Advice for a novice on Overclocking my new computer

Good day everyone,

I am an avid pc gamer and have just recently taken an interest in overclocking, as my new pc came with a pretty hefty cpu cooler (coolermaster V6).

My specs are as follows:

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T w/ coolermaster v6
12 GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance RAM
Cooler Master eXtreme Plus 700W PSU
ATI Radeon 6850 HD running at 830/1075

Now with regards to temps... I am kind of unsure which reading is correct. When I look in AMD overdrive at the status page of cpu Ive never seen it go above 25C...but for some reason I dont think that is the right most people seem to report higher then that. There is another reading in the extras sensors that will show around 40C I think that one might be a little more realistic?

What I am looking to find out is what the best way would be to overclock the processor. I have seen/heard that windows based tuners are no good, and that doing it from the BIOS is the best way. I also see that most people say you just slowly bump the base clock (200mhz) up 5 mhz at a time and I guess if it doesnt crash go until it does and then up the voltage a notch and then try again, etc. Is this exactly what I want to do? Are there any other considerations I should be aware of?

While Im here starting a post about overclocking, I also have a question about my video card. I am using msi afterburner to OC my card and right now I have it at 830/1075 and it seems that my games are running fine. I have experienced something weird though. When I stability test it with furmark and kombustor, I can put the card to the max allowable levels (850/1200) and it doesnt go above 70C which as far as I know is a perfectly acceptable temp. I ran it for 2 hours one night and it just stayed constant. I am using a custom fan profile too. However, when I load crysis 2 or black ops, the computer crashes. I'll be playing and out of nowhere, at a random point (ranged from 5 min to 20 min) the TV goes black saying no signal, I hear sound for 5 seconds and then it crashes and I hear the sound loop and I have to hard reset. Does anyone know for any reason why I can stability test it so well but then boom games crash like that? I have reinstalled the drivers (using driver sweep to rid everything) and I updated the VGA bios too.

Sorry for the long post, I am just eager to get this squared away and I hope some experts out there can give me some good input as the video card especially kind of bothers me.

Thanks a lot in advance everyone.

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  1. Hello again,

    No input on this eh? I know it was a long post I apologize on that.

    I figured out my video card anyway. I guess I had the memory clock too high. I have it at 850/1125 and it seems to be working now as I have gamed all night.

    As for my actual CPU again if anyone has any opinion based on my above stats Id love to hear it!


  2. Hi Bryan and welcome to Tom's forum.

    You need know somethings before start to overclock. One of those is, that your CPU is locked multiplier and that means that the base clock (FSB) is linked with DRAM, NB and HT frequencies, so, if you change the FSB from 200MHz to 210MHz you are also changing the DRAM, NB and HT frequency.

    Now, we need know your load temps at stock speed, for that you can use prime95 for 30 minutes and coretemp or HWMonitor can give you the temps. Open the program before start the stress test program.

    Regarding the GPU overclock, those problems says me that your overclock isn't stable and that can be for two reasons.

    1- Too high clocks
    2- Too low voltage for overclock clocks

    Finally, let me know the DRAM frequency of your RAM, or post the link for get an idea and give your better advice.

    solid rig btw
  3. Thanks I just bought her and so far I'm quite happy with it. My apologies I forgot to put the memory clock, it's 1333 MHz. I wish my video card was a bit better but she is good for now. I am confident with it at 850/1125 it's been running all my games good now.

    Yes I know that my Cpu multiplier is locked and that raising the fsb results in all of my components increasing, that is why I didn't know if I should be lowering other components so that they are not going through the roof. I mean I'm not looking for a crazy oc just something to satisy my curiosity and give my rig a bit more juice.

    I will get prime95 and report back with the temps you have asked for.

    Thanks for the reply, this is a very informative site and I look forward to learning more from it!

