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Phenom II X4 965 overclocking help

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June 22, 2012 8:35:21 AM

Hi, I'm trying to overclock my Phenom 2 X4 965, I want to get it from it's stock 3.4 to 3.8 GHz.
Since this is my first CPU overclock, I've been researching around. So far I've found out that people recommend overclocking through the BIOS, not to get my voltage over 1.4v and keep temperatures under 60C with the overclock under full load.
But here's the problem, I'm not allowed to change the voltage in my BIOS, which I'm very certain I need to change in order to get the 3.8 GHz stable overclock that I want. As you can see on the pictures below, the voltages are just "grayed" out, and I'm not allowed to change them:

Default BIOS screen:


Inside the Cell Menu:




Does anyone have any idea of why I'm not allowed to change these?

Sadly, I'm not 100% certain what exact motherboard I have, so I can't give you guys that information ATM. But in terms of my other PC specs:
AMD Phenom 2 X4 965 - CPU
Cooler Master 212 Evo - CPU COOLER
Gainward GTX 560 Ti - GPU
2*4G Corsair Vengeance CL7 - RAM
500GB Green WD HDD - BOOT DRIVE
NZXT Beta - PC TOWER (It's an older version, with a top mounted Powersupply)
My powersupply is some sort of Corsair one, as with the motherboard I'm not 100% sure of the model
June 22, 2012 8:52:35 AM

Can't edit my previous post, So I'll just post it here.
I'm starting to remember that my power supply is something the likes Corsair 550W, but not 100% sure still. The only thing I'm sure of, is that it's a Corsair one.
June 22, 2012 11:48:37 AM

Quote:
YOU DO NOT WANT TO MESS WITH YOUR VOLTAGE
for only a .4GHz jump and you have a BE (edition) processor.
:non: 

now if your version is NOT the BE then my bad and yes you do have to hit the voltage as well.

Alright, I'm fairly certain that I have a BE processor, since it will actually allow me to increase the multiplier and boot up into windows.

So I tried to follow your instructions, and set the multiplier/ratio to x19, which gives me the 3.8 GHz that I want. I also checked the specific items were enabled, and made sure that the min CPU fan % was 62.5%. I then saved the settings and rebooted. It booted up into windows instantly, no problems.
I then proceeded to do my stability tests, which for me first of all is 15mins of Prime95 Blend test. I checked the temperatures while the test was running, they never got over 57C. But after about 5 mins, the computer crashed, and I got this blue screen:


I'm not very familiar with blue screens, so I do not know what the problem was exactly. But after a quick search it seems it means there was a hardware problem somewhere. After what I remember from my pre-overclocking research, I think it was caused by the RAM. I read multiple times that RAM speed could be an issue when overclocking.

But what do you think was the problem, and what can I do to get the overclock stable?

PS: I haven't installed any new hardware lately, except for my new RAM about 2-3 or so months ago. But I have never gotten a blue screen until now.
Related resources
June 22, 2012 12:15:32 PM

Quote:
what is your current RAM.?
the temps and the CPU overclock seem fine.

My current Rams are:
2*4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz CL7

Or more exact:
Corsair CMZ5GX3M2X1600C7
June 22, 2012 12:20:34 PM

Quote:
is it set to run @ 1600MHz or default 1333MHz.?

When I got them I changed it to run at 1600MHz, since that was what the box set they should run at. Should I try and tune it down to 1333?
June 22, 2012 1:03:37 PM

Quote:
yes, default them back to 1333 and then see if your clock @ 3.8GHz remains stable.
if so then we will go back to the RAM afterwards.

Alright, so I changed the RAM speed to 1333, and the system booted up just fine. I then proceeded with my 15min Prime95 Blend test. This time, my computer got through it with the CPU temperatures never getting above 58. (The maximum which it hit a few times was 58, most of the time it was 57)
I then tried my second stability test. This test is where I run the same Prime95 test, but also run Furmark burn-in test. Basically to test my system at 100% load, to see if it's stable.
The computer got a blue screen, sadly I was stupid enough to not take a picture of it this time. But as far as I remember, it was the same number as the other blue screen.

