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Thread: Biostar TA970

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    Biostar TA970

    I'm using a Biostar TA 970 with an AMD Sempron 145 2.8 GHz processor for a new build, and although I'm happy with the way it's performing, I'd like to juice it up a bit.

    From what I've read Semprons are unlocked and can easily be overclocked to 3.6 GHz and beyond, so I went into the BIOS to increase the processor's multiplier, and there is no option to go above 14 (14 x 200 FSB = 2.8 GHz) on the multiplier.

    The 970 is a fairly modern board so surely it must have CPU overclocking abilities... what am I missing?

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Biostar TA970

    Semprons are not, and never have been, multiplier unlocked.

    What some people have had success with (myself included, actually) is unlocking the inactive core on a Sempron. Basically the Sempron 145 is an Athlon X2 with one core disabled. By setting the right option in the BIOS, you can try to reactivate that core. However, there is no guarantee it will work, or that the CPU will operate correctly with the second core unlocked.

    Having a quick browse of your motherboard's manual, it looks like you need to go in to the Performance menu and set the BIO-unloKING setting to enabled. Then, if you want to overclock, you will need to increase the CPU base clock from 200. Remember that this will be multiplied by 14 to get the final CPU clock, so (as an example) increasing the clock to 250MHz will lead to a CPU overclock of 3.5GHz. Also remember that this will overclock your memory, so you need to adjust memory settings to avoid damaging it (RAM is generally much more sensitive than a CPU and is damaged more easily by overclocking).

    HOWEVER

    Neither unlocking extra cores, nor being able to overclock, is guaranteed. It depends on your motherboard, RAM, and not just the type of CPU you have but THE SPECIFIC PROCESSOR ITSELF. Some Semprons may overclock beyond 3.6GHz, but some might not run properly at even 3GHz. Do not assume that because someone else has a good overclock with a Sempron 145 that you will also get one. It doesn't work like that!

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    Re: Biostar TA970

    Quote Originally Posted by Domestic_Ginger View Post
    You'll need to tone down the CPU-NB and HT-Link (?) if you're OCing by the HT ref. clk. as well as the memory. Keep them as close to normal as possible to eliminate instability before playing.
    Then once you're happy that your CPU overclock is stable, try increasing the CPU-NB by adjusting its multiplier. AMD K8 chips get a decent boost from increasing this. Do not try increasing this before you're done with the CPU overclock or you'll struggle to find out which overclock is causing instability!

    Overclocking the HT-Link is generally not worth doing because the performance increase is tiny.

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    Re: Biostar TA970

    4+1 board, once you unlock that chip may start pulling more or be unstable even if you can't see it.

    Make sure it's cool enough as heat may become an issue especially if you are unlocking a chip.

    Due to the locked multiplier you want to make sure you have cooling on those VRMs, from the site they seem to come without a heatsink? HT/FSB overclocking stresses the board, especially the bus so be careful on those VRMs, heat and voltage wise. The little fellas may not be able to handle it as well as you might think.

    Although the chip is low powered I would always take caution

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    Re: Biostar TA970

    It's a Sempron, even if it unlocks it's only going to be a dual core. The TA970 does have a VRM heatsink so it should be fine.

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    Re: Biostar TA970

    I am more thinking of upping the FSB. That'll stress any board out regardless of chip.

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    Re: Biostar TA970

    Oh OK, I was under the impression that Semprons had their multipliers unlocked, but apparently not. I don't want to increase the speeds of my RAM/NB/GPU/etc. via a reference clock increase and I've been nosing around in my BIOS and I don't see any provisions for setting the clock speeds on those items, so for now it looks like I'll have to leave everything stock.

    Before I chose a board for my build I had done a little research on the various boards that were available and I was under the impression that the Bio 970 was more overclock friendly than it is. Live and learn. But that's not the end of the world because the board is running nice and smooth and in stock form it's plenty fast enough for the types of things that I use my computer for.

    I'm aware of the Sempron's ability to have their second core unlocked, which I've done rather easily in my BIOS, but my computer shut down after a couple of minutes of running in dual core mode, so apparently there's some type of conflict. I'm running Win XP and I've heard that XP isn't as dual core friendly as later operating systems are, so for now I'll leave it in single core mode.

    Thanks for all your tips guys... I appreciate it.

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    Re: Biostar TA970

    The Biostar motherboards use stronger 4 phase VRMs than say Gigabyte or Asus,and the TA970 has cooling on the VRMs so is better than price comparable motherboards. It probably is not as strong as motherboards like the Asus M5A97 Evo or Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 but they cost more.


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