Phenom II x4 925 2.8ghz

Hi all, to start, I am COMPLETELY NEW at this. I've heard of OC'ing before and know that you can really improve performance if it's done right. I will get to my specs in a second, but my most important question is whether or not it is worth it to begin with.

I would love to see a boost in performance seeing as I use this pc to play more-demanding games like Crysis, GTAIV, BF:BC2, Far Cry 2, etc. Would love to play the new MoH soon, but that's besides the point. I also play some old games like, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Battlefield 1942, etc. I also do sound-recording, studio-style work. I run Cakewalk Sonar 8, etc.

My complete specs are as follows:

AMD Phenom II 925 x4 2.8ghz (stock cooler)
XFX GeForce 9800GT 512mb GDDR3
Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium HD
4gb GEIL Value Plus DDR3 1333 (CL 9-9-9-24)
Raidmax 630W PSU

Now, Crysis lags a bit with the loading screens. I've been told that it's because the 9800 that I have is only 512mb, and a 1gb would fix that issue. If this is the case, then I would see no reason to OC in the first place, other than just curiosity.

So, are the benefits really that noticeable? If so, what is a great place to start with my OC based on my specs? I know it's all trial and error, that no two CPU's are exactly the same, etc. I just want a good basis to go off of. I'm looking to go to maybe 3.2ghz, or at max 3.4ghz. Also, since I have everything crammed into an old Aspire X-Qpack shuttle-type case. Do they make coolers that are better than stock, but will also fit in this small case?

Also, this mobo came with some "easy" OC tools, I'm gonna assume those aren't worth the paper their printed on, right?

Thanks in advance,
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  1. I would always advice people to overclock via the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) Rather than using software.

    In terms of gaming, overclocking your CPU will not increase your frame rates by much at all, certainly not worth the extra heat output and increase in power usage. The only time where overclocking the CPU will increase frame rates considerably in games is when the CPU is bottlenecking (Holding back the performance of) the GPU. This is not the case for you.

    I've never used any sound recording/studio software so I don't know how CPU intensive the software is and so can't say if overclocking your CPU would increase performance or not.

    If you still want to overclock then I would highly recommend buying an aftermarket cooler for your CPU
    As your short on space here are a few coolers that might be suitable: Not the best cooler out there, but certainly low profile and better than the stock cooler.

    Providing you have space for a 120mm fan in the back of your case then this is a good choice
  2. i agree with "omgitzfatal" dear i recommend 1stly change your processor to (INTEL) always use intel processors coz these are faster than amd.i compare these 2 cpus amd athlon x3 2.8ghz and intel core 2 duo 2.8ghz e8400 i started them with same time but c2d load windows 7 ultimate in 16 seconds and amd load win7 ultimate in 21 second.amd with 3 cores and intel with 2 cores.if you want to run latest games in ultra high setting like call of duty mw3 and black ops dirt 2 fc2 so use intel core i5 with 4gb ram it has faster cache memory that improve your games fps (frame per second).
  3. The OP hasn't said that he/she has the money to change to an intel based system, besides which I feel money would be better spent on a new graphics card and an aftermarket cooler for his/her CPU rather than buying a new Intel CPU and new motherboard.

    A Core i5 would improve performance, but no where near as much as upgrading the graphics card would.

    Anyway all of this is alittle pointless as we don't know the OP's budget or intentions for his/her PC.
  4. Ok, great!

    Yeah, this was a budget gaming build for around $450 base parts, case not included, I've added the wireless card, the sound card, etc at later dates. Thus causing my price to go way up over time, lol ahhh such is life.

    So, the easiest fix would be a new GPU and aftermarket low-profile cooler. Now, AMD warns that if you don't use the stock cooler that it voids their three-year warranty. Since I probably won't bother OC'ing now anyways, should i still opt for an aftermarket cooler upon purchasing (yet another lol) GPU? The only reason my concern is, was my GPU was $100 dollars, and the Best Buy by me has a 1gb 9800 GT for $110 on sale. Is that worth that extra 100 bucks?

    See, I would go for a GeForce 450, or something, and just save my money up, the only problem is that since my MoBo is so small, the PCIe slot is right next to the PCIex16 slot. These new cards take up two slots..... so I'd be using on-board sound...*cringes*. The 9800GT fits nicely next to the soundcard, so unless theirs another more-suitable GPU for my system that's Nvidia, I'm all ears.

    If I had to, I would be willing to switch to an ATI card, but I've always had luck with Nvidia... thoughts?
  5. Do you have a link with the infomation regarding loss of warranty if you replace the stock cooler? Thats news to me.

    If you don't plan on overclocking then I would say its not worth it to spend money on an aftermarket cooler.
    The 9800GT 1GB would certainly help your frame rates when gaming at higher resolutions and with in game settings enabled like AA (anti aliasing), having said that its not really an upgrade, its just the same card as you have now but with more VRAM.
    That card would be an upgrade and it is single slot.
  6. I don't have a link, but that is what it says in the paperwork the cpu came with.

    "Use only the heatsink/fan provided. Use of any other heatsink/fan will void the warranty."

    What about Nvidia? Are there any other Nvidia cards that would be a boost in performance?
  7. oh ok... news to me, I guess they wouldn't know if you changed the cooler.

    I couldn't find anything that would be an upgrade to your 9800GT and nVidia.
  8. ok, with the exception of a 1gb 9800. What made me mad was the simple fact that I didn't research that far into the GPU and went by a word-of-mouth recommendation.

    Now, how deos ATI compare to Nvidia. I've heard some horror-stories. None too bad, but a big thing is that ATI's are power-eaters. That's where heat comes into place.

    My 9800GT has no external power hookup. I'm pretty sure the 1gb does, which is all well and good, but I just like to know how well ATI is, and if their as good as Nvidia.
  9. Is this your PSU?

    If so then it'll power a HD5770 just fine, the HD5770 only requires one PCI-E 6 pin and doesn't consume much power at all

    As you can see it uses less power at idle than your 9800GT and only slightly more under load.

    ATi/AMD's graphics cards are very power efficient, Its actually quite funny because nVidia's graphics cards usualy have a worse Performance per watt ratio.

    ATI/AMD make very good products and are on par with nVidia.
  10. I doubt you will have an issue running that Phenom 13x250MHz if you drop the memory to 533. No reason you can't go 14x250MHz with a $30 cooler.

    And even with an *iffy* power supply that should push a $170 HD6850.

    Probably a bit more snappy than a 9800GT 512.
  11. A HD6850 isn't a single slot card
  12. what performance boost would i be looking at with the ati hd5770 vs the 9800 that i have?

    and i have this psu:
  13. Here's a review of the HD5770, the review includes a 9800GT so you can see how much performance you would gain.

    Your PSU will be fine for the HD5770.
  14. quite a few fps increased, thanks a lot for the input. how safe would it be for me to OC my 9800GT for now while I wait?
  15. Yeah should be fine aslong as you keep an eye on the card's temps with a program like GPU-Z. You'll want to keep the temps below 90C under load.
  16. pk, and one last question. Whats the big difference between 128-bit and 256-bit video cards?

    That explains it better than I could, Hope that helps.
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