Essential Overclocking Utilities

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by SVT Cobra, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. SVT Cobra

    SVT Cobra Lifer

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    There are many programs out there to help one overclock. They range in capability from novice level programs to those for experienced users, and their functions range from to the actual overclocking, itself (for novices and weekend overclockers), to testing the stability of the system after overclocking and monitoring your system.

    These programs are different from benchmarks, which should also be used to quantify your system's performance gain. For those new to overclocking, I have compiled a list of the most popular and most important applications to assist you in your midnight ventures into your system's BIOS. I have also included a list of programs that many manufacturers include with their motherboards to inform buyers of the options that are available to them.


    Stability Testing

    These programs test the stability and reliability of your system components to make sure they can handle overclocking. The tests can alert to possible component failure, overstressed or overheating components and most importantly, assure you that your newly overclocked system can handle day-to-day operation. Usually, these programs should be run for at least six hours to get the best information about how your system will operate when overclocked.

    PassMark BurnInTest V4.0 Standard and Pro
    Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, 2003 server, Linux
    Screen shots
    Standard edition: US $22 Free 30 Day Trial
    Pro edition: US $49

    This program can stress all your individual components at once. It includes a variety of options to test your CPU, GPU, storage, RAM, and more. It is multithreaded, it simultaneously taxes all of your components and it is flexible in the form you want your results.

    Memtest86
    All x86 based systems
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    This highly popular program runs from a bootable disk and tests the stability of your system memory. It is highly recommended to run to catch any failures that could later lead to other problems.

    Prime95
    Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, 2003 server, Linux, 64 bit available
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    Part of the Great Internet Prime Mersenne Search (GIMPS), this program became popular among overclockers because of its number crunching algorithms that exercise the computer's processor and memory to their limits. Recent versions of Prime95 include a "Torture Test" mode designed specifically for stressing PC subsystems.

    Stress Prime 2004
    Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, 2003 server, Linux, 64 bit available
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    Same as Prime 95 but with a better GUI.

    SuperPI
    Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2K/XP
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    This program stresses your system by calculating the digits of Pi to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits.

    HeavyLoad V2.0
    All Windows Versions
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    HeavyLoad simulates heavy activity on a PC. It allows you to test a workstation or server PC to confirm stability under heavy load. It stresses processor, memory and hard disks, operating system, etc.

    S&M
    Win9x/Me/NT/2k/XP, DOS
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    S&M is a pretty efficient CPU stress-test, which also includes memory tests.

    3DMark2001SE
    Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP
    Screenshot
    Free Limited Version

    Highly recomended to run in loop mode to ascertain if your system, mainly your GPU and CPU, can handle the stress of graphics intensive applications.

    rthdribl v.1.2
    Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP
    Screenshot
    Free

    An intensive graphics Real-Time High Dynamic Range Image-Based Lighting program that is very good for testing GPU stability. It is very sensitive for showing artifacts.

    OCCT
    All Versions of Windows
    screenshot
    Free

    A good stability testing program that includes a torture test that can generate a lot of heat.


    Monitoring

    These programs can monitor the effects of overclocking your system, from reporting sudden spikes in power usage or temperatures to automatically shutting down your system if a fan or other cooling device fails. Most monitor CPU and other temperatures, voltages, fan speeds and other system changes, provided your motherboard has sensors.

    CPU Monitor
    All versions of Windows. Note - Does not support dual core systems
    Freeware

    This program records and reports detailed information on CPU load and usage.

    Motherboard Monitor
    Supports most motherboards - Motherboard list.
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    Undoubtedly the most popular monitoring program, this is a must have application; it has a large selection of options and features that allows complete awareness of one's system. For a more detailed description of the many features this program offers and the compatibility with other sensors and programs please visit their site.

    SpeedFan
    Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, 2003 and Windows XP
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    SpeedFan is a freeware program that monitors fan speeds, temperatures and voltages in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info for those hard disks that support this feature and show hard disk temperatures, if supported.


    Miscellaneous

    CpuIdle Extreme
    All versions of Windows
    Screenshot
    $30

    This program helps keep your processor cool by running and HLT command that suspends the operation of any CPU operations. It also can be used in power-saving mode, and lets you monitor cooling times and CPU idle times. It is compatible with Motherboard Monitor.