So what does this mean?
June 22, 2012 1:16:34 PM


Hmm, this is weird. The BlueScreenViewer can't find any blue screens to view?
I've tried running it as admin too, nothing comes up.

PS: I might add that I tried the Furmark/Prime95 benchmark one more time, this time I ran Furmark at a "lower" setting, thinking that it was the extremeness that coursed the crash. I also turned off my GPU overclock, which I know is stable, and closed Afterburner so the fan on the GPU would run stock. This made my PC still crash, though after longer then the original test, but this time the blue screen was only there for a few seconds, before the PC shutdown. This time the CPU also went up to a maximum of 61C, I was just about to turn of the test myself when it crashed.
Just thought it would be a good idea to tell you.
June 22, 2012 2:07:53 PM

Quote:
tell me more about this power supply, find some details..

Alright, I opened up my case, and found out the name: Corsair VX 550W Powersupply
I searched it and found this Corsair.com page "http://www.corsair.com/vx550w.html", sadly it's in german, but it looks like my powersupply, so I think it's that one.
June 22, 2012 2:18:58 PM

Quote:
just a translated page in English, that's all.

Fair enough :) 
But is it good enough for trying to run this type of overclock, like did this information help you determine what the problem is? (In terms of my instability)
June 22, 2012 2:32:19 PM

I didn't know what part exactly you wanted to see, so I took 3 screenshots:

June 22, 2012 2:41:58 PM

Here you go, the other one is in slot #4 and is 100% alike:

June 22, 2012 2:56:38 PM

Quote:
xmp-1600
we want those EXACT settings in the BIOS DRAM configuration.

first update the BIOS.

I've never flashed a BIOS before, so I have a few questions:

1. What would it help to flash the BIOS?
2. Could anything break/not work anymore if I flash the BIOS?
3. If I want to flash, should I follow this guide (http://www.msi.com/pic/faq/faq_20120607091116.pdf)?
3,1. Should I use the MSI Live Update 5 to update instead?

I'll have to be honest, this CPU overclocking business is a lot more difficult then what I was expecting, and I need to do more stuff then I thought I did. Are the 400 MHz extra really worth all of this work?
June 22, 2012 3:29:21 PM

Quote:
it is a noticeable difference...

flashing the BIOS gives the BIOS the latest updates and enhancements.
if the BIOS is done correctly then no worries but there is also a recovery process.
I follow the guide.

Alright, but what stuff do I actually want to install?
If I use the Live Update 5 tool, it says there's a BIOS update, and 3 driver updates for my chipset. Do I want to only update the BIOS or also install the driver updates?
Driver updates include:
AMD Chipset Drivers
Realtek PCIE Networks Driver
Realtek HD Audio Driver

And before you answer this, I just want to say thank you very much for helping me with this :) 
June 22, 2012 3:48:03 PM

Quote:
ALL.!

Alright, one final question before I start to flash my board. Through the Live Update 5 tool, I can choose to download and install the updates (including flashing the BIOS). Should I do this, it starts up what looks like a windows installer, or should I follow the USB guide?
June 22, 2012 4:19:34 PM

Quote:
go with the 'windows installer' Update Tool.
tell me how the process goes and if you like it.

thanks.

I just finished flashing the BIOS. It updated from version 1.9.0 to 1.F.0.
It was a VERY simple process, all I did was do a scan for updates in the program and it found all different kinds of MB BIOS/driver updates, VGA BIOS/Drivers (didn't give any so either it was not compatible with my card, or it already had the newest) and different pieces of software that I might want.
I recommend choosing manual scan, and choose what type of software you want updated, so it doesn't find things you don't want.
Then all I did was click the download and install button for the MB BIOS. I then choose where I wanted to save the temporary files for the install, and downloaded it.
When it was finished with the download, a windows installer window opened. There It told me to close down any unused programs, and disable flash protection on my MB. when I clicked next, it gave me the option to either do it in DOS with a USB drive, or in windows mode. I choose windows.
It then told me some programs had to be closed, and I closed them. Then the installer began. (On my command of course) It opened up what looked like a CMD window, and began printing text I didn't understand.
After about 2-3 minutes, the said "press any key". I did that, and the PC shutdown, and started back up, with the new BIOS. I then went into the setup, and set it up like it was before I started doing any overclocking stuff on it.
Then it was as simple as saving and exiting the setup, and here I am back online working on my PC.

