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Is it safe to overclock Phenom II X2 550 BE with stock cooler?

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August 13, 2009 1:54:13 AM

I heard that overclocking the AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE is really easy since all that is required is to change the multiplier value in the BIOS.

My first option is to buy the Phenom II X2 550 BE, overclock it to at least 3.4 Ghz and keep this PC for maybe 3 years.

Question 1 Can the stock cooler run this CPU safely at say 3.4 Ghz for the next 3 years?

Question 2 What if I OCed the cpu to 3.7 Ghz, can the stock cooler keep the cpu alive for 3 years?

I will definitely buy an AM3 board. From there I have 2 purchase options:

-AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE at 120 dollars CAN at newegg.ca and OC it hard
-AMD Phenom II X2 545 at 3.0 Ghz, will not overclock on this one, 97 dollars

I don't want to buy an aftermarket cooler. I know that some heavy overclockers bought good coolers like the Zalman 9700 (75$ CAN on newegg.ca). Like the person who made the awesome movie on youtube explaining how to unlock the 2 cores on a 550 BE and OC it to 3.7 Ghz or more.

But personally, I would rather save that 75 dollars and buy myself a new cpu (with the included stock cooler) in 2 years and get a nice upgrade when my non-OC cpu will be getting behind the times than buy an aftermarket cooler.

I think it's better to buy the 545 if I'm not going to OC at all, but my first pick would be to buy the 550 BE and OC it if the stock cooler can handle the job.

Question 3 Btw, is installing the stock cooler for either of those dual-core cpus really hard? I heard about the installation difficulty some newegg users were having with the stock coolers of the phenom II quadcores, maybe the dual-core have the same cooler.

Thanks for any info.
August 13, 2009 4:03:02 PM

Hi, stock coolers just do enough work so your cpu doesn't get burned out with regular usage. if you are going to run benchmarks like intel burn test, prime 95 then the stock cooler might not be a good option. Also i would recommend you in investing in a decent cpu cooler. 35$ can buy you a cpu cooler that will work with many sockets and perform excellent. Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 is a good example. As for doing 3.7 ghz on stock cooler, i wouldn't recommend that; might kill your cpu faster then you might think. i once had an Amd die on me because of inadequate cooling. it was an x2 3800 overclocked only 600mhz above spec.


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September 22, 2009 12:03:27 PM

Just Watch your temps 3.4 shouldnt be to hot as long as tour case has good airflow 3.7 will probably get you up to the 60c mark so just watch out i like to stay around 56c max on full load third party cooler is a must for high overclocks but you can still manage with the stock cooler as long as your carefull
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September 22, 2009 3:48:48 PM

As long as you don't up your Vcore too much, you should be safe for an overclock. Just monitor your temperatures. I spent $20 on an after market cooler just for a 300 MHz difference on my x3 720. If that's an investment you think that's worth it, the decision is yours.

At the least, I would still apply Arctic Silver 5 rather than the stock thermal compound. If you lap the stock heatsink, you'll also get -5C boost in temperature.

On my i7 920, I spent $50 on an after market air cooler that wasn't needed, since my Vcore is only 12.5V at 3.6 GHz. As long as you get a good sitting of thermal compound on your stock heatsink, you'll be okay up to a certain point. After market coolers just give you a little more oomph, generally 300 MHz boost with safer temperatures than stock coolers. H20 cooling can usually double that.
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September 22, 2009 9:51:48 PM

Just look at it this way, if you want to overclock that 550 then you might as well get an aftermarket cooler... Why? Cause once you see how high you can get you will end up having to buy one anyway... The stock cooler is good up to 3.5Ghz depending on ambient temp, airflow, cable management, etc.... I payed 29.99$ US for a cooler that lets me overclock to 4.050Ghz and my temps never exceed 48c .....

Be smart, invest in a cooler if you want to keep that 550 for many years to come....

BTW that Zalman cooler you suggested is considered crap.... For that amount of money you can buy a high-end cooler....



keeps my 550 ohh soo frosty ;) 
December 28, 2009 10:47:19 PM

well, im new here, so i just would like to know how good can the coolermaster v8 is for OC, im just waiting for my 550 to arrive and i want to know how far would u take it, the case its also a CM, HAF 932 AMD EDITION ty.
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