Overclock or Core Unlock

Ok I recently built my new rig, and as many of you would, I keep tinkering and upgrading. See my below for current setup. When I first built the system a couple months ago, I unlocked the 4th core and the system ran great. After reading info online I learned that you can OC better with the 4th core off. The CPU is currently running completely default. My question is for the games I am playing now, Mass Effect 1&2, Oblivion, and NBA 2k11, would I be better suited with a higher clock 3 core or slightly lower clocked 4 core. I do not multitask much while gaming, mostly looking for lag. And the major kicker is stock cooling. I will be getting a CoolerMaster 212+ within the next month. I know the resolution sucks, but that cannot be improved in the next 6 months.

CPU: AMD Athlon XII 455BE
RAM: 4x2GB Crucial Ballistix 1033
Mobo: ASUS M4n98TD-EVO
HDD: 1xOCZ Vertex 2 SSD 100GB 2xSeagate 2TB
Gfx: GTX 470
PSU: Sunbeam 730w
OS: Win 7 Ult 64
Disp: 1440x900
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. i like your SSD, was going to get me the same one.

    anyway, you can overclock it but the ram might prevent it from going higher.

    Games tend to be made o run either 1 core, 2 core or 4 cores.

    Would be best if you picked 4 cores over the 3 core overclock setup.
    Just set the highest multiplier you have, bring the Ram to 800mhz, and slowly ramp up the front side bus. Just make sure you don't go over your rams stock speed which you put "1033".

    After you have it overclocked and all, run prime95 for a few hours, when everything looks good, you can try pushing the fsb at the same time increasing the ram a little more. If it becomes unstable, just bring up the dram voltage a bit and you should be good.

    does the Crucial Ballistix come with heatsinks?
  2. It came with heat spreaders.

    My first build was a 286@16 mHz and to be honest I have NEVER OCed a system. Is there a good technical walk thru for this CPU and overclocking? I'm sure it is much harder to damage your system than it was with the old systems but fear still rules all.
  3. so you're using a stock fan?

    does your mobo have enough heatsinks?

    anyway, just go into bios, keep the unlocked feature on, but turn of C1E and the Cool & Quiet which underclocks your system when you aren't using heavy programs. First we need to see how stable the system runs with overclocks on before we can help you save electricity and keep that feature on(Cool & Quiet).

    Use the highest multiplier you have, 800mhz ram and it's support timing.

    ramp up the FSB by 5-10's with stock cpu voltage and see how high it goes.

    Download Prime95 26.5 and torture your cpu using the "blend" setting for like 10-20 mins. once you hit the last stable fsb, run prime for a few hours and see if any errors come up.

    One you have come stable to the highest stock overclock without reaching over 60C in temperature (download Core Temp).

    You can go higher by increasing the vcore a little along with dram voltage if your ram goes over the supported values. make sure you also increase northbridge or else you might run into errors and bottlenecking.
  4. I run core temp and speedfan both already. I tried tinkering with OCing the system early in its life and learned to monitor my temps closely. I was told multiple times that unlocking the core would prevent reading actual temps from the core. So, what temps should I be watching? Should I be subtracting the 10-15 C difference I usually see between the CPU and Core readings in speedfan? Is this reliable?
  5. 3 cores at higher clocks works better for those games....Most all current games use only 2 cores at any giving time on multi core CPU's..
  6. Heres a good sticky that should help you out:

    Look at the other stickies as well as they will help you out immensely
  7. oh right, i forgot when you unlock it shows 0C and stuff.

    Well what you could do is buy a cheap temp measure.
    My motherboard has an onboard temp monitor. Maybe you can put in $5-10 to buy one of those, or buy a cheap Sentry 2 for $20 which has touch screen fan control and temp monitor.
  8. @lowjack989 Thanks for the link. I have already printed the page and am going over it now. Do I need to overclock my RAM as well? Or, as it is a Black Edition CPU, can I focus on the CPU only?

    @trihedral I have sensors on my Mobo that will still read socket temps, just not core temps when unlocked. But as lowjack989 points to the fact that I may get better performance from OC than Unlock so that would be a moot point.
  9. Best answer
    Start with the CPU Multi on the Black Edition...Memory can be OCed through the FSB if you so desire yet this will take a few more steps to accomplish an otherwise two step (Multi, and CPU voltage) OC...To do the FSB OC you will have to set your memory to a lower clock as raising the FSB frequency will directly effect the mem. clocks as well as CPU speed. So, for instance lower your RAM to 800 MHz-->lower your CPU to say 15x which is 3.0 GHz@200MHz--->now raise your FSB from 200MHz default to say 250-->now the math 15x250MHz =3.75GHz The Ram I believe will be at 1000 MHz...Just an example I am not an expert but the Multi OC is the way to go for your first OC...IMHO
  10. Off to the BIOS I go. Thanks for the advice I will post results!
  11. Got it up to 3.8 and seems pretty stable but temps hit 71 C in Prime95 in under 5 minutes. I killed it and am backing down until i get a better cooler. Thanks for all of the help!
  12. NP...remember to choose a best answer so the thread can be closed..happy tinkering
  13. Best answer selected by Puff3r.
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