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AMD Phenom II 955 BE Overclocking questions

Last response: in Overclocking
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a b ) Power supply
August 28, 2010 6:04:32 AM

Hello everyone,

Long time reader, first time poster:

I have a fairly new system set up that I had built specifically for gaming, and of course overclocking has always interested/scared me.

Though I feel I put a ton of research into this system, I don't seem to be able to overclock my system to 99% stable. I am rock solid stable at stock speed, but even at 3.7ghz with ht at 2.2ghz and northbridge at 2.2 I power down at weird moments (also memory clock was at 8x to utilize it at 1600 instead of my bios default 1333). I use AMD overdrive to do a burn in test (will get prime95 again, but had even worse trouble with that before I had the new power supply) and my temps never go over 48c on any core which I found reasonable. The only thing that wasn't new was my power supply, so I took out my Alienware Silver-stone 650 watt power supply with 4 rails and put in a brand new XFX 850 watt black edition power supply with a single 12v rail at 70a (assuring me that power would no longer be a problem).

So I power on, everything ran fine, a little hiccup when opening firefox (firefox and steam stopped responding for about 3 seconds but I figured it was because I used right after booting into desktop). Then downloaded and installed AMD overdrive. I was OC to the specs I stated previously and ran a burn in for 10 minutes just to see how much my temp would spike. Like I said it went to 48c and stopped, so I stopped the burn in test, clicked some tabs then hit the ok button. AMD overdrive said it was saving settings and this is when my comp rebooted after a quick flash of a heavily scrambled screen.

I put my core clock down to 3.6ghz and then proceeded to post this question- am I safe to overclock around 3.7-3.8ghz without messing with voltages? I would like a safe overclock for everyday gaming, and while I understand I most likely don't need to overclock, I enjoy tweaking and running 3dmark or other benchmarks to see how well my system is running.

*Note* I have tried overclocking with the old power supply but even ended up rebooting at 3.4ghz overclock with no other settings changed but the memory clock to 8x. Like I said I figured it was a power problem and not something else, so I didn't try overclocking again until getting a new power supply. Is there something I should be looking for that causes this crash, was it a fluke? Do I have a faulty cpu, if so how do I find out? Is 3.6-3.8 too much to ask to overclock without changing voltages?

I bought the 955 BE C3 because of all the positive reviews overclocking and the intel I7-920 was out of my price range (and far as I know, a socket I wont get much expansion from, least not for cheap). So here is my current build I have purchased in stages throughout the summer (as money slowly came in):

-Phenom II 955 BE c3 overclocked to 3.6ghz with ARTIC Cooling Freezer 7 pro rev.2

-XFX 850watt "Black Edition" (the sea sonic model, just installed today)

-Gigabyte 890fx rev.2 Ud5

-Gskill Ripjaws 4gb DDR3 1600

-XFX 5770 (juniper XT) stock speed

-2x 1 tb Samsung Spinpoint F3 in Raid-0 (2 weeks old)

-640 WD blue caviar (storage)

-250 gb hitachi (Mac vmware)

and other than the DVD burner that came with my old Alienware and the base chassis fans (a 120mm fan in the back and an 80mm fan on the side) thats all.


a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a b ) Power supply
August 28, 2010 6:28:16 AM

Ok, so Phenom II X4 CPU's tend to need voltage over 3.6 Ghz. I have an X4 940 that is running at 3.6 woith no additional voltage, but I have a TRU with two fans keeping things chilly.
The freezer 7 pro V2 is adequate for what you're doing, but it isn't the best. Plus some processors will clock higher/ be more stable than others.

So I think 3.6 with no additional Volts is pretty good. To get stable at higher clocks, you will need a little more voltage.
Here's a primer I like to link for most newcomers to overclocking with AMD:

A lot of folks won't even get as high as you have, so you're doing fine. I suggest adding .025 volts and trying again for 3.7. (1.375V) If you can get stable great, if not try 1.4V. I don't think, no matter what temps, that you'll want to go past 1.45V.

Yes, I've seen people do it but they are reviewers using a sample they don't have to pay for.

You'll likely need at least 1.4V to reach 3.8Ghz. You may hit a wall at this point, esp if using a 64bit OS.

What I recommend is increasing the voltage slightly then increasing the reference clock by 5 Mhz. 205Mhz X 18= 3690Mhz. Check stability in AOD. increase voltage by .005V at a time if possible to acheive stability.
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a b ) Power supply
August 28, 2010 7:01:50 AM

Alright thanks for the quick reply, just a note my system was at 3.6ghz I noticed something that I had a problem with back when I first tried overclocking. If I am watching a video in flash and I hit full screen, the computer reboots. This only seems to happen when I overclock, never when at stock speeds. It did it just a minute ago so I returned everything back to stock...

It doesn't shut down 100% of the time when watching flash.. so far I haven't seen a pattern, other than it will do it around 30% of the time. I think this is how I knew it wasn't stable even at 3.4ghz oc. However mpeg, divx, and windows media player doesn't seem to have this problem. Seems to solely be flash related, and some how connected to my overclocking (and really this was the only consistent crash other than one in red faction guerilla that comes to memory). The connection between a program such as flash and my system rebooting is beyond me, is this something maybe one of you know of?
January 23, 2011 4:17:59 AM

Just finished overclocking my 955 only using the core multiplier and voltage. Highest i could get it and still be stable at stock settings was 3.5 with the stock cooler but I recently replaced it with the Thermaltake Frio and it decided to run stable at 3.6GHz on stock voltage. However to get to 3.7GHz required a hop up to 1.39V before it would run stable and i ended up stopping my overclock around 3.8GHz which was sucking down 1.451v before it could handle a good hour long stress test from Prime 95. I havent had any of the other issues youve mentioned however.