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Overclocking AMD Athlon II X40 - System Reco's

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April 27, 2012 4:27:20 PM

Hello All,
My first post in here and am enjoying reading the forums. I currently bought a box that was custom built by another engineer in order to play SWTOR/graphics development. I gave up on MMO's after WoW but here I go again... In order to save money I went with a box that has the specs listed below. I will build an i7 box later this year but don't have the money right now since I'm saving for a surf trip to S. Oaxaca. My system specifics are as follows:

Case - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB - ASUS M4N68T-M V2 AM3 NVIDIA Geforce 7025/nForce 630a Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9S-4GBRL (x2 = 8GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Vid. Card - *don't have the exact info yet, will update when i get the specs*
Nvidia GeForce 550Ti 1GB PCIe 2.0 x 16

HDD - Don't have the specifics on it as I'm at work but it is a 250 GB on Sata II I believe.

SSD - *not purchased yet* Thinking about picking this guy up today:
Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/90G 2.5" 90GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling - *not purchased yet* Zalman has always been good to me so I was thinking about this:
ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - Windows 7 64 bit (with Ubuntu but not DB atm)

Games - SWTOR, WoW, Urban Terror, Q3 Arena (don't hate, still the best FPS ever made, or will be made and you know it)

So to start I would like to overclock my AMD and have not done this in a while. I am reading up on the specifics in various threads on TH but would like to have my own thread and input from you guys. Also, if you have any recommendations on mods to my system shout it out, I'm always down to hear new ideas/suggestions. Thank you for reading/posting!

-REE
April 27, 2012 4:37:33 PM

well my pc could handle wow amazing almost any pc could im gonna say you picked you parts good for what i can tell its actually better what im am using now and i can play on high settings on ever game i play soo yeah.
April 27, 2012 4:41:37 PM

Nice specs for a system you purchased from another owner (that guy knows his stuff). Aside from that you should have no problem overclocking that cpu, however it is a little easier if you choose to go for a Black Edition CPU such as the 955 ( most are on sale now so you'll have no problem finding one for cheap.

I would first start stress testing the system the way it is with certain programs such as BurnIn test (better for Amd systems), Prime95 or SiSandrasoft. Record both the duration and if any errors are apparent.

Once your system is stable at default settings, I would give it a go on the overclock, but mind with an aftermarket cooler.

I'm not really sure on how far you can push that cpu but I think you can clock it to at least 3.3.
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April 27, 2012 4:54:57 PM

Right on, thanks for the tips bro. I added the 4GB of memory and yes he is a graphics developer so he did a good job on the setup which he gave me a good deal on. :) 
I will try the below mentioned stress tests and post the results here when I get home. I listed the aftermarket cooler above that I am thinking about buying. Let me know if you have any suggestions on the Zalman. Thanks again!

zero888 said:
Nice specs for a system you purchased from another owner (that guy knows his stuff). Aside from that you should have no problem overclocking that cpu, however it is a little easier if you choose to go for a Black Edition CPU such as the 955 ( most are on sale now so you'll have no problem finding one for cheap.

I would first start stress testing the system the way it is with certain programs such as BurnIn test (better for Amd systems), Prime95 or SiSandrasoft. Record both the duration and if any errors are apparent.

Once your system is stable at default settings, I would give it a go on the overclock, but mind with an aftermarket cooler.

I'm not really sure on how far you can push that cpu but I think you can clock it to at least 3.3.

April 27, 2012 4:59:05 PM

I blew it on the title for this thread haha, it should read "AMD Athlon II X4 640" sorry about that. *returns engineering degree*
April 27, 2012 5:01:54 PM

Zalman has high reputation when it comes to their products. I currently use the Z9 case and its excellent for the price I paid for it.

Here are some coolers I think you would be interested in:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can't go wrong with any of them, but just make sure it will fit in your case first lol.



a b À AMD
a b K Overclocking
April 27, 2012 5:02:39 PM


Instead of an SSD (which would be a great upgrade), your motherboard is killing you. Spending that $110 on an AM3+ chipset motherboard would help your efforts immensely. There are some great over-clocking boards at that price point.

Otherwise, your sweet spot should be 15x240MHz if you drop the RAMs a notch to 667 (240MHz X 6.67 = 1600MHz). Run your HT at 1600/8x and keep the IMC/NB at 10x.

If you keep your motherboard -- then you will have to run the HT at 4x. I doubt that motherboard has a split power-plane so, good luck with the IMC/NB. You're on your own :lol: 

Clock-for-clock, your Propus quad will run 95% of a PhII with L3 --that ain't too shabby-- and do a great job pushing most any video card you throw at it. And that's what it comes down to - your video card.

At your current price range, the HD6850 looks really good.

April 27, 2012 5:07:05 PM

Wisecracker said:
Instead of an SSD (which would be a great upgrade), your motherboard is killing you. Spending that $110 on an AM3+ chipset motherboard would help your efforts immensely. There are some great over-clocking boards at that price point.