    Best regards,

  4. Not problem.

    I'm going to sleep now, so, I'll check your report tomorrow at morning and give you some advices for overclock the CPU.
  5. Hello Saint19,

    I downloaded Prime95 as well as HWMonitor and ran the torture test (I just picked the one it defaulted on, Blend test, as I wasnt sure which one to do) for 40 minutes. The 6 core temps maxed out at 35C and there were three temps under my Motherboard called TMPIN0 which maxed at 34C, TMPIN1 which maxed at 43C and TMPIN2 which maxed at 50C. I'm not really sure what these temp sensors are a reflection of, but I thought I should post them too as they were higher then the actual 6 core temps.

    I don't know if it is relevant or not to the potential overclocking, but that memory I bought is actually 1600 Mhz memory. It is running at 1333 Mhz because my Mobo does not support 1600 Mhz. I should also mention though that the specs of my mobo say memory support for DDR3 2000(OC)/1333/1066 MHz memory modules so I don't really understand where or how the 2000(OC) setting can come into play.

    Anyways if you need any other info let me know. Otherwise I look forward to your response.

    Thanks again,

  6. Those are very god temps in load for that CPU.

    Those DDR3 2000 (OC) means that you can get that speed using overclock, but in you can we'd have 1600 that is the rated speed of your RAM.

    Now, to the solve the main question.

    1- FSB is linked with NB, HT and DRAM frequency, so, wee need keep the RAM the most closed possible to 1600MHz (rated speed), HT to 2000MHz and NB to 2000MHZ too. We'd get a different speed in the NB when the CPU overclock is done and stable.
    2- Start to rise the FSB in little steps, 50MHZ -100MHz and test the rig for stability for two hours or more. In some point you will get a BSoD. Don't worry, that means that we need more voltage on CPU, but that is another step that I'll tell you later.
  7. hello Saint19,

    Ok I will go ahead and start to do as you said by raising the FSB, until I get a bsod. I just have one more question before I start doing this. As you said the NB HT and DRAM freqs will all increase. So I see what you mean by saying we can get the RAM up to its actual rated speed. The only thing I wonder is I know that the NB and HT Freqs are already 2000 Mhz. From what I understand you are telling me not to go above that, but wont increasing the FSB automatically push those 2 past those values? Please just clarify that and then I will be good to go to start bumping it up.

    Thanks again so much!

  8. Correct, but HT and NB also have a multiplier that you can change for keep those values the most possible near to 2000MHz ;)
  9. Ok that is awesome. So basically, as I up the FSB, watch the NB and HT and as they go up, reduce their multiplier until they are as close the 2000 as possible. Also with my RAM in the meantime, I am wondering...I never noticed but my BIOS does actually show that I can have it at 8X to have it run at 1600 MHZ. Should I just leave it at 6.66 and then as I up the FSB I can slowly get it to its Spec speed of 1600 MHz?

    Cheers mate!!!
  10. Keep it at 6.66 because the FSB also change the DRAM frequency, as soon as you start to rise the FSB the DRAM will hit the 1600 of the rated speed.
  11. Awesome ok I will try this and report back to you when I find where I start to get a BSOD.

  12. Maybe you get that BSoD at ~3.2GHz

    You also need disable Cool'n'Quite, C1E support and Turbo Boost options in BIOS.
  13. Hey saint19,

    I have disabled those settings, I bumped up the fsb to 250 so the CPU is 3.5 ghz NB is 2 ghz ht is 2 ghz and ram is 1666 MHz. Prime95 is running now. I'll leave it for 2 hours and see if it crashes. In the meantime I am curious if you have any thought as to what this TMPIN2 is? Like my CPU temps are at 35c ATM but this tmpin2 is at 52. Which temp should I be most concerned about? The other two ( tmpin0 and 1) are at 31 and 45 as well. These temperatures are listed under the motherboard in hwmonitor. Also do I need to be concerned with any of these temps reaching a certain level if it doesn't crash and possibly having to turn it off to prevent overheating?

    Thanks again!
  14. Hey Saint19,

    The temps pretty much stayed at the levels in my above post. It ran 2 hrs at those settings so I think its ok, Im gonna try to bump it up some more. I'll let you know what happens!

