2GHZ to 2.4GHZ? AMD Athlon XP 2400+

I have just bought a new system with a AMD Athlon XP 2400+ processor. This is currently benchmarking at just over 2.0 GHZ but I was told it was a 2.4 GHZ system.

I'm reliably informed that the clockspeed just needs attention - is this true?

I found clockspeed in the BIOS and it was 133. It said the top end for this was 166 so I set it to this and the machine wouldn't boot. I ended up resetting the CMOS.

Anybody know how I can change the clockspeed (assuming this is possible)?

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an athlon xp 2400 is NOT 2.4 GHz, the 2400 is just a number indicating the performance is roughly equivalent to a pentium 2.4GHz, which largely speaking is true. 2GHz is right for 2400. i have a 2200 and it runs at 1.8GHz but in many tests beats a pentium 2.2GHz. the '133' referred to in the BIOS is the front side bus speed, the base frequency on which the processor works. it takes this and, in the case of 2400, multiplies 133.33333333333... by 15. setting it to 166.66666666666.. would make it run at 2.5GHz, a SEVERE overclock; if your computer HAD booted i would be surprised and very impressed. leave the setting at 133, this is what it should be unless you want to delve into overclocking...

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rd707Author Commented:
Thanks for that.

Well I had a play and I managed to get the clockspeed up to 143 (2155 MHZ) before it refused to boot. Will it harm the CPU if I leave it at this setting or will it just reboot if it is too hot?

That aside, I think what you've said seems to confirm that it is indeed the wrong chip. I think it is a socket A motherboard - is it just a case of replacing the CPU or might it need a new motherboard?

rd707Author Commented:
Thanks for your help.
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it will reboot if it is _really_ hot, but i would not advise running a CPU close to the temperature limit as this will severely reduce its lifetime. but your overclock doesn't seem too bad. probably best to leave the bus speed at 140 if you want a little extra performance boost, otherwise leave it at 133 to make to processor last longer if this is your intention.
yes, it is a socket A motherboard, the only kind an Athlon processor will fit in.
As for "it is indeed the wrong chip", i think it is the right chip and although it was technically wrong to tell you this was a 2.4GHz system, i think they did not want to go into the fact that the number of GHz cannot be used to completely determine the speed of a system. the Athlon basically does more work per cycle (it does 2 billion cycles per second, hence 2GHz), so it's performance is roughly equivalent to a pentium which does 2.4 billion cycles per second but in each of those cycles does less work.

The Athlon XP 2400 should serve you well, there is no need to change anything in the system. if you want to compare the performance of your system against others, download SiSoft Sandra at http://www.sisoftware.net/

hope this clears things up
rd707Author Commented:
Thanks again.

I phoned the shop this morning and the technical bod basically confirmed what you told me earlier. I was going to take it back to the shop to be looked at but it looks like you've saved me the trip... 8-)

I'll leave it at 133 for now. It is fast enough for my needs so far so I don't see any need to up it a gear just yet.

About overheating, some motherboards don't have protection for that. You need to know your motherboard to make sure of that. ASUS always does protect against overheating these days I believe.
Also you could wait and get a faster CPU maybe next your or so. They'll be a lot cheaper than. :-)
Just DO make sure your motherboard can handle a faster CPU, find out what you can buy before you buy it.
rd707Author Commented:
Yeah, I saw some overheating settings somewhere in the BIOS.

Are all new chips these days socket A?

To upgrade the CPU is it as simple as replacing the chip? That sounds a bit *too* easy to me...

not all new chips are socket A, just Athlons
to upgrade the CPU _IS_ as easy as replacing the chip, as long as the motherboard supports the higher speed, which you can find out in the documentation. if you have a socket A motherboard, you can only have a socket A CPU.
the other socket type is socket 478, which is for pentium 4
I believe changing the cooling will be the most difficult part. But also not too bad, just be carefull.

To replace the CPU is easy, but you might need a new cooling, or you need to clean the old one and buy new thermal paste to but between the CPU & the cooling. This is really requered!

Please check the AMD site carefully for more info!

Here some links.

Why to use proper cooling:

Some manuals about cooling and such:

Approved cooling solutions:
I just realised, you need to make sure your motherboard can handle the fast 333 MHz bus of the faster CPU's and from what you mentioned about your settings I'm afraid it can't handle that. :-(

Check the details of your motherboard to find out. If you don't know what motherboard you have, you can find out by looking at the long string of characters and numbers at startup, some BIOS ID string that identifies what motherboard and BIOS you have. Can find it on the internet somewhere this number. If you need help with this, let us know.
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