Otherwise, your sweet spot should be 15x240MHz if you drop the RAMs a notch to 667 (240MHz X 6.67 = 1600MHz). Run your HT at 1600/8x and keep the IMC/NB at 10x.

If you keep your motherboard -- then you will have to run the HT at 4x. I doubt that motherboard has a split power-plane so, good luck with the IMC/NB. You're on your own :lol: 

Clock-for-clock, your Propus quad will run 95% of a PhII with L3 --that ain't too shabby-- and do a great job pushing most any video card you throw at it. And that's what it comes down to - your video card.

At your current price range, the HD6850 looks really good.


^^ I second this. I'm just curious to see when AMD plans to release their Trinity cores since those are actually quite interesting.
April 27, 2012 5:29:07 PM

I have yet to design/layout a motherboard PCB so you will have to explain your split power plane comment. I didn't know the layer stack/plane scheme/gerber files were available to the public :p . I'll assume the AM3+ MB is compatible with the AM3 socket...will read up on your MB reco, thank you.


Wisecracker said:
Instead of an SSD (which would be a great upgrade), your motherboard is killing you. Spending that $110 on an AM3+ chipset motherboard would help your efforts immensely. There are some great over-clocking boards at that price point.

Otherwise, your sweet spot should be 15x240MHz if you drop the RAMs a notch to 667 (240MHz X 6.67 = 1600MHz). Run your HT at 1600/8x and keep the IMC/NB at 10x.

If you keep your motherboard -- then you will have to run the HT at 4x. I doubt that motherboard has a split power-plane so, good luck with the IMC/NB. You're on your own :lol: 

Clock-for-clock, your Propus quad will run 95% of a PhII with L3 --that ain't too shabby-- and do a great job pushing most any video card you throw at it. And that's what it comes down to - your video card.

At your current price range, the HD6850 looks really good.

a b À AMD
a b K Overclocking
April 27, 2012 7:45:24 PM


robertEE said:
I have yet to design/layout a motherboard PCB so you will have to explain your split power plane comment. I didn't know the layer stack/plane scheme/gerber files were available to the public :p . I'll assume the AM3+ MB is compatible with the AM3 socket...will read up on your MB reco, thank you.


Your nVidia Geforce 7025/nForce 630a is essentially a 2007 refresh of a much earlier motherboard design so you are dependent upon 2005 ideas in a 2012 world. nVidia did a decent job bolting-on what they could, but AM3 pushed them even further behind.

On an AMD AM3 chipset the power to your CPU is split. Not only can you adjust 'CPU-core' voltage, you may also adjust IMC (integrated memory controller) voltage. Your HT is also yee old original HT, or HyperTransport at 1000MHz. The 'hubs' of the 7025/630a were actually considered a backstep from the 61XX/430 days.

When you roll everything together, it generally means performance over-clocking is a bear and will struggle to get anywhere close to a more modern AM3 (or AM3+) motherboard (when tweaked, at nearly twice the memory bandwidth and half the latency of the 7025).

In a lot of applications it wouldn't matter, but in gaming it makes a big difference -- as probably would going with the HD6850 over a 550ti.

A HD6870 or even a HD6950 or 560ti would be even better, because for the most part, it's the video card that drives resolution and frames.



April 27, 2012 8:21:26 PM

Thank you for another epic post. I was thinking about the following to replace my current MB:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would SLI be a good option here? Or would you recommend waiting until I build the i7 system? I probably will not go for a new vid card as of yet.

Wisecracker said:
Your nVidia Geforce 7025/nForce 630a is essentially a 2007 refresh of a much earlier motherboard design so you are dependent upon 2005 ideas in a 2012 world. nVidia did a decent job bolting-on what they could, but AM3 pushed them even further behind.

On an AMD AM3 chipset the power to your CPU is split. Not only can you adjust 'CPU-core' voltage, you may also adjust IMC (integrated memory controller) voltage. Your HT is also yee old original HT, or HyperTransport at 1000MHz. The 'hubs' of the 7025/630a were actually considered a backstep from the 61XX/430 days.

When you roll everything together, it generally means performance over-clocking is a bear and will struggle to get anywhere close to a more modern AM3 (or AM3+) motherboard (when tweaked, at nearly twice the memory bandwidth and half the latency of the 7025).

In a lot of applications it wouldn't matter, but in gaming it makes a big difference -- as probably would going with the HD6850 over a 550ti.

A HD6870 or even a HD6950 or 560ti would be even better, because for the most part, it's the video card that drives resolution and frames.
a b À AMD
a b K Overclocking
April 28, 2012 1:39:52 AM


The GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX is only $5 more if you wanna wear the big boy pants :lol:  Either will CrossFire/SLI, the FX at x16/x16. Those are quality performance boards but you have to keep your volts down. They will bring some juice.

I prefer single-card depending upon the 'multiple cards' you might be using. An HD6850 CrossFire would be killer, and work great with your TX650.




!