    Alright so when I went to bump it further, I can't get the HT and NB to sit at a snug 2000mhz based on the multipliers. What im wondering at this point is would it be better to have those values lower or higher then the 2ghz mark...It seems if I am putting those lower that it could be affecting my performance negatively instead of getting a total overall gain. The same goes with the memory.

    Also, When I did go to bump it up, I cant remember what numbers I tried it on (the lower nb and ht or higher than 2ghz) and went to reboot, the POST screen came up with a "There was a hardware device failure at bootup" something along those lines and it basically shows my settings and it tells me to press delete to enter bios to change , or any other button to goto windows and if I do that it just reverts to defaults? Do you know why it would be doing this?

    So far it sitting at 3.5 Ghz seems to be good so I will wait out for a response regarding all these other concerns. I just dont wanna do something that could damage it.

    Once again I thank you good sir :)
  15. Hi.

    So, we find your voltage wall. Here is where the temps of your CPU start to rise because we rise the voltage of the CPU.

    Go to your BIOS set the CPU at 3.5GHz and add 200MHz more, so, final 3.8GHz. Look for the CPU voltage option and try with 1.3V on CPU, the rest of components in "Auto". If you can boot, test it for stability, if you can't add a little more voltage (0.025 max per change) and try again until you get it stable.

    Always keep your eyes in temps, 55ºC or above isn't good and more that 1.55Vin air on CPU is a little risky.

    Regarding the HT and NB, keep it the most possible close to 2000MHz, not really important if that is over 2000MHz or above it.
  16. Right on. I gotta goto bed as I have work early morning. So far I'm very happy with the progress. If I can bump it up a bit closer to 4 ghz I will be very happy. I played crysis 2 a bit and I swear I could see a noticeable improvement. Anyways I'll give what u said a try tomorrow after work and let you know what I come up with.

  17. Hello Saint19,

    I was a bit busy tonight so I didn't really have time to mess around with my computer any more. I have a question though regarding trying to overclock past what I currently have it at (250 FSB, 3.5 Ghz, 2Ghz NB and HT, 1666Mhz Dram). I was expecting to get a bsod as you had mentioned went I went to boot up and if it was unstable or what have you....but instead all it does it on the POST screen it mentions current h/w state isnt going to work something along those lines and it basically forces me to goto the bios otherwise it reverts back to defaults. Is this just like a motherboard feature or something that kicks in if it knows it will not work with the settings I have? I guess what I am wondering is at this point I just need to bump the voltage up a bit and then try again huh? The voltage altering is kind of the next big thing for me and I am a bit nervous about it I wont lie, although my temps are still quite low so I guess it's not that big of a deal.

    Anyways, I will give it a go tomorrow and let you know what happens.

  18. You have 3.5GHZ stable now right?, that message means that the current settings aren't enough for boot. Keep in mind that boot process until system show the wallpaper, is one of the most heavy process for the rig and overclock.

    Rise the voltage in little steps and don't go above 1.5V and 55ºC
  19. Hey saint19,

    Yea I'm running 3.5 ghz good now. I don't know if I am missing something, but it seems I cannot run anything higher than the current settings. I tried bumping up the cpu to 3.8 GHz and tried bumping up the voltage one step at a time, and no matter how high I go ( I didn't put it past 1.475) it just wont boot. I even reduced the HT and NB below 2000 (the next lower multiplier) and as well put the DRAM lower and it still just wont go not matter what I do.

    I am not sure if I am missing something but...It just seems like I should be able to get more out of it.

    I don't know if there is anything else I can do, If you have any other suggestions let me know, otherwise I guess this is all I can get out of it.

    Also tonight after attempting all that, I went back to 3.5 and for some reason my comp froze once while I was browsing these forums and once when I tried to play crysis. I now am running prime95 I'm going to leave it overnight and make sure it's ok. I'm not sure why it's ran fine over the last day or two and all of a sudden did this but I'll wait and see how prime95 test turns out.


