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[Unlocking&Overclocking] Phenom II X2 555BE on a GA-890GPA-UD3H

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July 2, 2010 11:21:19 PM

Hi All,

Purchased a Phenom II X2 555BE and a Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H. It is my first build so once I have the system up and running I would like to try and unlock the 2 hidden cores and then try some overclocking.

With this I purchased:

Patriot Viper Extreme Performance 4GB DDR3 2X2GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 CL 7-7-7-20 Memory Kit

Antec Nine Hundred Two Gaming Case

Corsair 650TX 650 Watt, ATX12V and EPS12v 2.91, Power Supply (This is in case I want to Crossfire in the future)

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler for cooling.

I will be using the GTS250 and my old hard drives and cd/dvd drives out of my old PC.

I have read as much info as I can find regarding unlocking the other 2 cores but if anyone has any last minute pointers to share it would be appreciated. I'm certain I have picked a motherboard with the capability to unlock but if anyone sees any compatibility issues let me know. I tried to pick a board with some future proofing goodies on it.

I will try and update this thread as I go so everyone can get in on my newbie building experience. I'm sure once I get to the overclocking portion I will have many questions.

I will be picking up the parts tomorrow and will start the assembly saturday night.

Thanks in advance for any information you can share.

Tim
a b K Overclocking
July 3, 2010 12:27:08 PM

All looks fine (and very similar to my PC). Unlocking simple as anything just activate it in the bios.
a b K Overclocking
July 3, 2010 12:42:37 PM

Yup, the early unlocking days, there were a few settings to fiddle with. Not anymore. I have the same Mobo, and the unlocking option is literally just an on/off switch, with an extra option to use 3rd or 4th core selectively (in case it isn't stable as a quad).

Enjoy your new hardware!
Related resources
July 5, 2010 7:00:57 PM

Ok!

Couldn't get the aftermarket cooler to work. I'm going to try it again but for now the stock heatsink is on the processor.

So after much fiddling with my old hard drives I was able to boot up Windows XP - still working on getting my windows 7 installation running. I'm thinking the old drives need a format.

The patriot ram calls for 7-7-7-20 timings and 1.9V for power so I set the power to 1.9V in the bios but it's flashing red at me like something is going to explode. After I set the timings and voltage manually the system seemed to stabilize a bit more. I had a few BSOD's loading windows but these were gone after the adjustments.

As simon12 said after updating the bios unlocking the other two cores is as simple as flipping a switch. No problems booting up with 4 cores but hit a couple BSOD's going into windows again. Ramped up the voltage by .1V to 1.39V and that stabilized it again.

After getting the PC stable and getting an OS loaded I tried a bit of overclocking. Setting the multiplier to 17X and the bus to 215 netted me ~3.6kMhz but to stabilize I had to ramp up VCore voltage to 1.49V. After a few minutes of prime95 the CPU temp hit 62C so I shut her down and set it back to stock. I also noticed the NB had overclocked itself slightly. Is this normal and should I consider changing the voltage to the NB?

I'm wondering if I have the heatsink seated correctly. I'm going to look at it again tonight.

CPU temp idles around 28-30C. Should I really be seeing temp increases of 30C at peak load? Should I worry that the ram voltage is so high? Like I said it seemed to stabilize things a bit once I set the ram properly. Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,

Tim
a b K Overclocking
July 5, 2010 8:53:52 PM

Yes with the stock cooler and that sort of overclock & unlock 30C increase at full load would be expected I would advise you not to overclock (at least not with increased voltage) until you have the TX3 working. On my unlocked 550BE running at 3.55GHz with a TX3 Prime never pushes past 51C using 1.4V. I found any increase above this though stable needed much higher volts and increased the temps around 1C per 10MHz you have the 555 though so maybe you can do better. As for the NB I never paid any attention to it so I can't comment. Good luck let us know how you get on. What was the problem with the TX3 I remember the instructions being awful.
July 5, 2010 10:36:58 PM

The fan on the TX3 wouldn't spin when the PC was fired up. Now, I didn't do a double check on the connection before I swapped it out for the stock heatsink. I am going to play around with it again tonight and see if I can get it working.

