Extreme Overclocking

bgerber

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Is pushing your hardware further and faster actually worth it in this day and age? The answer is a resounding yes! We pushed all of the components in our test system 20% or more above specification, and got it all back in extra performance.
 

SuperFly03

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Is pushing your hardware further and faster actually worth it in this day and age? The answer is a resounding yes! We pushed all of the components in our test system 20% or more above specification, and got it all back in extra performance.
Based on the picture on the homepage, I was hoping for a LN2 oc not water....
 

Slobogob

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I liked the article a lot, yet the picture and the word "extreme" were, as my fellow posters already noticed, a little ove the top if not outright misleading.

Still a nice article though. I liked the detail it had regarding the installation and the reasoning behind it. Still when i read about the Danger Den set i felt a little like watching an ad. :lol:
 

SuperFly03

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Extreme cooling and they only overclock 500Mhz? wtf?
I agree. I would have expected north of 4GHz on a X6800 and "extreme cooling." You can do better than this with a good air cooler. Also, a 7950 GX2? I know they have a 8800GTX laying around.... It is a good idea to show the flip side, but a 1250 FSB is just plain dumb. Stock is 1066, and I see 1600 on a regular basis, 1800-1900 should be achieved in "extreme cooling" situations. All in all a very disappointing article.

There are some great articles that come out of THG... this isn't one of them.
 

bum_jcrules

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So what if we went with phase change coolers and the most advanced hardware on the market? Would that change the point of the article... to help people attempt overclocking?

4 GHz is well within reach but getting a stable OC with Quad is next to impossible. The driver for Quad is flaky at best. I am sure if I stripped down the system to a single GPU we could do more.

While the slow FSB (in comparison to guys running Prime) is not best in all situations, commercial overclocks from PC boutiques like Falcon Northwest and Voodoo PC, the overall CPU speed is right on par at 3.66 and 3.73. I have been able to go much faster but the benchmarks cannot be completed. This is a system overclock that is sustained. I could have run that system for years without messing around with it. I am sure that Fugger, OPPainter, Macci, and anyone using phase change or liquid nitrogen would not be able to say the same about long term use with 4.5 GHz.

That being said, what would you LIKE to see and perhaps we can arrange it.
 

Whizzard9992

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THG needs to do a better job balancing finances and keeping their facts' straight.

Danger Den's of the Top 3 water-cooling providers? Pfft.

3.66 GHz OC? Wait a minute, what about the picture of the liquid nitrogen on the home page? I read all 12 pages and didn't see anything about LN2 cooling, or even phase-change. Damn that's misleading :evil: :evil:

Air-cooling -> Mainstream
Water-Cooling -> Enthusiast
LN2/Phase-Change -> Extreme

I think most will agree.



If this was an article on water-cooling, it sucked. What about evaporation? What about different tube sizes? What about cooling your RAM, Drives, and PWM (which get HOT from a good OC if you ditch good airflow for a quiet liquid-cooled system)? What about important considerations like pump-type (Let's not forget the fish-tank pumps some companies like to pawn off).


Extreme Overclocking? No. Extreme exaggeration.
 

Whizzard9992

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"Extreme Overclock" at 3.66 GHz; quad-SLI.




"STOCK" X6800 @ 2.93 GHz with an 8800GTX
(note: you can get this with a stock water-cooler)




Note: All benches are 1024x768 for the xtreme OC.



In short:

........................STOCK............EXTREME OVERCLOCK
...................with 8800GTX...........with QUAD-SLI
____________________________________________________
..3D Mark..|.....16,762......................15,912
..Oblivion/.|......50.17........................40.42
 

SuperFly03

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So what if we went with phase change coolers and the most advanced hardware on the market? Would that change the point of the article... to help people attempt overclocking?
No, but developing such low expectations from isn't fair. You could definitely push the hardware further given the setup. I really don't mind that you did a WC article, but the picture on the homepage really gave me a different set of expectations for the article. That is my point.

Quad SLI is a heat monster, I will give you that, but as Whizzard pointed out, an 8800GTX beats quad sli and probably puts out less heat.

While the slow FSB (in comparison to guys running Prime) is not best in all situations, commercial overclocks from PC boutiques like Falcon Northwest and Voodoo PC, the overall CPU speed is right on par at 3.66 and 3.73. I have been able to go much faster but the benchmarks cannot be completed. This is a system overclock that is sustained. I could have run that system for years without messing around with it. I am sure that Fugger, OPPainter, Macci, and anyone using phase change or liquid nitrogen would not be able to say the same about long term use with 4.5 GHz.
If you wanted to show a comparison against a home OC'd system vs. Falcon-NW, fine. I did enjoy the read, but the article title is misleading. I am not objecting to the write up quality in any way, but if you are going to call it extreme, then go extreme.

