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Regarding CPU overclocking

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February 28, 2012 4:06:13 PM

Hello

I would like to give overclocking a try, but i do not have any experience in it.


My system is:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE
GPU: XFX HD5850 BE
MB: AM3 GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P 790FX
RAM: 4096 MB DDR3 PC3-10666 CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 1333
PSU: 750W CORSAIR TX SERIES ATX2.2
SSD: Kingston HyperX 120GB
HDD: 500GB Samsung SpinPoint F3 Desktop Class HD502HJ-50


I saw some videos of people OCing their CPU with AMD Overdrive and some only with BIOS. Any suggestions on how i should tackle this, i think using AMD Overdrive seems like the easy way, but i dont know for sure.

Ive seen people OC their 955's to 4.0 - 4.1 GHz, would i be able to do the same? i am currently using the stock CPU cooler, but thinking of getting the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 or perhaps the Scythe Mugen 2.


I am from Denmark the prices for me are:

33$ Cooler Master Hyper TX3
72$ Scythe Mugen 2


Im open to other CPU cooler suggestions aswell but ive read so much good stuff about the Cooler Master Hyper TX3.




Any help would be appreciated

More about : cpu overclocking

a c 78 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 5:14:33 PM

I think your CPU has an unlocked multiplier, it should be easy to overclock by just bumping your multiplier in the BIOS, you may also need to bump your voltage if you really push it. But you can probably leave your voltage in "auto".

I have the TX3 with a second fan. It's better than the stock cooler, but if you have the space in your case, I would get something like the Hyper 212 or the Scythe Mugen 2 you listed.

Many people recommend not OC's with AMD overdrive, but it's still a usefull program for monitoring your core temps while you stress-test your overclocked CPU. I used 55C for my cut-off point when I overclocked my 1045t.
February 28, 2012 5:33:06 PM

Z1NONLY said:
I think your CPU has an unlocked multiplier, it should be easy to overclock by just bumping your multiplier in the BIOS, you may also need to bump your voltage if you really push it. But you can probably leave your voltage in "auto".

I have the TX3 with a second fan. It's better than the stock cooler, but if you have the space in your case, I would get something like the Hyper 212 or the Scythe Mugen 2 you listed.

Many people recommend not OC's with AMD overdrive, but it's still a usefull program for monitoring your core temps while you stress-test your overclocked CPU. I used 55C for my cut-off point when I overclocked my 1045t.


Thanks for the quick response.

Could you go a little bit more indepth with how i should tackle the OC process regarding how much i should bump the multiplier and adjust the voltage? and what about using AMD Overdrive? it really seems easy to OC that way, but again im not sure if its better in BIOS.


My case is a Antec 300, so i think there is enough space for the Scythe cooler, ive read that you have to dismount your motherboard before you can apply the Hyper 212 and i really cba to do that.

Do you recommend other alternatives to CPU coolers?
Related resources
February 28, 2012 5:59:17 PM

Ive noticed the Scythe Yasya is doing well also, and i think i will go with that instead :) 
a c 78 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 6:01:36 PM

I would be surprised if you didn't have to remove your MB for any large CPU cooler. The reason you have to do that is so you can install a back plate to support the added weight of the cooler.

When you start up your computer, you can enter your BIOS. With my Gigabyte motherboard, I just keep hitting the "delete" key.

Once in the BIOS you should be able to find the CPU's multiplier. On my board, it's in the "MB intelligent tweaker" option. Yours my call it something different, but look around until you find your CPU multiplier.

I think it's called "CPU clock ratio" on my board. Once you select that you should be able to see the current multiplier and then select a higher one.

I would take small steps, so maybe just move the multiplier up by one or two steps.

Then select "save and exit" (F10 on my board) and the computer will reboot with your new settings.

Your motherboard will probably increase your CPU V-core voltage automatically as you increase your clock speed with the multiplier. Download CPU-Z to monitor your clock speed and other variables (Like your CPU's voltage). Then use something like AMD Overdrive to monitor your core temps. You will also need a program to "stress" your system and test for stability and max temps. I use prime95.

If you get errors when running Prime95 or the "blue screen of death" AKA BSOD, you have stability problems and need to either lower the multiplier to slow down your CPU, add some V-core voltage, or both.

If your core temps get too hot (AMD says max operating temp is something like 61C, but I prefer staying under 55C) you need to lower your multiplier and/or you V-core voltage. (or improve your cooling system)

If you let your temps get too high, the heat itself can cause instability and BSOD on you. It's important to watch your temps so you have an idea of why you are getting instability.