For the RAM Patriot calls for 1.9V to run at 7-7-7-20 1600Mhz. In the BIOS I get big red flashing letters telling me it's dangerous to be at that voltage. However, I found that booting it up at 'Auto' settings - 9-9-9-24 1066 1.5V I would BSOD going into windows. Is it safe to run at the 1.9V and how does that affect my O/C overhead? I've asked this same question on the Patriot boards but no answer yet. Setting it to manufacturer specs and disregarding the red flashing warning gives no issues booting into windows.

a b K Overclocking
July 5, 2010 10:58:47 PM

1.9 does sound high but if thats what the manufacturer says its what it needs, I had to set mine manually or it underclocked as well (mine said 1.65V but stick with the manufacturers settings). If you want to try my settings I have multiplier @ 17.5 frequency at 203 CPU voltage @ 1.4125. I also just noticed the frequency did overclock the northbridge as well so maybe if I increased its voltage I would have goy more of an overclock.
July 5, 2010 11:48:58 PM

Cool, thanks Simon. I will try those settings tonight I hope. Going to focus on getting that TX3 working and go from there. Man, this is so much fun!
July 6, 2010 5:46:48 AM

Alright, got the TX3 on and running properly. Boy did that make a huge difference in temps. Got it stable at 3.6Ghz @ 1.425V. Idling at 30C and ~30 minutes of Prime95 the processor temp didn't go over 50C. The voltage is the max for the board according to AMD.

I just increased the multiplier to get it where it is. Maybe I'll play with the FSB a bit!
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 6:36:01 AM

coalesce said:
Alright, got the TX3 on and running properly. Boy did that make a huge difference in temps. Got it stable at 3.6Ghz @ 1.425V. Idling at 30C and ~30 minutes of Prime95 the processor temp didn't go over 50C. The voltage is the max for the board according to AMD.

I just increased the multiplier to get it where it is. Maybe I'll play with the FSB a bit!


My ram is also rated @ 1.9/1.95v so don't worry about that.

1.425v is not the max, just make sure you don't go over 1.5v (CPU).
July 6, 2010 6:42:54 AM

Great, well that will give me a bit more headroom with the FSB speed. At the moment anything over the stock 200 seems to produce instability. ie: Prime95 shuts down three cores.

I will play with the voltage a bit more but will not exceed the recommended 1.5V

Thanks OvrClkr!
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 6:46:39 AM

You need to lower your RAM frequency and then raise the FSB, if this is not done correctly you will hit a wall because your RAM will be way over it's threshold. Remember, when you raise the FSB you are also raising the RAM frequency, lower the frequency to its lowest value and THEN raise the FSB.
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 10:00:10 AM

Thanks for that OvrClkr I thought my memory was set to async but it was PCIe that was just lowering my RAM speed I have got straight to 3.64GHz (17.5 x 208) I don't have time to play about with it now but is Prime 95 stable for at least 12 minutes temps hitting 54C. Not meaning to steal this thread as it should be important to both of us is there any point in changing the NB voltage? And by the way I do feel quite stupid for not noticing the RAM thing before.
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 2:23:59 PM

You can leave the NB alone but just make sure its not low enough to crash the system. I leave mines at 1.3v and it stays at at constant 56-58c under load.
July 6, 2010 3:51:50 PM

Got mine stable at 3885Mhz in Prime95 for about 20 minutes. I think it's at (18.5X210) The RAM speed is under 1800. I"ll have to check out what my memory is rated at. I thought because it was the high perf RAM that it was rated up to 1866. I did keep my eye on the RAM clock when increasing the bus speed and didn't exceed the 1866 but now I'm thinking I may have confused that with the motherboard max RAM speed. It gets pretty unstable past 3.9Ghz.

Temps don't seem to be a problem as that TX3 is a beast. Didn't have any temps exceed about 55C in my short Prime95 test.

Don't worry about hijacking the thread Simon12, you're right this is good information for both of us! I'm having so much fun with this!

July 6, 2010 3:56:39 PM

OvrClkr said:
You need to lower your RAM frequency and then raise the FSB, if this is not done correctly you will hit a wall because your RAM will be way over it's threshold. Remember, when you raise the FSB you are also raising the RAM frequency, lower the frequency to its lowest value and THEN raise the FSB.


I just double checked the RAM on Patriots website and it doesn't say anything about being rated for more than 1600. I will defintely try underclocking the memory tonight while I play with the FSB a bit more.

Thanks again Ovr!
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 4:26:47 PM

If your RAM is rated @ 1600Mhz then my suggestion would be to make sure you dont go over 1700Mhz. For example I also have 4Gb's of 1600Mhz RAM and normally I leave it around 1680Mhz with timings of 7-6-7-20-27, now if I losen the timings I can crank it up to about 1760Mhz but since 1680Mhz is more speed than what I actually need there is no point in raising the frequency any higher.
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 6:27:41 PM

OvrClkr said:
If your RAM is rated @ 1600Mhz then my suggestion would be to make sure you dont go over 1700Mhz. For example I also have 4Gb's of 1600Mhz RAM and normally I leave it around 1680Mhz with timings of 7-6-7-20-27, now if I losen the timings I can crank it up to about 1760Mhz but since 1680Mhz is more speed than what I actually need there is no point in raising the frequency any higher.

