I have recently finished my first Gaming rig at the weekend, i have an Asus M4A88TD-M EVO/USB3 AMD 880G, and an AMD Phenom II X2 560 BE. I decided on this combo due to the overclocking potetial of the processor and the Overclocking abilities of the Motherboard, having core unlocker and Overclocking software, namely 'Turbo Key II', 'Auto Tuning' and 'ASUS TurboV EVO'.
Its the first time i have overclocked a machine and without hesitation i turned on the physical switches on the motherboard for 'Turbo Key II' an 'Core unlocker' for its 1st ever boot. It immediately recognised my processor as an AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE which shocked me, unlocking all 4 cores and bumping up the core speed.
Once booted and settled i installed the 'ASUS TurboV EVO' software. It had an option of manual overclock or an auto overclock, to be cautious i thought id let the motherboard do it as the site was boasting its ability so much.
after a re boot it autiomatically began changing the multiplier and voltage in incraments, and ran its own stress tests after every increase, after about 10 minuits it reached 3.8Mhz blue screened and re booted, immediately the software automatically bought it back down to 3.7Mhz and its been stable since.
So my question is am i being overly impressed by a bit of software that hasnt rely done much, or has the motherboard done everything to push the CPU to its limit? Could i safely push it further manually through the BIOS?
Well, it does sound like the software did a really nice job for you. However, you probably can do a little better manually. Even if the CPU's reached it's highest clock, you can at least perfect the OC - it's quite likely that there's a little more voltage than is absolutely necessary with the auto OC. I'd definitely check how your temps are. Less voltage will reduce them a couple degrees. And I'd also try manual stress tests with Prime95 and LinX.
If you're happy then great. But overclocking is a fun experience and you can learn a lot about your PC.
Gratx on the unlock man
as stated, read a few guides on be overclocking and start to play, remember to take small steps and record your last good settings so you can always go back to the last working configuration.