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Safe Overclock for Stock Phenom II X3 720?

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  • AMD
  • Overclocking
  • Performance
  • Phenom
Last response: in Overclocking
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March 11, 2009 3:20:11 PM

Hi there, I recently got the Phenom II X3 720 and while the stock performance is a big improvement over my previous P4, I wanted to try and get a little extra performance out of it. I only have the stock fan for now (sometime in the future when money is more abundant I'll spring for a better one), so I don't expect a huge improvement. So does anyone know a nice safe multiplier and speed to use for a stock-fanned 720 without risk of damaging the processor? I'm going to experiment conservatively later but It'd be nice to know the limits from other users here.

More about : safe overclock stock phenom 720

March 12, 2009 7:25:08 AM

ah why dont you upgrade your cooler first, overclocking a little bit isnt gunna do anything you can see
March 28, 2009 11:03:10 PM

i was wondering also, in the BIOS settings for multiplier, is it 16 or 15.5?
Related resources
March 29, 2009 1:27:20 AM

Like PsychoSaysDie has said, an increase of 400mhz for Phenom II chips is just right; probably rise temps around just under 10 celcius. Raise it to 16, OCCT for around 5 hours (or until you're comfortable) and raise it some more if you don't mind warmer temps :)  I'd stop at 45 celcius tops... stopped at 39 celcius with my Phenom II.
March 30, 2009 11:01:43 AM

hmm... what temp monitoring program were you using?
March 30, 2009 6:33:10 PM

ok, i did a noob mistake, i mistook "5" as "15" and i actually underclocked it too low, causing my system to freeze. Luckily, it worked fine after that, back to stock speed.
April 5, 2009 12:32:58 PM

Buy a decent Heatsink and fan.... i'm planning of getting the same chip with Xigmatek Achilles
April 7, 2009 7:58:19 AM

The highest I ever tried going with the stock heatsink was 3.2GHz (16x multiplier) with no voltage increase. I could have probably gone higher but I didnt try it.

Once I got a big heatsink, I upped the multiplier to 17x and it is stable at 3.4GHz with no voltage increase whatsoever. (still at stock 1.3V). Ive tried going to 17.5x but it is not stable.
April 7, 2009 3:57:00 PM

I'm currently at 3.4GHZ stable. I don't know why but when I made the jump from an ECS 780 board to the Biostar 790 - the stability jumped from 3.2GHZ to 3.4GHZ. This OC is on the stock heatsink but the case has 2 80mm rear exhaust fans & 3 aftermarket 120mm fans (1 on each side & 1 directly over the stock hs & cpu fan). The cpu is staying steadily between 27 degrees and 32 degrees Celcius.
April 7, 2009 10:47:03 PM

Safe over-clocking is relative to the user so IMO stability is my measurement of safe.

My 3x cores stability (4hrs of OCCT/Prime95) list using only multipliers + S1283v cooler:

Stock voltage (1.325v) @ 3.3
Light voltage (1.35v) @ 3.4
Medium voltage (1.40v) @ 3.5
*High voltage (1.45v) @ 3.6
*Max voltage (1.50v) @ 3.7

*Significant temperature jump at 3.6ghz.

One thing to note is AMD's website indicated that max voltage for the AM3 720 CPUs is 1.425v. I'm current running 4x cores with 1.40v @ 3.4 to keep the heat down.
April 14, 2009 11:17:49 PM

i'm on 3.2 ghz at stock voltage and stock fan, and that's pretty much it if you don't fiddle with the Voltage or replacing the stock fan.
June 7, 2009 2:22:39 AM

my Phenom II 720 is currently on 3.2GHz (200*16) and on Auto CPU voltage. ran prime95 for about 8 hours without any problems. just wondering if its safe to leave the voltage on Auto ?
August 22, 2009 12:27:02 AM

I have my Phenom II x3 720 BE running stable at 3.67 i jsut applied some as5 to teh heatsink instead of that stock garbage and its running 35 C idle and 52 tops after 5 hours prime95
forgot to mention cpu is at 1.5v stable at 200x18. runs decent at 200x18.5 but not for too long at max load
December 10, 2009 6:59:37 PM

honestly, I didnt tried, I dont find fancy to run this procesor with this voltage 24/7

gaming was stable:

http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=522365 @ 1.45V stable

but everyday I'm not running @ this speed cause I'm lowering down my 120mm fans to less than 700 RPM

Remember my Mobo is mATX, would be much easier with normal ATX
a b K Overclocking
December 10, 2009 7:43:25 PM

Shaitis_06 said:
honestly, I didnt tried, I dont find fancy to run this procesor with this voltage 24/7

gaming was stable:

http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=522365 @ 1.45V stable

but everyday I'm not running @ this speed cause I'm lowering down my 120mm fans to less than 700 RPM

Remember my Mobo is mATX, would be much easier with normal ATX


You are running DDR2 800 RAM at 1120Mhz?
December 10, 2009 8:09:53 PM

Nah its pc-8500 kingston hyperx, but mobo sees is as ddr2-800, had to adjust voltage and frequency manually.
a b K Overclocking
December 10, 2009 8:17:13 PM

ahh gotcha =)
March 2, 2010 1:11:22 PM

Summer Leigh Castle said:
Safe over-clocking is relative to the user so IMO stability is my measurement of safe.