Nice, I got lucky with a cheap 1600mhz DDR3 4gb kit from G.Skill, have so far gotten it to 1712mhz stable, 7-8-8-21-33-1t timings at the max 1.6v, though admit that I haven't actually attempted any settings that fail Memtest, just sort of got tired of the testing routine and haven't gotten around to seeing how much further they can go. (stock 9-9-9-24-33-2t @ 1.5v) /derail off.
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 6:48:44 PM

JofaMang said:
Nice, I got lucky with a cheap 1600mhz DDR3 4gb kit from G.Skill, have so far gotten it to 1712mhz stable, 7-8-8-21-33-1t timings at the max 1.6v, though admit that I haven't actually attempted any settings that fail Memtest, just sort of got tired of the testing routine and haven't gotten around to seeing how much further they can go. (stock 9-9-9-24-33-2t @ 1.5v) /derail off.


Yea same here, I don't see an actual real world difference if I go any higher than 1700Mhz since I only play games or watch blue rays. Cool thing is the fact that my sticks run cool to the touch even at 1.95v.
a b K Overclocking
July 6, 2010 7:28:47 PM

Yup, i understand now why the best performing DDR3 sticks seem to have the smallest heatsinks, or none at all. DDR3 just doesn't produce enough heat to channel through a heatsink so the HSF can in fact act as an insulator.

Ironically, this could actually explain RAM kits with big sinks and mounted fans: One may NEED to drop the temperature of the HSF as low as possible to give the memory a thermal "vaccuum" to bleed its heat into. Othewise the sinks might only be slightly cooler than the memory itself, providing little to no benefit.
a b K Overclocking
July 7, 2010 11:17:37 AM

OK, I have had another play and have some interesting results if anyone wants to read them. I was running my 550BE @ 3.55GHz 203 x 17.5 but found (thanks to OveClkr)my lowering the memory speed I can now run at all of the following settings all need 1.45V and running Prime 95 temps hit 58C max.
245 x 15 230 x 16 & 210 x 17.5
all of these settings run stable for half an hour in Prime 98 all hitting the same temp and all of them raising the frequency by 2 more makes it unstable. When it becomes unstable its 50/50 whether it crashes or Core 3 produces an error. So it looks like I can't get past 3.675GHz at 1.45V and any voltage increase puts the temps over 60C.
a b K Overclocking
July 7, 2010 2:55:42 PM

simon12 said:
OK, I have had another play and have some interesting results if anyone wants to read them. I was running my 550BE @ 3.55GHz 203 x 17.5 but found (thanks to OveClkr)my lowering the memory speed I can now run at all of the following settings all need 1.45V and running Prime 95 temps hit 58C max.
245 x 15 230 x 16 & 210 x 17.5
all of these settings run stable for half an hour in Prime 98 all hitting the same temp and all of them raising the frequency by 2 more makes it unstable. When it becomes unstable its 50/50 whether it crashes or Core 3 produces an error. So it looks like I can't get past 3.675GHz at 1.45V and any voltage increase puts the temps over 60C.



60c @ 3.6/3.7Ghz is way off unless you are running the stock cooler (or you have crazy room temps/poor airflow). You are getting those results with a TX3?

I use a Titan Fenir + MX-2 and normally get anything from 34/36C (idle) and around 49/50c (load) @ 3.8Ghz 1.435v with warm room temps.

July 7, 2010 3:56:21 PM

I have also had another play and have some interesting things to report.

I wanted to test my 3.8Ghz OC while running 4 cores so I fired up a few games I have that I thought might test out the stability a bit.

COD:MW2 will not run. Period. It just crashes after the initial sound byte and my screen goes black. I can Ctrl-Alt-Del out of it and close the app so I don't know if it's a problem with MW2 itself or the PC.

I spent many hours troubleshooting an issue I found in one particular game. In Transformers: WFC I would get wicked pops and snaps through my speakers on load up. The sound would come in and out until it would crash. Again, I wasn't sure if this was the game or the PC.

Long story short, I troubleshot it until I decided to try disabling a core. I found that core 2 was causing the pops and snaps in Transformers. Once I disabled that core no pops or crashing. So now I'm thinking that core 2 must have something wrong with it.

In CPUZ it shows my processor as an Athlon II X3 455 while it's specification is a Phenom II X4 B55.