  20. Let me know the results, we also will need change some other voltage to get stability above those 3.5GHz
  21. Hey Saint19,

    Argg. Ok I got a bsod last night. I ran it from 8 pm until i wokeup this morning at 6 and when I checked it it was bsod, so I dont know when it happened, but I guess that doesnt matter. I guess before I can proceed past I need to figure out what is causing the instability now. At this point do I need to start raising the core voltage until it can run as long as I ran it for at the 3.5 Ghz setting? I am not going to lie, I still have the voltages on auto. the core runs at 1.344 right now. If you could confirm that this is indeed what I need to do. The other clocks are all still basically at stock in this setting so I don't think it could be any of them?

  22. Try with 1.375 on CPU, if it's stable then try to go for 3.8GHz.
  23. Right on I will give that a go. I assume then that the voltage is the primary reason why the prime95 failed then? I don't understand why the voltage applied determines how the CPU fails at calculations, but I guess thats a totally different thread all together. I am going to work now but when I get home I will try that.

    Thanks Saint19
  24. Hey Saint19,

    I ran prime95 earlier for 3 hours with the 1.375 and it was ok. I am going to run again overnight tonight and see how it goes in the morning. If it passes ill bump up the FSB for 3.8. If not I'll try raising the voltage up another notch. One thing I noticed though while running HWmonitor that I am kind of worried about is the temps accuracies. I keep hearing that when I see my core temps in the program, like for instance right now they read 19C, that they are actually 10C higher then that? Do you know if that is accurate? Even if thats the case the highest the cores read was 39C (or 49 if you add 10?).

    One other thing I have noticed is the TMPIN0, 1 and 2...The 0 normally reads around 30C the 1 around 40C and the 2 runs at about 50-55C under load while running prime. I looked online and saw a few posts about it but I am still kind of unsure what they represent. Anyways, I have noticed that occasionally, the 3 of them will spike to 85? so the Max column will say 85...even though it is only for a split second. Do you think this is accurate? It seems to me like it may be like a glitch or something. For it to go up that high for a split second and then continue with the above said readings doesnt really make sense.

    Other than that, I will let you know tomorrow if I get another bsod. Oh yea and as for the bsod, am I really damaging my computer at all when this happens? I know its something I have to deal with, I am just curious if it actually does any harm.

    Thanks again!!
  25. Those TMPIN0, 1 and 2 are for mobo, NB and CPU (not sure the order), but looks fine for me since you will never go at the same use that stress test programs, the temps maybe never hit that temps again.

    Regarding the BSoD, your rig is safe with it, even if sound dangerous the "Blue screen of dead" it's for protect your rig.
  26. Hey Saint19,

    Ok right on, yea I have noticed if I run Crysis 2 and run HW monitor the temps are never nearly as high as what I get on prime95.

    Good to know about the bsod. I understand the risks in overclocking, but as long as my temps are good and the odd crash isnt hurting it then it makes me feel a bit better in knowing I am not hurting my new comp too bad in any way.

    I ran prime95 for almost 4 hours today and it was good. I want to be able to do 6-8 before I am somewhat happy (I just didn't have the time to keep it going and I think for now 4 hours is at least decent) so I will try it again tonight overnight.

    If I want to try to raise the FSB so its at 3.8 (I think around 270 fsb). I am wondering about the HT, NB and even Dram voltages. you had said previously that when I want to go for this I will have to alter other voltages as well. Can you enlighten me on which ones I will need to also be raising at this point? or should I just try it at 1.375 and see if its stable like that?

  27. Try the 3.8GHz with 1.375V and test for stability, if that's not stable we'll rise a little more the voltage and change some other "calibrations" voltage for stability.
  28. Hey Saint19,

    Alright I just finally got a chance to change some settings. I bumped the FSB up to 270. cpu = 3.78 Ghz NB and HT are at 2160 Mhz and dram I downclocked a bit to 1439 because if I left that multiplier the same it would have been 1800 and that seemed a little high (besides I don't want my ram crapping out on me, I wanna make sure the CPU is good to go first, then I can worry about bumping that up later.

