Hey everyone, first post here. I'm trying to get a handle on OC'ing my 9950 Phenom BE. I have never attempted to OC yet but did some reading on it a year ago and got back into the research here last week.
My computer specs are:
Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H mobo - bios version F4
AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition 125W
Nvidea GTX 260
Sound Blaster X-FI Elite Pro
Corsair Dominator DDRII 4090 MB 1066
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB HD
Zalman CNPS9700 CPU cooler
Enermax Liberty 620W PSU
The cooler seems to be working real good right now, with plenty of air through the case, so hopefully it wont be an issue later on. 36C at idle 45C under load.
I read a few threads on here where people were getting 3.0Ghz speeds from just adjusting the CPU multiplier and upping the voltage to around 1.3v. I saw a few others that were way up to 1.4v or over. My 9950 says the voltage range is from 1.05 to 1.3v. 1.05 is my VCore setting now. How are people getting over 1.3v out of their 9950? Is it possible to go higher than what AMD recommends?
I'm looking to get about 3.0 Ghz to start and work from there. What else should i work on, my mem timings?
Also have one more question. When running CPU-Z is see where most of the time it is reported as running at 1.3Ghz. Does the CPU have the capability of slowing down when faster speeds are not needed?
I know there is alot of threads on this subject, so i hope you guys don't mind answering a few questions. I will continue to do more research too. Thanks, Jerry.
EDIT - I just noticed Ryans overclocking guide. I'll have to read that too.
Here's a good primer to get you started. I believe the highest I went with my 9850 is 1.4V. Of course mainly you want to keep an eye on thermals and stability.
Other than the CPU multi, you could try raising the reference clock, however I have not seen great yields this way with am2+ processors. I don't think you'll see much benefit from overclocking the ram, but you could try a little. Dominator memory may be a little better for overclocking.
Most folks are done after setting the multiplier and achieving a decent overclock. If you are interested in doing more, I would follow the guide on how to overclock your northbridge and HT speeds. Those will prolly benefit you the most.
I'd say on avg you may get to 3.2Ghz with a 9950 before thermals or stability become an issue. If you feel more comfortable not adding too much voltage, I think you could get 3.0 fairly easily with just a multi adjustment.
I have the same processor & board am tryin to do the same. Except I just want to stick with 3.0 cause I am on my stock cooler and I like to have C&Q running.
I had tried previously in XP upping the multiplier in the BIOS. It worked, but C&Q would not work. I set that back and used AOD. Again, the clock by itself would disable C&Q. I used Auto Clock instead to increase the reference clock and was able to to 2.8GHz while maintaining Cool & Quiet.
I now am running Windows 7. Going with what worked, I just saved my settings and reapplied them in 7. I have since been curious and have tried a few things different. I backup alot of movies, so that extra 200Mhz a core would be nice to have when having to compress. I updated AOD from 3.0 to 3.1 version. I tried going to default settings then bumping the multiplier to 15.5x, but it wasn't quite stable. I backed down to 15x, but kept getting crashes when trying different settings within AOD. I didn't know what was unstable, the 15x clock or multiple changes during one session within AOD, so I backed it down to 14.5x giving me 2.9GHz. The good news now is that C&Q works while using the multiplier only now, the bad news is windows has a long delay while starting up. The later is what has gotten me searching for info again.
I may try turning off AOD and trying the BIOS settings again. I don't know if C&Q started working with the overclock due to the AOD update or a BIOS update.
I went ahead and decided to fool with it. Put it to default in AOD and unchecked apply settings at start. It of course crashed after I closed it(I think it may have something to do with AMD Power Monitor, which I did forget to exit before hand). So since it crashed I went on into the BIOS to try setting the multiplier. I set it to 15x and made sure C&Q was still set to AUTO. Windows started with no delay. At first I didn't see the processor ramp down, but it did about 15-20 seconds later than normal.