The title should have been: "Factory OC, on the Cheap" or along those lines.
 

labortius

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If you're planning to buy top end water cooling to push your system to the limit, won't you start with the best equipment you can buy without invalidating warranties and buying extra cooling?

$300 of top of the range water cooling?
A $800 processor?!
$400 x 2 graphics cards?

Who has these high end components lying around (well, apart from reviewers?)! If you're reading this site, you're you won't need convincing and you're gonna know you're gonna be overclocking these if you can afford them, because you're a crazy overclocker! And you're gonna have some kind of 8800 too!

And yeah, calling an article extreme, having a nitrogen cannister on the front page, and then using water cooling is a little duplicitious!

This has convinced me not to extreme overclock, since just buying a better graphics card and lower specced processor would have given me ten extra frames on Oblivion without all the fandangoing with tubes.

I'm pretty sure that 4300 owners are matching 6800 extreme speeds on stock cooling, and beating 3Ghz with a top end air cooler! Water cooling 3.5? And for a processor a seventh of the price! And it'll still comfortably run games for, um, at least the next year. Maybe.

And of course, I don't have these things "lying around" and Danger Den don't send me high end water cooling bits for free!

What kind of budget would this project have? $1500+? Heck, $700 would have got you a better card and better results!

PS. It's unfortunate that Doom3 isn't on the interactive charts any more (maybe Hard Truck Apocalypse and Titan Quest can go, as Oblivion, Half Life 2 and Prey surely between them test all you need to for benchmarks?) since Doom3 keeps popping up in articles about overclocking and benchmarking (like this one!) For the next bunch maybe they can change Ride of Legends (whose still playing this? There's almost no fan web covererage of this game, not last time I looked) to Supreme Commander, 'cos that's gonna be the next big RTS benchmark and the next big upgrade question mark since Oblivion for a lot of people.

But don't let what I wrote put anyone off, 'cos THG is still a great site!
 

leexgx

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it was an little miss leading the topic

7950gx2 more so Quad make Cpu overhead
8800GTX is Pure CPU limited at lower res and one alone is very fast(other reviews that have been done have pointed that out)

apart from the cpu that was used i found this review to be an little limited in its goal if there was one? (low spec stuff that that other user was pointing out was doing an better job the Video card was the limiting factor in this Review)

TBO not Extreme overclocking just burning alot of money on stuff that was maybe not fulley thought out (unless it was given to them)
 

p8ntslinger676

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WOW, whoever overclocked that x6800 needs to be shot, please leave and never come back, 3.66GHz is the worst overclock ever for that chip, plus you didnt even specify which batch and week it was from, you fail at life and need to go kill yourself now, you are a disgrace to anything extreme and that is affiliated to THG. And wtf is with the 7950GX2's, they are far from good cards, you would have been much better off with 8800GTS' in SLI than those pieces of crap. Danger Den water blocks are horrible and I personally would never touch one. You cant even choose a decent water setup and I have yet to see any good LN2 testing. Personally I think that article needs to be erased immediately seeing as it is the worst thing I have seen yet from Toms Hardware. I might be a little easier on you if you werent such a noob and would at least get to 4GHz, I mean jesus christ are you that bad at overclocking?
 

craigcampos

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The real funny thing about overclocking is that.......getting a 20% increase really doesn't accomplish anything! When you have 100 FPS and you goto 120 FPS...it may seem like a big jump but to the naked eye, you can't notice it. And if your system is running games at this level who needs improvement. When your system is running games at 25-30 frames......spending all the money you just proposed to improve 20% would only give you 6 FPS on games that bog down your system. And honestly those 6 FPS won't make the game play any better at that level. I always laugh because it would be less stressful, less time consuming and probably less expensive to just upgrade. :)
 

Track

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Air-cooling -> Mainstream
Water-Cooling -> Enthusiast
LN2/Phase-Change -> Extreme

I think most will agree.
I dont completely agree.
Air Cooling is also for Enthusiests. Most Enthusiests have Air Cooling because its a far better bang for the buck, much easier to set up and less to deal with afterwards.
Expensive aftermarket Air Coolers are still the best.. by far in most cases. The best are the CNPS 9700 from Zalman and the Tuniq Tower wich has something that watercooling never will - silence.. and probably BETTER performance.
 

SuperFly03

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And if your system is running games at this level who needs improvement. When your system is running games at 25-30 frames......spending all the money you just proposed to improve 20% would only give you 6 FPS on games that bog down your system. And honestly those 6 FPS won't make the game play any better at that level.
35-40 FPS vs 25-30 FPS.... huge difference in some games. Most gamers hate FPS games below 60 FPS (yes same acronym lol). So, going from 25 to 35, is a huge help. Another point, overclocking doesn't scale linearly in any way. So 30% OC may get you 10% (depending on the component and the app).