    I left it at 1.375 first, ran prime95 and it bsod'd in about a minute lol. Then I bumped it up to 1.4 and tried again. It ran for about 20 minutes, but I had to stop it because I have to goto bed and I'd rather watch it at this point and make sure its ok for at least an hour or so before I leave it on its own. So thats good that it didnt crap out immediately, but tomorrow morning I will test longer and see how it holds up.

    The temps this time were a tiny bit higher, but only by about a degree or so. I am kind of scared to leave it without watching it because I am worried the temps will somehow start to soar. Just tell me that the temps stabilize generally in the first few minutes and I will feel more confident. I wasn't so worried closer to stock voltage but now that Ive moved it up a bit I am obviously a bit more nervous...But I definitely want to keep going with this! I will test it in the morning and let you know if it fails after a good 4 hours or so.

    I know I write a lot lol...also you had mentioned changing some other voltages at this level. Is there anything else I should change or does the fact that it didnt crap out immediately mean I shouldn't have to alter any of the other voltages yet?

  29. Hey Saint19,

    I ran prime95 for 2 hours this morning and it went well. CPU temp maxed at about 49. I am going to wait out to try for 4 ghz (which is my ultimate goal) until tomorrow because I have company coming for easter dinner today.

    I guess the first thing will be to try at 1.4 and then bump it up until I get it stable. I know when you get it to 4 ghz, you can reduce the other multipliers so that the HT and NB remain at 2000 Mhz and I will make sure the RAM is not too high as well.

    It seems if that is the case that the only voltage to remain higher then stock should be CPU, but I will report back tomorrow when I do this and maybe those other "calibration" voltages you mentioned can come into play if I cannot get it to run stable like that.

    Thanks again for all your help...I am VERY happy that I have gotten this high thus far.

  30. Hey Saint19,

    I ran prime95 for 2 hours this morning and it went well. CPU temp maxed at about 49. I am going to wait out to try for 4 ghz (which is my ultimate goal) until tomorrow because I have company coming for easter dinner today.

    I guess the first thing will be to try at 1.4 and then bump it up until I get it stable. I know when you get it to 4 ghz, you can reduce the other multipliers so that the HT and NB remain at 2000 Mhz and I will make sure the RAM is not too high as well.

    It seems if that is the case that the only voltage to remain higher then stock should be CPU, but I will report back tomorrow when I do this and maybe those other "calibration" voltages you mentioned can come into play if I cannot get it to run stable like that.

    Thanks again for all your help...I am VERY happy that I have gotten this high thus far.

  31. Excellent, let me know how much you can get. I think you can go with 1.5V always that your temps don't go above 55ºC.
  32. Hey saint19,

    This morning I tried bumping up to fsb 286, cpu 4004 mhz, nb and ht 2002, and dram 1524 mhz. I i had to bump the voltage up to 1.475 otherwise it was crashing basically immediately. When I ran it at 1.475 it ran prime for about 10-15 min then bsod'd. So as per your last post I should try doing 1.5? so long is it doesnt go above 55?

    Again I don't think it seems like I should have to change any of the other voltages but if you think I should change something else that might help too?

    If I have hit my limit at 3.78 I am still very happy to have gotten it this far but i will wait for what you have to say about this and take it from there.

  33. Try with 1.5V and keep your eyes in temps.
  34. Hey saint19,

    I tested at 1.5, the core temps never went above 48. TMPIN0 was 34 max, TMPIN1 55 max and TMPIN2 68 max

    I ran for just under 2 hours and 1 core got an error and stopped but the remainder were still working.

    I will revert to my previous settings for now. Is there any other settings I could change to fix this?