My 3x cores stability (4hrs of OCCT/Prime95) list using only multipliers + S1283v cooler:

Stock voltage (1.325v) @ 3.3
Light voltage (1.35v) @ 3.4
Medium voltage (1.40v) @ 3.5
*High voltage (1.45v) @ 3.6
*Max voltage (1.50v) @ 3.7

*Significant temperature jump at 3.6ghz.

One thing to note is AMD's website indicated that max voltage for the AM3 720 CPUs is 1.425v. I'm current running 4x cores with 1.40v @ 3.4 to keep the heat down.


I want to ask you 2 things:
1st. Do I have to increase a bit the volt to have the 4th core stable? I have unlocked and it the extra core has the same GHz but sometimes stucks and I hear a cont beep from speakers. I made some stability tests including test with AMD Overdrive and no errors.
2nd. When I unlock the 4th core I cannot see the temps per core. Is it a problem or this is the case? My system sees it as Phenom II X4 20

Thank you in advance
a b K Overclocking
March 3, 2010 11:45:32 AM

el_arantis said:
I want to ask you 2 things:
1st. Do I have to increase a bit the volt to have the 4th core stable? I have unlocked and it the extra core has the same GHz but sometimes stucks and I hear a cont beep from speakers. I made some stability tests including test with AMD Overdrive and no errors.
2nd. When I unlock the 4th core I cannot see the temps per core. Is it a problem or this is the case? My system sees it as Phenom II X4 20

Thank you in advance


The per core temps will always stop working with the 4th core unlocked so that is normal - and whether the Voltage needs increasing depends on the Chip - On mine it runs stable at 3.2Ghz. without any voltage increase with the 4th core unlocked :



At that setting it runs 36C idle (individual core temps were 8-10C lower on this MOBO than the CPU temp. while running 3 cores so estimate ind cores @ 28C ) and under PRime95 max temp is 56C. - can run the CHip at 3.4Ghz. stable with a small voltage increase to 1.34V but got used to using 3.2Ghz. before getting my Coolermaster TX3 heatsink so have left it there.

On stock cooling with the 4th core was getting 44C idle and 64C under Prime 95 at 3.2Ghz. so did not go any higher until getting aftermarket cooling and then just increased higher for benching and then reverted to 3.2GHz. for 24\7 use as it seems the best performance platform for my system with a 5770 GPU and only 2 GB. RAM (higher increases do not seem that noticeable vs. the difference between stock and 3.2GHz.)
March 3, 2010 3:39:30 PM

If I 'open' the 4th core and do no oc do I have to increase volt a little in order to be stable?
How can I be sure that my unlocked 4th core is OK and not damaged?

Once more thank you for your vast response!
a b K Overclocking
March 3, 2010 4:19:30 PM

el_arantis said:
If I 'open' the 4th core and do no oc do I have to increase volt a little in order to be stable?
How can I be sure that my unlocked 4th core is OK and not damaged?

Once more thank you for your vast response!


AS mentioned it really depends - some chips will need a bit more voltage while others run fine - Mine runs fine at the stock voltage (though having the 4th core will use more wattage !! - thus producing more heat) - some of the 4th cores are perfectly fine (they just disabled a good core to fill the demand for the chips) and will run at the spec, some were disabled because they could not remain stable at the spec voltage which is why they were sold as triple core CPUs so in order to get those to run stable it sometimes requires a bit more voltage - some will not run no matter what voltage you run the CPU at and are thus unable to be unlocked - so it will vary from chip to chip.

As far as knowing if the core is good - first test is if the system will boot into windows with it unlocked ( if not try a bit more voltage and retest - if it still will not boot chances are it is defective and unable to be used) - next test would be to run several tests that stress the CPU (ie. Prime95 for several hours) to see if any errors occcur meaning there are problems with the core - If it can succesfully run those tests without errors than chances are the core is fine.
March 4, 2010 3:32:47 AM

When volts are set to auto it works at 1.392 volts. Why it gives more volts?
My M/B is GA-MA785GM-US2H. If I set it to manual volts and select normal then ot gives me 1.312 volts. This without oc and 4th core
a b K Overclocking
March 4, 2010 1:34:17 PM

el_arantis said:
When volts are set to auto it works at 1.392 volts. Why it gives more volts?
My M/B is GA-MA785GM-US2H. If I set it to manual volts and select normal then ot gives me 1.312 volts. This without oc and 4th core


On auto it tends to give more voltage than is really necessary probably to ensure that it remains stable - which is why it is best to use manual settings instead and test it to see what the lowest stable voltage is under stress (ie. prime95) since more voltage that is not being used just means more heat !
April 29, 2010 6:25:32 AM

3.8 Ghz, nice, but is that 24/7?

i want to aim for 3.6, what vcore, what Hypertransport volts...

basically, What was your settings?
a b K Overclocking
April 29, 2010 2:28:40 PM

As you can see in my sig below, I've unlocked the 4th core and overclocked my X3 to run at 3.61ghz (x18). I had to increase the voltage from 1.325 to 1.5 to stabilize it. x18.5 was not possible and I'm not increasing the voltage anymore. I got as high as 18.5 with 3 cores and without having to increase the voltage. I need to go back and see how much higher I can get with just 3 cores.

