I have an ASUS K53T AMD A6 3400M Laptop. I bought it almost a year ago, because I wanted a cheap machine with some gaming capability. Recently the video encoder I am using, gained the capability for distributed encoding of mkv source material. Distributed encoding is great since it speeds everything up and I don’t lose as much time when I stop encoding on my main Machine for some gaming.
Unfortunately the A6-3400 is not the fastest processor, it is in fact only a 1.4GHz Quadcore. So naturally I looked into my overclocking options.As it turns out the CPU has a lot of headroom for overclocking with the stock cooling in the laptop. You can in fact overclock the CPU and lower the voltage at the same time.
Since the BIOS of the Laptop does not offer any overclocking options, you will have to use a software to overclock. In my case that software is K10stat. It lets you Adjust the clockspeed and voltages for all energy saving and boost modes the processor has.
Originally I got the Processor to 2.4GHz with 1.075volts, which is less than the stock voltage for the maximum clock. Further Tests showed that I need 1.1volts on the processor to be 100% stable.
That is also about as far as I get the laptop with entirely stock cooling. At that voltage and clockspeed the CPU cores were around 77-78° Celsius in Prime95. Since thermal throttling starts at 80° and higher clockspeeds needed quite a voltage bump to be stable, I suppose 2.4GHz will be my new clockspeed for video encoding. That is actually quite a nice bump.
Now that I had found the maximum stable sane value, it was time to get a little more creative with the cooling (without voiding my warranty). The voltage for the Turbo Boost for my Processor is 1.35v, that leaves quite a bit of room for overclocking while staying within the voltage spec. So for now I only needed to manage the heat.
To get a stronger air flow and thus more cooling, I used two 120mm 10w YS-Tec Fans. Naturally my Laptop doesn’t have any free fan connectors, due to this I used my old Intel Atom Board to power the fans. I put them in a cheap case, which opens to the top and let them blow upwards. In order to get the maximum effect out of the fans, I opened up the bottom of my laptop as much as I could and put the Laptop on top of the old case.
With the 2 fans I had significantly lower temps. As a result, I was able to do most benches at 3GHz and superPI even worked at 3.2GHz. But even at 3Ghz the CPU got too hot in the longer Benches and throttled.
In the end I have to say the ASUS K53TA overclocks quite well, especially considering that it was pretty cheap. I’m fairly sure most AMD llano overclock well enough (based on the reviews I haven seen). Paired with a discrete AMD GPU, a small cheap llano Laptop can be decent gaming machines.