  35. Rise the NB frequency to 3000MHz and change the CPU-NB voltage to 1.3V and try again, if fails, rise the CPU-NB voltage again until you get it stable, but don't go above 1.4V
  36. Before I do this I need to confirm 2 things. First that with these setting (CPU 4004mhz, ht 2002) I can only get NB up to 2860 but I assume that is close enough. Secondly there are 2 voltages relating to NB in the bios. NB voltage control which is already at 1.3 by default and the. CPU NB VID control which is at 1.15 normally. Based on what you said It should be the NB voltage control I'm changing right? I will wait for your reply and then start bumping that up. In the mean time I'm going to install another fan in my comp :)
  37. NB= Auto
    CPU NB VID = 1.3V
  38. Ok so I am leaving the NB voltage control alone and uping the NB VID. I will try her out and get back to you.
  39. Alright I tried this. When I booted up I immediately got a bsod. it said it shut down because of MEMORY_MANAGEMENT. I dont exactly know what that means? memory is at 1524 mhz.

    Maybe I just can't get it up that high? I should mention that at my current settings (3.78 ghz, 2160 NB and HT, and 1440 dram) 1.4V cpu core. I ran prime95 for 8 hours and it did not bsod. I had one core fail, after 3 hours, so I don't know how to interpret that (just need to bump up the core voltage a bit more?).

    You have been of amazing assistance to me Saint19, I am still totally interested in getting my comp maxed, I just want to make sure you arent starting to get annoyed as this has gone on for a while hahaha. Let me know what you think about all this.
  40. Is your RAM rated at 1.65V right? Set it to that.
  41. It says on the website its rated at 1.5. But I know this memory is designed for overclocking and the first website you pull up they say they put it at 1.65 to test the max potential so does that mean I should still try it?

  42. Try with 1.55V first, if doesn't works then jump to 1.65V.
  43. Lol too late I'm running at 1.65. I found some posts online and it seems running .15 over is still OK so I just went with that. The comp booted and I'm running prime now so I'll see how long it goes till it crashes.


    CPU 4004 MHz @ 1.5v
    NB 2860 MHz @ CPU NB vid 1.3v
    Ht 2000 MHz
    Dram 1524 MHz @ 1.65v

    So if it crashes again then bump up the NB vid voltage until stable or max 1.4.

    I'll report back with how long Prime runs for anyway.
  44. Hey saint19,

    Ok so when I ran it with the above specs it was good for about 30 minutes and one core failed the test. I had to go out so it left running. About 2 hours later when I got home the program was still running but just with one core stopped. I assume this implies instability but what does it mean when 1 core fails but the others continue on? I'm trying on 1.375 now
  45. Well, could mean instability but how we said some post above you will never use the CPU at the same percentage that prim95 does. In that points, maybe you can run it with those specs and the rig never fail or fail after five minutes.

    Let me know how the test ends.
  46. Hey saint19,

    I'm running on NB vid at 1.375 so far its been 45 min and no failures yet. I'll come back and let you know when I get a failure
  47. Hey saint19,

    The test ran until 2 hours and at that point one core failed. Should I up the NB vid to 1.4 and try again? Is there anything else at this point that I should change? the CPU cores maxed at 50. The other TMP temps were all about the same as previous. I am pretty happy that I got it to 2 hours. I was going to turn it off right as that failure happened tho so that was kind of annoying grrrr.

    At this point it feels a lot better than it did before. I would love for it to be able to run for at least 6 hours or so before I am completely satisfied though.
  48. I'd not go with that voltage on NB, that's a little risky. 3.8GHz if a good overclock for that CPU and a non unlocked CPU like your.
  49. Ok to be honest, 3.8 ghz felt a lot better, I feel like that is still a good overclock. So...if I go with these settings:

    FSB 270
    CPU 3.78 Ghz @ 1.4V
    HT and NB 2160 Mhz
    Dram 1440 Mhz

    As mentioned previously I ran this overnight and although I had it still running after 7-8 hours one core had failed after 3 hours. Is my solution to this to keep bumping up vcore until it lasts longer?

    I am unsure why when going up to 4 ghz I started to play with the NB voltage. Will this come into play again?

    Thanks Saint19
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