I am going to see how high I can push the OC now that I'ev discovered the 'defective' (?) core. I wonder if it's just the motherboard that could be giving core 2 grief but I'm not sure.
a b K Overclocking
July 7, 2010 10:58:46 PM

OvrClkr said:
60c @ 3.6/3.7Ghz is way off unless you are running the stock cooler (or you have crazy room temps/poor airflow). You are getting those results with a TX3?

I use a Titan Fenir + MX-2 and normally get anything from 34/36C (idle) and around 49/50c (load) @ 3.8Ghz 1.435v with warm room temps.

These are the temps I get this is from the MB as with cores unlocked there's no core temp I think core temp is around 7-10C lower from testing before unlock and it is a hot day (even though i'm in the UK). My previous 3.55GHz went up to 51C when I first overclocked and this reports 56C now. And yes with TX3.
a b K Overclocking
July 7, 2010 11:21:21 PM

simon12 said:
These are the temps I get this is from the MB as with cores unlocked there's no core temp I think core temp is around 7-10C lower from testing before unlock and it is a hot day (even though i'm in the UK). My previous 3.55GHz went up to 51C when I first overclocked and this reports 56C now. And yes with TX3.


Your individual core temp is disabled but you still get the "overall CPU temp" which is basically what you need to be looking at. Use various programs to find your "actual" temp. I normally use speedfan/Everest and both show the same exact temp, might be off by 1c at the most. I also used a probe on the CPU and my fan controller was reading the same temp.

Example :




a b K Overclocking
July 8, 2010 1:52:47 PM

I installed speed fan and the CPU temp reports within 1C as the ASRock OC tuner. 1 thing that weird/worrying id speed fan has a AUX temp I have no idea what it is but idle it reports 80-90C but running prime 95 it immediately drops to mid 40s but the second I stop prime it goes straight into the 80s I have even seen 91C. Any idea what it is? I took the side off my case and nothing feels hot to touch.
a b K Overclocking
July 8, 2010 2:46:10 PM

simon12 said:
I installed speed fan and the CPU temp reports within 1C as the ASRock OC tuner. 1 thing that weird/worrying id speed fan has a AUX temp I have no idea what it is but idle it reports 80-90C but running prime 95 it immediately drops to mid 40s but the second I stop prime it goes straight into the 80s I have even seen 91C. Any idea what it is? I took the side off my case and nothing feels hot to touch.


What program is reporting the AUX temp? Install Everest and this way you can monitor ALL your sensors.

http://download.cnet.com/Everest-Ultimate-Edition/3000-...
a b K Overclocking
July 8, 2010 4:46:18 PM

OvrClkr said:
What program is reporting the AUX temp? Install Everest and this way you can monitor ALL your sensors.

http://download.cnet.com/Everest-Ultimate-Edition/3000-...

Both speed fan and everest report this AUX temperature see below showing idle and load I hope as I have never put a pic in a forum before
[/img]

a b K Overclocking
July 8, 2010 6:03:46 PM

That has to be a bad sensor, especially if it shoots up to 87c @ idle. I had the same issue with my first Asrock board and it came out to be a bad sensor wire. You can either ignore that reading or get a new board if it's still under warranty.
July 9, 2010 3:53:27 AM

Well, it looks like the final verdict is 3 Cores @ 3885Mhz 18.5X212 RAM @ 8-8-8-24

It's at idle at 38C on a hot day that's breaking records all over the province and sits ~56C with Prime95 running.

http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/1613/cpuz1.png

The RAM seems to be the limiting factor. Once I tweak it up to ~3900 I get BSOD's in Prime95 and I can't figure out what to do to the RAM to let me push it higher. I figure I'm probably at the point with the greatest performance or maybe even a lower clock speed with 7-7-7-20 timings.

Thanks for all the help. What a blast this has been. I think I'll be playing around with it all the time though! :sol: 

Edited for proper linkage and temps.
a b K Overclocking
July 9, 2010 9:52:44 AM

Thankyou for a helpful thread, I am currently running my old 3.55GHz 4 core setup as I have not tested the stability of 3.75 for long enough but hope to get more soon. My temps are identical to yours above currently also at very high room temps. What voltage are you running to get this stable? Also I found running 3 cores lowered the temps 6C did you find this too?
July 9, 2010 4:06:10 PM

Simon, when I thought I was 'stable' with 4 cores I could only run it at ~3600 becuase of temps and BSOD's. That might be because of the one faulty core or my RAM but yes, temps should come down 3-5C by using 3 cores. 4 Cores at ~3600 on Prime95 would net me ~60C.

I'm currently running at 1.48 Vcore but I'm pretty sure I could bring it down a couple notches. I just pumped it up there so I didn't have any cpu power issues while I was tweaking. I just haven't tweaked it back down yet.

Love that TX3 man.
!