How to Overclock the AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core Processor 5600+

Written by steven hill
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The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ is a dual-core CPU manufactured by AMD. This CPU normally operates at 2.8 GHz with a 2 MB Level 2 cache. It has a Thermal Design Power of 89 Watts. This CPU differs from other contemporary AMD CPUs in that its frequency multiplier, one of the settings normally changed in overclocking, is locked at 14X. This means that overclocking must be accomplished through changing the reference clock setting and possibly the voltage control. Some users have reported successful overclocking of this CPU to 3.2 GHz.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Download and install a CPU monitoring program. The program will need to be able to tell you vital CPU statistics like temperature, voltage, core speed and multiplier. There are many available for free online. Try SiSoft Sandra or Everest (see Resources).

  2. 2

    Restart your computer. Press the "DEL" key repeatedly to enter into the BIOS Setup screen. BIOS Setup screen layouts vary by BIOS and motherboard brand. Enter through the available options until you find the controls for changing your computer's reference clock. The voltage control may be listed on that page as well.

  3. 3

    Press the arrow keys to navigate to highlight "Reference Clock." Press "Enter." Change the frequency multiplier from "Auto" to "Manual."

  4. 4

    Scroll to the "Reference Clock" setting and press "Enter." You need to move the reference clock up in small increments in order to find a stable setting. Move up no more than 5MHz at a time. For example, if your current reference clock is 200MHz, type in "205" and press "Enter."

  5. 5

    Write down the numbers you have changed. You will need a record of these in order to help you find a stable setting.

  6. 6

    Exit the BIOS. Save your changes. Your computer should boot into Windows easily during the initial overclocks, as they are less likely to be unstable.

  7. 7

    Run a processor-intensive program. There are several free programs that have been developed to check for stability in an overclocked environment. You can also try these. Allow the programs to run for at least an hour. The longer you can give them, the more accurately they can assess your system's stability.

  8. 8

    Restart your computer. Press the "DEL" key to enter the BIOS set-up. If you wish to continue overclocking your Athlon X2 5600+, continue to increase the reference clock settings. Remember to save your BIOS settings and to run your stress testing programs after each overclock.

  9. 9

    Enter the BIOS and find your CPU's voltage control. Increasing the voltage to your CPU can help to stabilise an overclock, providing the processor the power needed to run at the speeds you wish. Use caution because increasing the voltage too quickly can destroy your CPU. Change the voltage in the smallest possible increment each time in order to avoid damage.

  10. 10

    Return to your BIOS after you begin encountering instability. Turn your settings back to their last stable numbers. Increase them by smaller increments now. For example, instead of increasing your reference clock by 5MHz, try increasing it by one. This fine tuning will allow you to find an exact, stable overclock. Continue writing all numbers down for your reference.

Tips and warnings

  • If the computer fails to boot after an overclock, turn it off completely for 30 seconds. That means hold the power button down until it turns off, then turn off the power switch on your power supply. This should restore an older setting, allowing you to access your BIOS and set it to an earlier, more stable overclock. You will also need a better cooling solution for your CPU if you want to do more than a mild overclock. Consider buying an aftermarket heat-sink and fan to keep it cool at higher speeds.
  • Even if you are being careful, overclocking your computer can cause it to become unstable to the point where you damage or destroy components. Overclocking is usually not covered under warranties, and may void them. Overclocking is done at your own risk.

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