I always laugh because it would be less stressful, less time consuming and probably less expensive to just upgrade. :)
What if you can't upgrade? What if the cost of upgrading is beyond your budget, but you can get by with paying for a decent cooling setup to last another year to 18 months until you can afford an upgrade? Just a though, not always true, but it definitely happens.

Sure it may be less stressful, but it isn't nearly as much fun. Half of the fun in overclocking is seeing just how far you can go. Yeah, it is about performance too, but its also about ability. Some people are damn good OC'ers and some people just throw crap together.
 

Whizzard9992

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Air-cooling -> Mainstream
Water-Cooling -> Enthusiast
LN2/Phase-Change -> Extreme

I think most will agree.
I dont completely agree.
Air Cooling is also for Enthusiests. Most Enthusiests have Air Cooling because its a far better bang for the buck, much easier to set up and less to deal with afterwards.
Expensive aftermarket Air Coolers are still the best.. by far in most cases. The best are the CNPS 9700 from Zalman and the Tuniq Tower wich has something that watercooling never will - silence.. and probably BETTER performance.

To a point, I agree. Keep in mind that before C2D, you could only achieve a decent OC with water cooling.

Even then, I would still put Water Cooling in the entusiast realm. I consider myself an enthusiast and think water-cooling os overkill, but then again, I'd never shell out $600 for a GFX card, either.

It's a matter of opinion & perspective, I suppose. I don't agree, but I don't totally disagree, either.
 

AdamBomb42

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I was very disappointed by the article due to the title and the picture. To me that is basic overclocking with a nice liquid system, not extreme overclocking with LN2. :cry:
 

warezme

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I hear a lot of whining about not a real "extreme" scenario for overclocking. I tend to agree and would admit Toms hardware titles are becoming as sensational as the national enquirer...., Extreme Overclocking....., Vista Parachute...., which end up being nothing of the like.

It would not have been so bad if they had done some exotic cooling and high numbers or at least started off with a slow CPU , like an E6300 or E4300 and pushed the snot out of it.
 

Whizzard9992

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It wouldn't be so bad if:

1) They managed to put the X6800 above 3.6 GHz. Most overclockers can get 3.6 GHz out of an E6600 or better on air. 3.66 GHz out of an X6800 is weak at best.

2) They didn't have a picture of Liquid Nitrogen on the home page, followed by an embaressing OC.

3) It didn't seem like such a blatent way to get Danger Den to cut a check.
 

korbin44

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The title may be misleading, maybe not. They used an 'extreme' processor to do their overclocking. Not an extreme overclock. The picture pulls you into the article and is a little misleading, but great marketing. If you are an average user you'll find the read interesting and very useful. What Tom's Hardware was trying to do is give the mainstream users an indepth howto on overclocking like the highend system builders use. Not everyone out there that builds their own highend system is an extreme user. Just look at what the article presents, not what you want out of it. It was a very useful article if viewed with an unbiased eye. If you want extreme, then go to xtremesystems.com.

With that said, I do agree they should have renamed the title to something like: Overclock your extreme cpu, highend system builders style.
 

Whizzard9992

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Just look at what the article presents, not what you want out of it. It was a very useful article if viewed with an unbiased eye.
Ok. The title of the article, "Extreme Overclocking," might lead someone to assume that it's an article about extreme overclocking. Maybe even mediocre overclocking.

Let's assume the article is as you mentioned, "Overclock your extreme cpu, highend system builders style," one might assume that it would be compared to other high-end built systems. Wrong again.

If it was an article on overclocking, it did a poor job as well. One's only left to assume based on the following statement that the author(s) didn't know what they were doing...

The processor was able to sustain high clock rates up to 3.73 GHz, but was not stable in conjunction with the graphics subsystem. The fastest we could run all of the tests with the cooling configuration we had was 3.66 GHz.
That quote says it the best. If this were any other site, I think most people here would flame the author for being a newbie trying to pose as a seasoned OC'er.

I actually like most of Darren Polkowski's articles (though I'm usually critical of THG articles), but this seems off.

There doesn't seem to be any indication that the person writing the article has ever seriously overclocked. Other than "Use ceramique paste" over silver paste, there are MANY other things to consider that were not mentioned, which is probably why an OC over 3.75 GHz couldn't be sustained.
 

nilepez

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Is pushing your hardware further and faster actually worth it in this day and age?
I know this is a tech site, but can we please banish this wordy crap? "In this day and age" adds nothing to the sentence. Yes this is a tech publication, but you're writing and that's a college freshmen mistake.
 

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