All in all I'll have to say it was a very easy process. I was scared about flashing with a USB drive, but this software took care of everything, and as far as I know, flashed a new version of my BIOS onto my MB.

Now I'll start installing the different drivers it also had suggested.

PS: Sorry for the long response, I just thought you might want to hear it in detail :) 
June 22, 2012 5:04:17 PM

Alright, so what's my next step. Is it trying to do the overclock again or what?
June 22, 2012 6:59:24 PM

Alright, I applied the overclock, and increased the min CPU fan to 75%, to get better cooling.
Sadly though, after about 17mins of Prime95 Blend test, the PC crashed. Even more sad, I was not looking at the PC when it crashed, I only saw the MB splash start up thing.
So where do I go from here?
June 22, 2012 7:13:23 PM

Quote:
wow, this is crazy.
gotta think about this because I'm not sure why this is happening.

running your RAM @ 1333MHZ.?

No, I was running it @ 1600MHz. I'll try and lower it and do my test again.
June 22, 2012 7:27:35 PM

Quote:
default it and do not just lower it.

What do you mean by defaulting it, does that mean I should set it to auto?
But I've already tried running it @ 1333, the PC crashed after only 3 or so mins of running Prime95. I got this blue screen:
June 22, 2012 7:48:48 PM

Quote:
how old is this install of the OS and how many times have you installed multiple drivers on top of drivers.?

HDD, wanting to test HDD, do you have another.?
maybe even perform a fresh install of the OS meaning a formatting of HDD and then install of OS.
this can be done with the other HDD if available.

This OS install is very old I think. At least a couple of years. I'm running Vista Home Premium 64bit. In terms of drivers, I think I always just install the newest driver, not a fresh install. For example with my NVIDIA drivers, I always just install the newest one over the previous.
As of another HDD, I don't have one, and I don't think I have any install disk that I can use to reinstall the OS. (I'm very possibly getting Windows 7 soon, within 1-2 weeks)
But to be honest, I'm almost about to give up at this point, I'm been trying to get this to work all day, with your very helpful help, and I still haven't gotten anything that's been stable.
June 22, 2012 8:02:15 PM

Quote:
I'm thinking you need to reformat and perform a clean install of the OS....
seriously.

where are you located, in the US.?

No, I live in Denmark in Europe. But if to continue I have to reformat and do a clean install of my OS, I'll just lay down this CPU overclocking business. Maybe I'll try it again some day, but for now I'll just use my stock CPU speeds.
So I want to say thank you VERY MUCH for helping me trying to overclock my CPU. You've been very helpful, and have answered any question I had. So thank you tons for your time, I really appreciate it :) 
August 30, 2012 8:59:32 PM

Quote:
let me know when you want to try it again.
it was no problem.

and if you want a windows 7 copy even though it will take weeks to get there just PM me your contact info.

cheers.

Hi, I just thought it could be a nice idea to give you a heads up on what's been going on.
I now have Windows 7 installed on my PC, and I decided to try out the overclocking thing again. So I started out by overclocking to 3,6GHz, by increasing the multiplier. This resulted in a very stable OC (lasted through 12 hours of Prime95 blend test) and a 6,3% CPU scored increase in 3DMark vantage by Futuremark. Temps never went above 54 C.
I then proceeded to try and do a 3,8GHz OC, by increasing the multiplier. This resulted in my PC crashing about 15 seconds into the first CPU test of the vantage program. So I concluded that it was NOT stable for anything.
So My overall conclusion, is that the biggest OC I will probably get, is either 3,6 or maybe 3,7. If I want it to be stable.

I just thought I'd let you know, I'm ATM running with my 3,6GHz overclock without problems, although I still haven't tested out gaming yet.
!