 MByte Kingston HyperX 3200 (400MHz FSB) 2-3-2-6.

Default timings are:
Default FSB: 333 MHz
AGP: 66 MHz
Memory: 400MHz 2-3-2-6 (Turbo setting selected in BIOS, default gives
2.5 - 3 - 3 - 8)

I don't really trust the temperature readings from this motherboard.
They show the CPU operating in the 50 - 60 C range, which is a lot
higher than I see with this CPU for other systems. But there's no
reason for it to be higher - the heat sink and CPU fan are good, and
the heat sink is properly mounted on the CPU with premium silver paste.
Gigabyte fiddled with the temperature reading algorithm in one of their
early BIOS updates, and I don't think they ever got it right. In any
case, I don't have any reliability problems in normal operation, and I
didn't see significant temperature increases outside the usual range in
my tests.

The multiplier on this AthlonXP 2500+ CPU is locked at 11x. Unlocking
it requires carefully wiring some pins together, so I didn't try that.
Without changing the vCore voltage from the default 1.65v, nTune was
able to get the CPU operating reliably up to 377 MHz in its tests. But
subsequently in more extended operation I found that the system would
lock up. By raising the vCore voltage +5% in the BIOS (the smallest
amount offered), I was able to get it operating reliably at 380 MHz.
But it wouldn't do 390 MHz, even with the memory timings relaxed. I
didn't bother increasing the memory voltage, as the memory is rated to
operate at 400 MHz. I didn't try raising the vCore voltage +10% -
that's too much, and the BIOS wouldn't give me any finer steps
(EasyTune and nTune wouldn't adjust the vCore voltage with this
motherboard, so I had to use the BIOS).

This limited overclocking potential is not much of a surprise, as AMD
was also offering AthlonXP 2600+ and 2800+ CPUs for more money at the
time I bought the 2500+, which were simply selected units of the same
part which tested out better.

nTune also played with the AGP clock, raising it from 66 MHz all the
way up to 80 MHz in its tests. It reported reliable operation at 77
MHz, but again I saw some video errors in more extended operation (I'm
running an ATI 9800 Pro with default clock settings). I'm not convinced
it's a good idea or really beneficial to operate the AGP clock at that
high a boost, so I reduced it to 70 MHz for subsequent tests. I didn't
touch the default 33 MHz clock speed of the PCI bus.

In performance tests running apps like video encoding, I found that
raising the FSB clock rate (and therefore the locked-multiplier CPU
speed) had a direct proportional impact on performance. I eventually
settled on 370 MHz as being pretty reliable, and that worked fine in
combination with a small increase in AGP clock to 70 MHz. I found that
memory timings on their own made very little difference to system
performance. This matches the tests that other people have made, where
the CPU cache tends to conceal any changes in memory timing. However,
having faster memory like the Kingston HyperX allows the FSB speed to
be increased more reliably while maintaining memory timing.

So in the end I created a saved "Performance" setting of [FSB=370 MHz,
AGP=70Mhz], and I turn it on only when I'm going to run a very long
CPU-intensive job like video encoding, or I'm trying to wring the last
frame of performance out of a video game..

January 16th 06, 07:21 AM

I have the same Motherboard
But a 2600 athlon Cpu

My MB is not overclocked and nothing has been changed on board
Yet my CPU is operating in the 50 - 60 C range as is yours.
Maybe this is normal for this MB, I also thought it was too High and have
pulled the CPU Fan off and reset it and the Heat sink with the paste.

I have also have just posted a question reg the motherboard, Maybe you also
can answer my question

Cheers and Good Luck

January 17th 06, 02:24 AM
I have the same MOBO with a XP2800
Apparently there is an issue with this board running hotter.
Mine was running in the 60 C range, sometimes up to 70 C. I put it in
a new case with better cooling capabilities( it has 5 fans) and put in
new heatsink and fan(I used a Gigabyte 3D CoolerPro) with a cooling
capability of up to a XP3400.The temps dropped down to upper 30's to 40
C even if it runs all day and that's
when it's used to play games for a long period.
So, the case's cooling capabilities and the heatsink and fan you use
will make a difference
with this board.