Instability with good temps >>>> bump voltage

Instability with high temps >>>>> lower voltage and/or multiplier or improve your cooling system.
February 28, 2012 6:19:08 PM

Z1NONLY said:
I would be surprised if you didn't have to remove your MB for any large CPU cooler. The reason you have to do that is so you can install a back plate to support the added weight of the cooler.

When you start up your computer, you can enter your BIOS. With my Gigabyte motherboard, I just keep hitting the "delete" key.

Once in the BIOS you should be able to find the CPU's multiplier. On my board, it's in the "MB intelligent tweaker" option. Yours my call it something different, but look around until you find your CPU multiplier.

I think it's called "CPU clock ratio" on my board. Once you select that you should be able to see the current multiplier and then select a higher one.

I would take small steps, so maybe just move the multiplier up by one or two steps.

Then select "save and exit" (F10 on my board) and the computer will reboot with your new settings.

Your motherboard will probably increase your CPU V-core voltage automatically as you increase your clock speed with the multiplier. Download CPU-Z to monitor your clock speed and other variables (Like your CPU's voltage). Then use something like AMD Overdrive to monitor your core temps. You will also need a program to "stress" your system and test for stability and max temps. I use prime95.

If you get errors when running Prime95 or the "blue screen of death" AKA BSOD, you have stability problems and need to either lower the multiplier to slow down your CPU, add some V-core voltage, or both.

If your core temps get too hot (AMD says max operating temp is something like 61C, but I prefer staying under 55C) you need to lower your multiplier and/or you V-core voltage. (or improve your cooling system)

If you let your temps get too high, the heat itself can cause instability and BSOD on you. It's important to watch your temps so you have an idea of why you are getting instability.

Instability with good temps >>>> bump voltage

Instability with high temps >>>>> lower voltage and/or multiplier or improve your cooling system.



Again, thanks for your informative post, i will consider this. But what about just using AMD Overdrive to OC, and not BIOS, is that a bad idea?
a c 78 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 6:32:58 PM

I have heard that using software to OC isn't stable. With an unlocked multiplier, BIOS overclocking should be very easy.

I have AMD Overdrive and looked around the software. It really looks like "the hard way" to do it compared to using the BIOS. And I have a chip with a locked multiplier.

When you use the BIOS with an unlocked CPU, you only have to change one or two variables and you know exactly what variables you changed.
a c 78 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 7:28:40 PM

I don't think hit or miss is a good way to describe BIOS overclocking.

When done right, it's more of a systematic search for the limits of your equipment.

A BSOD is just an indication that you have pushed up against your equipments limits with your current settings. (and it's time to back up one step, or make some other adjustment)
February 28, 2012 9:22:25 PM

^This. Overclocking should be done by a process of elimination IMO. You find the max safe and stable limit that you are comfortable with for, say, the RAM frequency while keeping all other values at stock or a known stable setting, and stress test to ensure stability. Then move on to the NB, or CPU, etc. once you have found the limit. That way if you change something and you find your system is no longer stable you know exactly what caused it and know how to fix it...by either lowering the frequency or raising the voltage for that one particular thing you changed. The guide anort linked to is a must-read.

I have never used software to overclock myself, but from what I understand it can change multiple things and you can end up with an OC that may or may not be fully stable or with values which may or may not be able to be safely pushed even further.

I used to use Prime95 for stability testing but now I prefer LinX. When I first tried LinX I got a BSOD within 20 minutes even though with that same configuration I was able to pass Prime95 testing for 8 hours. I also like the fact that it gives your CPU a break and lets it cool down for a half a minute or so in between runs. I set it to use "all" available memory and let it run for 2 hours to be fully assured of stability. Also it doubles as a benchmark to gauge the difference in performance of various configurations by reporting the GFLOPs of each run.

While stability testing the general consensus for that CPU is to keep it below 55°C as anything higher is getting into the danger zone and could shorten the lifespan of your CPU. I'd recommend the Coolermaster Hyper 212+. It's about as good as any other air cooling but without the matching price tag of some of them. If you are going to overclock with the stock cooler I wouldn't recommend very much if any CPU voltage increase. But go nuts with the frequency it won't hurt anything.
March 1, 2012 5:59:57 PM

bardacuda said:
^This. Overclocking should be done by a process of elimination IMO. You find the max safe and stable limit that you are comfortable with for, say, the RAM frequency while keeping all other values at stock or a known stable setting, and stress test to ensure stability. Then move on to the NB, or CPU, etc. once you have found the limit. That way if you change something and you find your system is no longer stable you know exactly what caused it and know how to fix it...by either lowering the frequency or raising the voltage for that one particular thing you changed. The guide anort linked to is a must-read.