Core temps hover at around 30°C idle and around 42°C when gaming. My reported "CPU" temps range from 43°C idle to 65°C full load. I monitored the temps with 3 cores to see what the difference was between my core temps and the CPU reading and the difference was the CPU reading was usually 13° higher than the core. Since unlocking the 4th core, I lose the core readings, so I go by the CPU readings and subtract 13 from it.
June 24, 2010 3:07:15 PM

isamuelson said:
As you can see in my sig below, I've unlocked the 4th core and overclocked my X3 to run at 3.61ghz (x18). I had to increase the voltage from 1.325 to 1.5 to stabilize it. x18.5 was not possible and I'm not increasing the voltage anymore. I got as high as 18.5 with 3 cores and without having to increase the voltage. I need to go back and see how much higher I can get with just 3 cores.

Core temps hover at around 30°C idle and around 42°C when gaming. My reported "CPU" temps range from 43°C idle to 65°C full load. I monitored the temps with 3 cores to see what the difference was between my core temps and the CPU reading and the difference was the CPU reading was usually 13° higher than the core. Since unlocking the 4th core, I lose the core readings, so I go by the CPU readings and subtract 13 from it.


How did you increase the voltage? All the voltage settings in my bios are on Auto and I can't change them.
a b K Overclocking
June 24, 2010 4:07:11 PM

elessar said:
How did you increase the voltage? All the voltage settings in my bios are on Auto and I can't change them.


Turn them off from auto in the BIOS. Depending on your BIOS and MB, there might be an option that affects more than one menu item. Without knowing your motherboard and BIOS, I can't really tell you exactly which option it is.


June 24, 2010 6:03:20 PM

isamuelson said:
Turn them off from auto in the BIOS. Depending on your BIOS and MB, there might be an option that affects more than one menu item. Without knowing your motherboard and BIOS, I can't really tell you exactly which option it is.


Thanks isamuelson. I actually did find how to get them off auto (using + and -). My motherboard should be in my sig now. This is my first build so figuring out the overclocking is new. There are so many variables that can be changed. Right now I have it running through Prime95 holding stable at 3200MHz. I set my voltage to 1.395 and my multipliers to x16 and x11. Should I be changing the CPU clock up from 200MHz or just stick with changing the multipliers? MSI Control Centre is reporting my CPU temp to be 59 degrees.

This will mainly be a HTPC rig but I would like to test out a few of the new games. I can't seem to enable the Crossfire that my motherboard, onboard GPU and Sapphire HD5570 all say they support.

Anyway, thanks for looking and taking time to help.
March 24, 2011 4:30:35 AM

CatfishRes said:
Hi there, I recently got the Phenom II X3 720 and while the stock performance is a big improvement over my previous P4, I wanted to try and get a little extra performance out of it. I only have the stock fan for now (sometime in the future when money is more abundant I'll spring for a better one), so I don't expect a huge improvement. So does anyone know a nice safe multiplier and speed to use for a stock-fanned 720 without risk of damaging the processor? I'm going to experiment conservatively later but It'd be nice to know the limits from other users here.



I get 3.6Ghz with stock cooler and no voltage adjustments but I have 3 extra quiet fans in the case.. so 3 in and 2 out for airflow.
a b À AMD
a b K Overclocking
March 25, 2011 1:07:54 PM

elessar said:
Thanks isamuelson. I actually did find how to get them off auto (using + and -). My motherboard should be in my sig now. This is my first build so figuring out the overclocking is new. There are so many variables that can be changed. Right now I have it running through Prime95 holding stable at 3200MHz. I set my voltage to 1.395 and my multipliers to x16 and x11. Should I be changing the CPU clock up from 200MHz or just stick with changing the multipliers? MSI Control Centre is reporting my CPU temp to be 59 degrees.

This will mainly be a HTPC rig but I would like to test out a few of the new games. I can't seem to enable the Crossfire that my motherboard, onboard GPU and Sapphire HD5570 all say they support.

Anyway, thanks for looking and taking time to help.



What multiplier did you change to '11' ?

No real need to change the HT, but you should get a nice boost from upping the IMC/NB --- 2400MHz should not be a problem at stock volts.

2600MHz at 1.2v or so should not be a problem.
a b À AMD
a b K Overclocking
March 26, 2011 11:15:30 PM

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