Phenom II X4 940, overclocking questions

So I have the 940, currently I'm running at stock speed. I've never really overclocked before, but I do know that this CPU is a great for it. I'm just kind of a novice when it comes to overclocking. I'm currently reading through many guides so that I will actually know what I'm doing should I go ahead and overclock. I use my computer for gaming, and web browsing. So what I would like to know, will overclocking even make a difference in my games? If not, then I'd rather not even bother with it to keep power consumption down. If it will give me a significant boost though, I'd like to. I've read that around 3.6 can be safely achieved on the stock fan, that seems like a great increase but is it worth it for me if I'm just going to be playing games such as Call of Duty,Crysis, Mass Effect? Any help is greatly appreciated :)
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More about phenom overclocking questions
  1. First off, what cooler are you using? The 940 is a pretty powerful (in both senses) chip, and a moderate OC will definitely need good cooling.
  2. I'm using the stock fan and heatsink. Every review and article I have read said that it was sufficient in keeping the 940 cool when overclocked up to around 3.6 GHz. I just want to know if going above 3.0GHz will give me a boost in gaming, and if so a large or a small. If say it only gets me 5 or 10 more fps, it won't really be worth it for me to overclock.
  3. What GPU do you have? It also depends on the game, resolution, etc. (whether CPU or GPU bound).
  4. Yeah, I agree with ext64 it really depends on what you are after. Most enthusiasts do it for the same reason a climber go up a mountain-because they can. We (Toms people) all pretty much have machines that can run anything at stock speeds.

    Its really about getting the most for your investment, and a little about bragging rights I suppose. :D
    If you are on the fence, then it may not be the best idea for you. But the graphics and cpu manufacturers are making overclocking a cinch these days.

    I recommend you download the latest version of AMD overdrive. play with adjusting the multiplier. run a benchmark like 3dmark06 or vantage first, then see how it improves after cranking it up a bit. Use the benchmark in AOD to check between tweeks. Use the stress test to see how your temps look under load. Then decide if you want to pursue further.
  5. Oh yeah, if you do become serious about oc'ing your rig, get an aftermarket HS like the Xigmatek 1283, or soemthing even better if REALLY serious!
  6. Also, I'd be a little nervous using the stock cooler for much more than stock. It is a decent cooler, but that is a lot of power for it to dissipate. If you do go that route, monitor temps very carefully. If it starts creeping into the high 50's (C), abort.
  7. Thanks for all of the responses, I now have my answer. I found a great article about the 940 that went in depth of how well it overclocks. They ran a good number of benchmarks, heat and power consumption tests. In games the improvements were marginal, so I won't be overclocking. It's just not worth it to get a small boost yet increase the heat my CPU puts out and pull more power.
  8. if you keep the v's down then you wont produce too much more heat or consume much more power

    for games its more video card then cpu unless its a few select games like GTA4 etc
  9. One fun thing I did instead was undervolt. It easily went from 1.35V to 1.25V (and probably could have gone farther) which effectively made it a 95W part. However, if you do this you have to disable cool n quiet, so if you idle your computer a lot this will probably consume more power. For me it is mostly gaming, so it would be running at max normally anyway (and it was fun to do).
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