I have never used software to overclock myself, but from what I understand it can change multiple things and you can end up with an OC that may or may not be fully stable or with values which may or may not be able to be safely pushed even further.

I used to use Prime95 for stability testing but now I prefer LinX. When I first tried LinX I got a BSOD within 20 minutes even though with that same configuration I was able to pass Prime95 testing for 8 hours. I also like the fact that it gives your CPU a break and lets it cool down for a half a minute or so in between runs. I set it to use "all" available memory and let it run for 2 hours to be fully assured of stability. Also it doubles as a benchmark to gauge the difference in performance of various configurations by reporting the GFLOPs of each run.

While stability testing the general consensus for that CPU is to keep it below 55°C as anything higher is getting into the danger zone and could shorten the lifespan of your CPU. I'd recommend the Coolermaster Hyper 212+. It's about as good as any other air cooling but without the matching price tag of some of them. If you are going to overclock with the stock cooler I wouldn't recommend very much if any CPU voltage increase. But go nuts with the frequency it won't hurt anything.


Thanks for the wise words, i really appreciate you guys helping me out.

I have decided to go with the Scythe Yasya and im gonna try out overclocking within the BIOS, although i need to read up a bit more on how to do it :) 
March 1, 2012 6:47:25 PM

Z1NONLY said:
I have heard that using software to OC isn't stable. With an unlocked multiplier, BIOS overclocking should be very easy.

I have AMD Overdrive and looked around the software. It really looks like "the hard way" to do it compared to using the BIOS. And I have a chip with a locked multiplier.

When you use the BIOS with an unlocked CPU, you only have to change one or two variables and you know exactly what variables you changed.


So its also called MB Intelligent Tweaker in my BIOS, just to double check i took some pictures of what i should be adjusting:

CPU Clock Ratio
http://imgur.com/HeGLA

and

System Voltage Control
http://imgur.com/Tkx0C


I guess these two are the main things to focus on, as you described earlier, it really seems very easy, wont i need to tweak other settings aswell?
March 1, 2012 6:51:19 PM

Oh and i forgot to ask how long i need to run these stress tests inbetween multiplier raises for? it really sounds like a long process with all the stress tests ;) 
March 1, 2012 7:06:24 PM

If you are only overclocking the CPU then, yes, you only need to adjust CPU Clock Ratio, and after setting System Voltage Control to "Manual" you will need to adjust CPU Voltage Control.

kersh said:
Oh and i forgot to ask how long i need to run these stress tests inbetween multiplier raises for? it really sounds like a long process with all the stress tests ;) 


That's a good question and you kind of have to get a feel for it.
I'd say run it for 5 or 10 minutes as a quick check after changing something to see if you get a BSOD. If not then you have a system that may be stable or close to stable. Then you could try pushing it a little further until you do get a BSOD or data error and at that point you know you will either have to back off the frequency or raise the voltage. When you reach a configuration that you believe is stable and are satisfied with then you'll want to do a full blown 2-3 hour LinX run or 8+ hour Prime95 run.
a c 78 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
March 1, 2012 8:40:40 PM

kersh said:
Oh and i forgot to ask how long i need to run these stress tests inbetween multiplier raises for? it really sounds like a long process with all the stress tests ;) 


In order to get into the "stable" AMD Overclocking club, they want you to run 2 hours of prime 95, but that's just a number they picked in that thread.

I would say at least an hour to find max temps.
a c 227 à CPUs
a c 105 K Overclocking
March 2, 2012 12:00:13 AM

I run Prime 95 8 to 10 hours to be sure an overclock is stable.
March 2, 2012 3:40:59 PM

So i began overclocking and am currently on 3,8Ghz with 1.3250 (says in amd overdrive) 1.392 (says in cpu-z)

and i used prime95 for almost an hour to stress test until i got a fail message on worker 1, which is the core 1 i believe?

http://i.imgur.com/bz4w2.jpg


What do i need to do now? is it impossible for me to go higher?

I also installed my scythe yasya cooler before i began to oc.
March 2, 2012 3:41:37 PM

Oh and my temperature was 55,5 - 56 during that test.
a c 227 à CPUs
a c 105 K Overclocking
March 2, 2012 4:00:01 PM

Temps are still good so up the voltage and see if that gets you stable.
March 2, 2012 5:31:09 PM

anort3 said:
Temps are still good so up the voltage and see if that gets you stable.