I guess I will try Prime 95 or Sandra overnight to see about stability. This is a good stable overclock from what I have researched, however I have also heard of going up to 3.1 and 3.2 with a slight voltage increase while maintaining stock cooling - which is why I am going to run the tests. If it is stable at 15x, I may try pushing to 15.5x and 16x and try slight voltage increases, no more than up to 1.35max. One thing I noticed with alot of the guys saying you can go to 16x out of the box, they have higher end boards such as Crossfires that generally run the processor at a lower starting voltage, like 1.25 - so more head room. There they are getting to 3.2 with a 16x at 1.30 volts - our board is starting us at 1.30. The higher you increase the voltage, the more power you consume and the more HEAT produced. Heat is the concern for me, but you have a nice cooler and should be fine.
So there is your starting point. Also, update your BIOS. F6 is the current, with F7 being the current beta. I have F7, but only because when they first put it on the website it did not say it was a beta, but now it does. If F6 doesn't show as an option in @bios, make sure you update it - its version 2.08 now.
Also, is your ram 2 or 4 sticks? I originally got 2 -1GB sticks of the Dominators because they were on the approved list, but I could never get them to 1066, no matter what channel I put them into - I tried every combination since it wouldn't work according to the manual's setup. I said screw it and got 2 more for a total of 4GB at 800Mhz. Let me know what you got and if you get it working at 1066.
Thanks for the info camparks. Good to see someone with similar hardware i can watch.
I have 2 sticks, 2Gb's apiece for 4Gb's total in slot 1 & 2. Unganged and running in dual channel mode. Post tells me it's 1066 and so have a couple other tests. I did have a month or so that i kept seeing 800MHz in post and i was told by another forum to get into "set memory clock" and to choose the multiplier that gives me 1066 and it should come in check. Changing it to 5.33 did it for me. Been staying at 1066 since then.
I have been using Speedfan to control my fan speeds and it has been doing well too. I don't know if that would help your situation or not. Just thought i would throw that out there.
I'm going to get my memory timings set at factory specs and work on the CPU shortly after that. Will let you know how it works after that. Jerry.
I could not run Prime95 as the stock cooler could just not keep up - temps were reaching mid-60's after about 25 seconds. I was no comfortable leaving it running.
Also, quite a few restarts later, Windows was hanging at startup again. I figured it might be the BIOS(not sure yet if it has to do with changing the multiplier or if it has to do with the actual BIOS release) as I have uninstalled Overdrive, so I went down to F6.
Once I did this, Cool&Quiet stopped working for me. I tried restarting a few times to make sure. I have re-flashed back to the beta F7e and it is working again. I can deal with the hanging at the start to save power, heat and processor life. Hopefully they will have the refined version out soon. If it is the BIOS, the hanging seems to go away when changes are made.
If it hangs again, I will try going in to make a minor change, like boot device order or something, to see if that solves it. There may be something buffering over time that eventually cause 7 to load slow, but can be 'cleared' when the BIOS saves changes to the CMOS.
As to the memory, I tried manually setting the clock and it wouldn't even boot. I tried the clock and ensuring the timings were proper, same thing. I bought the board about a month after it came out. I only waited about two weeks before I ordered more ram. I'm sure it was a BIOS issue, that's what I get for jumping the gun - o well.
I do like the board and have never had any problems with it, although it is starting to get a little old by now. I flashed the bios once up to F4. I don't think i could really gain anything by getting a newer bios so i will just leave it at that and not risk it.
With a simple mutilplier change to X15 i can get 3GHz, stable now. The only problem i had was running 3DMark05 would BSOD, but all games, applications and stability tests would run forever. A very small bump in CPU voltage fixed that and all is good with max temps only reaching 53c.
I don't think i am going to push it any more for now until i learn a little bit more about it. My 3DMark05 scores jumped almost 4000 points with just that change. I may even try and do a mild OC on my VPU also.
I tried the jump to 3.2 and had something strange happen. All is fine now but it booted fine. I went to run 3DMark05 expecting it to BSOD. I figured it would probably need a little extra juice. Well it did, and i booted into BIOS to up the voltage. I pressed the up or down arrow and i found that i couldn't manuver in bios at all. But when i barely moved my mouse, it would make the one jump to the next line in bios. I could press the down arrow and wait for a minute or longer with no response. Then as soon as i moved the mouse it would go down or up, whichever key i hit (up or down arrow), even worked for the enter key. So i backed the multiplier back down to 15X for now. Don't really have the time to mess with it now.
Why would it wait for a mouse response before making the up/down move in bios? Strange.