My biggest questions are with the volts. I still haven't seen a good answer to as what NBVid Volts is exactly for. I do game quite a bit and dont want to burn anything out from overvolting I can watch heat and so far have had no probs, I belive that my random BSOD's (mostly from BF2 Bad Comp) are from RAM timings or Volts issue as I have yet to reach 55c under load on my CPU (HWmonitor).
Basically I'm looking for a stable 24/7 4.0ghz OC with my Ram runninng at 1600 ( I was told by Gskill that due to Bios limitations the stock CL7 (7-8-7 24) timings are not possible so 8 8 8 24 is what I'm at now). With as low Volts as possible.
But it seems if I deviate from this config it seems to be much less stable so I thought I would start from scratch with some good advice. Not much experience with OC'ing, so some of the combinations that can effect stability (ie; NB & HT mhz and Ram speeds) still elude me.
CPU -Phenom II x4 965 Blk Ed 3.4ghz C3 (Water cooled with Cossair H50 Pro)
MB -Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4p
RAM -2X Gskill F3-12800CL7-2GBECO (4GB total)
Graphics -2x Gigabytge ATI 5850 1GB in Cross-Fire
PSU -Cooler Master 950W
BIOS Ver -F8c
CPU 4ghz @ 200 x 20 (no FSB change)
NB x 12 @ 2400
HT x 12 @ 2400
Mem Clk x8.00 @ 1600 ( 8-8-8-24 2T)
DRAM - norm @ 1.5
NB - 1.4
SB - 1.4
NBVid - 1.3
CPU - 1.5
Well, since it is a black edition, I'm assuming you have started with increasing just the multiplier. I know with my X3 720, I can get the multiplier up to 18x and still stay stable (used Prime95, FurMark, AMD Overdrive Stress) and the system has not encountered any issues. That gets me from a 2.8 to a 3.6 ghz speed.
Eventually, you get to a point where just increasing the multiplier doesn't work. Of course, from what you stated, you can then start adjusted your voltate, but you want to stay under 1.5. I believe I've seen 1.4 is pretty good, but that's possibly as far as you want to go. I don't mess with that at all. I just see how far I can push with multiplier increases and end it there. I'm not THAT much into overclocking, but I do want to push it as far as possible within a reasonable limit.
Of course, you can also start messing with the FSB speed next, but then you have to take into account memory timings, PCI timings, etc. Definitely search around the web and on Tom's Hardware. There are plenty of resources there that can help you out.
It's a lot of trial and error, but definitely you should be able to get some sort of overclock since it's a black edition with the unlocked multiplier. But, other things can also cause issues, such as the type of memory you have (which wouldn't be affected by just increasing the multiplier). Also, cooling can affect it, but you have water cooling, so I would think you should be okay. However, it depends on the water cooler as well. Today, there are many regular heatsink/fan combos that can do just as good a job or better than some water cooling systems. For me, I'm using the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Cooler . It does a phenomenal job and at a great price ($30 usd).
As far as it being less stable, exactly what do you experience when you attempt to overclock and exactly how are you overclocking? You should always do it in baby steps. Don't go too big too soon. It takes time and patience because with each increase, you have to go back and do your tests all over again. Some say you need to let things like Prime95 run for 24 hours. However, I've read where usually you will see an issue within an hour or two.
thanks a ton prob the most straight foward common sense advice I've recieved yet. I knew something had to be wrong as I can prime 95 all day at 3.92 (FSB oc) but if I jump the multiplyer by .5 to 4.08 then no go and that isn't any better than when I was on air. Obviously I've had my fingers in way to many settings. The only issue is that Gskill told me I could not run my ram at 1600 7-8-7- 24 40 2t (specs) due to Bios limitations. Should I try to bring it down to 1333 specs (9-9-9-24 2t 33) and then wait to bring it back up to 1600 after I have a stable cpu? Thanks a ton again.
AMD Phenom II does have issues on some mobo's with exceeding memory ratings due to integrated mem controller in chip. You might try lowering your multiplier some, and setting your memory freq back a bit, then raising your fsb in increments to get where you want with cpu speed and mem speed. Your mem speed may not end up as high as you want, but a lower mem freq means , usually, you can tighten up your timings, and lower your volts to it. Also on some mobo's( mine, for example) if you raise the cpu multiplier past 18.5x , cool n quiet won't function. Just a thought.
MY SPECS;Mobo; Gigabyte ga-ma785gm-us2h. cpu; X4 965 C3( 18.5 x 225 ) @4162.7 mhz w/1.552v 8gbPatriot ddr21066@ 900mhz w/ 1.9v..188.8.131.52.24.2t cpu nb volts +.100 above normal ht and northbridge set to auto. voltages set to normal. cpu cooler, Coolermaster V8 cpu idle temp:28-30 c cpu load temp: 57-58 c video;MSI GTX 275 Lightning ed.PSU Sigma monster 750w quad rail