    CPU-Z
    All Versions of Windows, supports dual core systems
    Screenshot
    Freeware




    This program gathers information about all aspects of your system and can display many different bits of information. It is also useful to confirm the speed of CPU is running after overclocking. Screen shots from CPU-Z are often used when displaying your overclock information on the internet.

    A64Tweaker
    For Athlon 64 Processors only!
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    This program lets users adjust their A64's memory controller registries. FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY!

    ClockGen
    For Nforce4 and Nforce3 systems only.
    Screenshot
    Freeware

    This is a series of programs that allow users to overclock their CPU, memory, and APG and PCI bus "on the fly."

    Nvidia nTune
    For Nforce Chipset Mobo's only!
    Screenshot
    Free

    This utility offers a wide range of options from tweaking and customizing many the options available, overclocking, and monitoring your system.

    Ultimate Boot CD
    Free
    Screenshot

    Contains many useful utilities such as prime95 and can run them without installing Windows.

    SysTool
    Windows 2000/XP/2003 (64 bit versions are supported).
    screenshot
    Free

    SysTool is an allround tweak and overclocking utility for enthusiasts that includes a wide variety of options.

    Norton Ghost
    All Versions of Windows
    Screenshot
    $69.99

    Backing up your data is always very important to do before overclocking your system, as during an overclocking session gone sour, data may become corupt and unrecoverable.


    Motherboard Manufacturer Included Software

    This software usually allows the user to overclock within Windows without rebooting. While one can get better results overclocking from the BIOS, these programs are usually used by novices due to ease of use and relatively smaller chance of system failure.

    Abit - uGuru
    Screenshot

    Allows for overclocking without rebooting and allows for saving different overclock options in the BIOS.

    AOpen - Hardware Monitoring Utility and EZClock
    Screenshot

    Monitors CPU and system temperatures, fan speeds and voltages, and allows for FSB, voltage, and other overclocking adjustments.

    ASUS - ASUS PC Probe
    Screenshot

    Monitors system temperatures, voltages, and collects other system information. Also sounds audio alarms if temperatures or voltages exceed set limits.

    Biostar - WarpSpeeder
    Screenshot

    Contains overclocking, hardware, and voltage, managers.

    Chiantech - APOGEE
    Screenshot

    Allows users to adjust overclocking settings and monitors temperatures and fan speeds.

    DFI - SmartGuardian
    Screenshot

    Monitors temperatures and voltages and controls fan speeds.

    EpoX - USDM
    Screenshot

    Monitors system temperatures, voltages, and fan speeds.

    Gigabyte - EasyTune 4
    Screenshot

    Contains monitoring and overclocking settings with novice and advanced modes. Also allows users to set audio alarms when temperatures get to high.

    Intel - Intel Active Monitor
    Screenshot

    Tracks system settings, temperatures, and voltages and allows for notifications of system changes.

    Leadtek - Speed Gear
    Screenshot

    Monitors system information.

    MS I- MSI PC Alert
    Screenshot

    Monitors system information.

    Soltek - Hardware Monitor and SmartDoc Anti-Burning Shield
    Screenshot

    Monitors system information and will alert the user and possibly automatically shut down the system if temperatures or voltages get too high.
     
  2. Leper Messiah

    Leper Messiah Banned

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  3. RichUK

    RichUK Diamond Member

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    The only apps that i would recommend are:

    1. Memtest's bootable floppy or CD image

    2. Prime 95, but more so Stress Prime 2004 (better GUI)

    3. Super PI, and there is quite a few different versions <-- This should not be used for stress testing it is just a benchie

    4. CPU-z always the latest version

    5. MBM5 for temps, and various other readings
     
  4. harobikes333

    harobikes333 Platinum Member

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    thnx for this great thread:D!
     
  5. beacon

    beacon Member

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    Son of a N00b thank you for this post. I am looking to build a new system in the next month or two and this is exactly the type of post I'll need once I get my new AMD PC up and running :D
     
  6. Tweakin

    Tweakin Platinum Member

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    I would also add in Everest...nice little utility for looking at everything. And then use CPU-z to verify settings.
     
  7. otispunkmeyer

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    i would like you to add

    S&M test thingy
     
  8. RussianSensation

    RussianSensation Elite Member

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    sticky :) great job!
     
