AMD’s Athlon II series of processors are perhaps the most renowned of all processors in the market for the value for money they offer. For just £55 you can pick up Athlon II quad core processors on the FM1 platform. For around £70 you can pick Athlon II quad cores on the AM2+/AM3/AM3+ platform. The triple cores are even cheaper and the AMD Athlon II X3 455 processors represents one of the most popular entry level gaming processors that AMD has to offer. However, what the Athlon II range represents is that of a range of processors intended for the budget or mainstream user. Overclocking is not as simple as on Phenom II or Sandy Bridge K processors, i.e. it is not a simple case of increasing your multiplier to increase your clock speed, however, Athlon II overclocking brings great returns.
Athlon II overclocking is something we have had much experience with, we did our tests with AMD’s Athlon II X3 435 processor which is essentially an earlier release of the processors that would later go on to be the Athlon II X3 455 after AMD had fine tuned the speed bin process. This processor is compatible with AM2+, AM3 and AM3+ motherboards so it is incredibly versatile. It also only cost £55 when it was on sale back in 2010, making it one of the cheapest processors on the market in terms of pounds per core. But with the cheaper things in life comes complications, which we would like to elaborate on in this overclocking guide. The main things we will be focusing on will be the limiting factors to Athlon II overclocking. They are derived from the method needed to overclock these processors, the fixed multiplier brings a large range of issues that must be considered and understood before you try and overclock.
So read on as we show you how to overclock on an AMD Athlon II system and what kind of performance gains you can expect to see.