Help Overclocking AMD Phenom XII 955 BE

Hi, long time reader at Tom's Hardware, don't post very much. Would really much like to get some help overclocking my new AMD setup. I am still a newb to overclocking though, AMD especially, I did last overclock my e6550 quite well to 3.5ghz. I've tried to read and research a lot on what to do, but I just can't get it right and AMD overclocking is new to me

Okay, so I built a new computer for now to hold me over until later, I was using a e6550 forever and it just needed replaced... so anyway...

My rig is as follows:
MSI 780A-G54 AMD mobo
AMD Phenomx XII 955 BE stepping 3 rev C3 @ stock speed, 1.22vcore, NB-CPU 1.07, NB 1.095 (lowest settings on all)
Coolermaster n520 CPU Heatsink (just installed last night so paste isn't set yet, temps still kind of high)
Corsair Vengenace DDR3 1600mhz 9-9-9-24 1T @ 1.5v
Antec TruePower 550w

When I was OCing to 3.8ghz CPU, CPU-NB 2.6ghz, HT default: (61c was max temp at full load, it's high and dangerous, but I expect it to go down 3-4c once the past sets, if it doesn't I'll pull back the OC, my ambient room temp is probably 25-35c during summer in So. California
vcore 1.37
cpu-nb 1.28
nb 1.115
sb 1.115

I ran OCCT for an hour (yeah I should run longer I guess, but usually, I can do fine in games with no problems.)
I ran Modern Warfare 2 and was streaming 720p onto with no problems, crashes etc last night.

Today, I decided to play some City of Heroes, and I log in, and I tab out to look something up. Few minutes later, everything is crashing to desktop. City of Heroes is artifacting and locked up. Firefox won't reload. Just keeps crashing. I have to reboot.

I reboot, play some Black Ops for 30-40 mins, no problems. Go back to City of Heroes, same problems. I reset everything back to stock as I am currently. And no crashes. So obviously, something is unstable.

So here are my questions, so I need to increase the SB to compensate the overlcocks? Does the CPU overclock affect the video card? What do I probably need to do to get this to work? Is my 550w adequate enough? I read around and most posts I found said a 550w is enough for the card and more. Does anyone else have a similar setup and able to help me get a stable overlclock?

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  1. Best answer
    Assuming you are overclocking using the multiplier only you shouldn't really have to mess with the NB or SB. Your cooler should be working better than that. It's certainly not the best cooler in the world but it should be at least 5 degrees cooler. You might want to check case airflow as there is a possibility that with stressing both the CPU and Video card via gaming and multi tasking that your case isn't able to compensate. Run Prime95 with your overclock and or try playing with your side panel off. That should help figure out the root cause. Also the 955BE has no problems running at 1.4v Vcore so you have a little voltage room to play with as well.
  2. Well, I found out besides the computer being unstable... it's something in Firefox causing my nvidia drivers to freakout and crash whenever I was browsing and playing a game. I had it finally crash outside the game. I went and installed Chrome and no longer have problems.

    I also reattached my heatsink with some other thermal grease then one it came with, and over clocked the CPU 3.6ghz 1.33vcore and CPU-NB to 2.4ghz 1.214v. Everything else to normal values and left ram @ 9-9-9-24 2T 1600mhz v1.5. No problems now except for Firefox crashing my driver. It's probably a setting I can change somewhere the can fix it, but I'd rather just switch to Chrome anyway, it's 10x faster.

    Ran Prime95 for 5hrs, max temp it reached was 61c, but the thermal grease hasn't set, once it will it will go down a few degrees because it has before. Only reaches 57ish when playing City of Heroes, Streaming and browsing and watching videos at the same time.

    I am happy!
  3. Good to hear.
  4. Well after further analysis, the voltage was unstable I think on the NB-CPU or even on the CPU. I increased the voltage one notch on each and haven't had problems for about 5 days or so. So all good now.
  5. Best answer selected by tehTyrant.
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