  9. SVT Cobra

    SVT Cobra Lifer

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    unfortunately it has been discontinued as of december 1st :(
     
  10. SVT Cobra

    SVT Cobra Lifer

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    link to an english version, I can only find russian? I do remember using this before so i know it exsists in english?
     
  11. Mucker

    Mucker Platinum Member

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  12. richardrds

    richardrds Senior member

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    I would also add GPU testing utilities to the list. Some mobo's (like my Abit AV8) are Prime stable at higher speeds when not running 3d games, but the OC needs to be lowered significantley to keep the system Prime and 3d stable at the same time. This is because the AGP lock tends to break down on the Via chipset based Abit AV8 somewhere between 260-280 Mhz on most boards.

    I use 3dMark05 for GPU testing, and the older version 3DMark01 because of its Endless looping ability whicjh is included in the freeware version, both these programs are freeware. To get looping in 3DMark05 you have to pay for the upgraded version.

    On my Abit Av8 i can run Prime stable with my 3000+ winnie at 300x9 (2.7Ghz), but as soon as i launch a 3D game it crashes. To be Prime and 3D stable i have to back the OC down to around 2.5Ghz (278x9). I run my chip at 2.4Ghz (267x9) as my stndard 24/7 OC because i can acomplish this at default Vcore of 1.4Volts and not subject my CPU to high temperatures with the retail HSF.
     
  13. Unkno

    Unkno Golden Member

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  14. secretanchitman

    secretanchitman Diamond Member

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    definitely vote sticky on this one!

    awesome guide btw. nice job n00b!!!!

    and why is everest discontinued...?
     
  15. Zebo

    Zebo Elite Member

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    The only apps that i would recommend in order are:

    1. Memtest's bootable floppy or CD image for memory initial testing...don't forget to back down a bit even so.

    2. Prime 95 for CPU don't forget to back off a little from max stable accounting for temperature differentails and weird voltage fluctuations overtime.

    3 . 3dmark2001 for video card and processor to less extent

    4. 2 and 3 together for final stability testing overnight..usually I'm happy with only two hours.. it's really like 24 hours prime if your box can survive looping 3dmark combined with one or two instances of prime blend depending on precessor type, dual core or single..

    maybe.. CPU-Z as a informational tool only..could substitute half a dozen others like everest..CPU_Brian id.. etc.


    I find lots of people seem to be stable under one test but when all is powered 100% things get unstable and they are like WTF? "I was stable with all these tools and my computer crashing now"... because - need to really heat things up and max all circuits to really determine stability of your computer... only a 3d app like 3dmarks and prime blend will do this really.

    -Blend fills up all your ram major I/O
    -Blend also maxes CPU checking it's math
    -3dmark maxes video and disk and whatever blend is'nt taking care of for good measure.
     
  16. crazylegs

    crazylegs Senior member

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    good work fella !
     
  17. SVT Cobra

    SVT Cobra Lifer

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    as I took it on their site they have pay for versions (ultimate and corporate) that they want to make money on now...




    also thanks for your recomendations, I will add them later today
     
  18. thesurge

    thesurge Golden Member

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  19. Acanthus

    Acanthus Lifer

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    you should probably include links to Ntune, since a ton of users here have nforce based motherboards, on my rig i use Ntune for monitoring and the memtest86 built into the motherboards BIOS for stability testing, then just games and general usage for final stability testing after it passes an overnight memtest loop.
     
  20. CheesePoofs

    CheesePoofs Diamond Member

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  21. SVT Cobra

    SVT Cobra Lifer

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    added your suggestions, thanks! :)
     
  22. harobikes333

    harobikes333 Platinum Member

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    bump for a sweet thread!
     
  23. thesurge

    thesurge Golden Member

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    doublestickied.

    even though this is not the Video forum, why don't you add some video card overclocking tools (RivaTuner, ATI Tool, etc.).
     
  24. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Ultimate Boot CD

    You can run Prime from this without having to install Windows. May not be as good as the Windows version because you can't change any settings, but it's good for rough testing. It also has a few other benchmark/torture tests, plus a few versions of Memtest. I've found it very handy.
     
  25. theMan

    theMan Diamond Member

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    add in Central Brain Identifyer. you can see more stuff than with CPU-Z.