Alright i ran the prime95 test for 1hr with 3.8Ghz at 1.325 V (in amd overdrive) / 1.424 V (in cpu-z) at 56,5c - 58c, but i just set my 2 case fans to max speed so i think ill get more cooling now.

http://i.imgur.com/haWh7.jpg


Why is it that cpu-z shows a higher voltage than amd overdrive? should i continue to OC? or is this the limit.

March 2, 2012 8:15:24 PM

Max temp for that CPU is 55-62°C so I wouldn't recommend allowing it to go above 55. Prolonged use at those temps could damage or shorten the lifespan of your CPU.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - HDZ965FBK4DGM (HDZ965FBGMBOX)

Quote:
Electrical/Thermal parameters
V core 0.825V - 1.4V
Maximum operating temperature 55°C - 62°C
Thermal Design Power 125 Watt


Go with what CPU-Z reports for your voltage. You should probably just try and clock as high as you can with the stock voltage until you get an aftermarket cooler.
March 2, 2012 8:47:08 PM

bardacuda said:
Max temp for that CPU is 55-62°C so I wouldn't recommend allowing it to go above 55. Prolonged use at those temps could damage or shorten the lifespan of your CPU.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - HDZ965FBK4DGM (HDZ965FBGMBOX)

Quote:
Electrical/Thermal parameters
V core 0.825V - 1.4V
Maximum operating temperature 55°C - 62°C
Thermal Design Power 125 Watt


Go with what CPU-Z reports for your voltage. You should probably just try and clock as high as you can with the stock voltage until you get an aftermarket cooler.



Ive played around with the settings for awhile now and 3.8Ghz 1.424V with 52 - 57c in prime95 seems stable, altough i havent touched the CPU/NB Frequency and CBU/NB Voltage, so i dont know if i fully optimized the OC, im a little confused about the CPU/NB frequency and voltage settings, if someone can explain? :) 
March 2, 2012 8:48:00 PM

And btw, my CPU is a 955 Black Edition not 965
a c 78 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
March 2, 2012 9:35:49 PM

Temps are a little high for my tastes.

You may want to try 3.7 and lower the voltage just a notch. Or look into a better CPU cooler.
March 2, 2012 9:54:51 PM

kersh said:
And btw, my CPU is a 955 Black Edition not 965


Oops my bad. Still though the thermal specs are the same, so going over 55° is not recommended:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - HDZ955FBK4DGI (HDZ955FBGIBOX)

NB = North Bridge....It is the link between the CPU and the RAM. Overclocking this and also the RAM itself will give you a little boost though it's fairly negligible compared to raising the CPU frequency unless you are running very memory-intensive applications.
March 3, 2012 6:57:57 AM

Z1NONLY said:
Temps are a little high for my tastes.

You may want to try 3.7 and lower the voltage just a notch. Or look into a better CPU cooler.




So i tested again with my case fans turned on max speed.

3.8Ghz 1.424V 51c - 54c in prime95 for 9.30 hours, i would consider this stable?
March 3, 2012 6:58:56 AM

Idle temp is 37c - 41c
March 3, 2012 11:04:06 AM

bardacuda said:
That seems pretty high for an idle temp.....what's your room temperature?

Over 9 hours of Prime with no workers stopping is considered stable for 99% of people.

EDIT: OK 58% of people...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/273073-29-when-call-s...


I dont know what my room temperature is, but i would guess normal? its not too hot or cold lol


Anyways i ran prime95 for 9½ hrs, and i think its safe to call it stable, before i put the scythe yasya on my cpu i had 45-50c idle temps and 80-90c while gaming, with the stock cooler, so im pretty happy with these new results and on top with OC to 3.8Ghz, i think this is the "sweetspot" for me but im not 100% sure :)  but im satisfied.
March 3, 2012 11:33:54 AM

Wow that's crazy high temps! 80-90°C? You're lucky your CPU is still alive. 54°C while running Prime95 is ok but I wouldn't recommend going any higher than that.
March 3, 2012 3:02:49 PM

bardacuda said:
Wow that's crazy high temps! 80-90°C? You're lucky your CPU is still alive. 54°C while running Prime95 is ok but I wouldn't recommend going any higher than that.



Ye it was that high and i almost had this pc for 2 years now, i thought i was normal lol but i got huge improvements with the scythe yasya :) 
!