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My first time OCing: Phenom II x4 955 (c2)

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July 28, 2012 6:07:26 PM

Okay, so this is my first time overclocking. I have an AMD Phenom II x4 955BE C2. I have heard that the C2 stepping kind of sucks for OCing but his is what I've managed (or basically all I've tried so far based on what I've seen my chip would be capable of, most people said higher than 3.6 is a pain):

3.6GHz clock set with the BE multiplier, not the FSB
2200MHz on the NB
Stock 1.35v on cpu
Stock 1.1v (I think it was) on NB

I ran this in Prime 95 for 45 minutes (was going for an hour but prime 95 stopped itself for some reason, does this mean the cpu made a miscalculation or is unstable?) with a maximum temperature of 48C with an ambient room temperature of ~25C.

Is this good? Any recommendations on how to improve my OC? I didn't mess with voltages because I'd prefer not to if that would decrease the lifespan of my chip. But I wouldn't mind a slight OC of the voltages if it would give a big payout in clocks.

Also, slightly unrelated, would this OC bottleneck a 7850 at 1600x900? A little or a lot? Basically the only reason I'm OCing is to get the most out of a new gpu when I buy it, too poor to get a new cpu and mobo along with it. ><

Edit: After doing some research I figured out that something messed up in prime95, either my cpu or ram(it was a rounding error if that helps), didn't realize I was doing a blend test of both. Shouldn't be ram though because I just did 4 passes of memtest86+ on it last night after lowering the timings from 9-9-9-24 to 8-8-8-24.

More about : time ocing phenom 955

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July 28, 2012 7:08:17 PM
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If in prime you received a fatal error or such on a core(s) then yes it probably is not all that stable.

Looks good, in my preference just leave everything stock, except for the multiplier and vcore (cpu voltage). I wouldn't leave the cpu voltage stock unless you have to because the lower the v the less temperature. Try and get it as low as you can and until it is stable. This will decrease temps, even though your temps on max load already seem very good.

Bottlenecks can occur either way. Basically what it means is that the slowest component determines the final performance in a certain application.

In gaming, for example, the GPU is the most important part. However, if you have a high-end GPU with a low-end CPU, the CPU simply can't keep up, and the CPU is the part that determines the final performance. Other way around, when you have a high-end CPU and low-end GPU, the GPU is the bottleneck.

Now, at any kind of reasonable resolution (1680 x 1050 and up), CPU bottlenecks are rare.


July 28, 2012 7:28:29 PM

Thanks for your input! So you're saying leave the NB frequency stock? For some reason it seemed like I got errors much sooner when I do that. Anyone got any information on this or if its just in my head?

And yeah, I was using stock voltage, I just bumped it up by +0.025 because the errors probably weren't my ram. Because I loosened the timings to 9-9-9-24 and still got errors after around 50 minutes. So hopefully I can get the cpu stable at 3.6with just that little bump since it barely increased my load temps (1c maybe), and only increased idle temps by 2c.

Once I get the cpu stable I'll tighten the ram timings back up or bump it up to its specified 1600, although that gave me trouble last time I did it which I think is chip or mobo related. My mobo is rated to 1333 max, or 1600 OC, whatever that means. More dimm voltage? Maybe more so because I'm using 4 sticks.
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July 28, 2012 7:43:36 PM

If the NB frequency is absolutely necessary for stability then I suppose just leave it. Just don't have to too high or lower than your HT link.

As for the mobo, it supports 1333 max as it says however, under overclock it can support 1600. Basically exactly what it says. If you have 1600 ram I would suggest setting it in the bios to 1600 versus the default 1333. This may help you and will increase your ram performance to its full potential.

You might try messing with your HT link though. Usually with the X4's it's best to keep the HT Link at or below 2000 MHz. In some cases it helps to decrease it farther, down into the 12-1600 MHz range.
July 28, 2012 7:54:59 PM

Ah okay gotcha, interesting info. I'll have to see if dropping my HT and NB down some will let my cpu sit at 3.6 without the +0.025 increase in voltage. Or if I could just get 3.5 with stock voltage wouldn't be bad since I'd like this chip to last a fair time longer, more important to me than a 3% performance gain heh. So far the the 1.375v seems to have it stable, but I'll have to wait and see. Primes been running for about 40 minutes but the errors/bsod always come at around 50 minutes it seems.

And that was the first thing I tried when I put my ram in, but after putting it to spec freq and timings I got a bsod like 5 minutes after login. So I don't know what the deal with that was. Like I said, I think its my mobo being picky.
July 28, 2012 8:11:09 PM

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=70066...

^This seems to go with the thinking I had about my ram needing more voltage just to run at spec, since Phenoms and the corresponding boards don't do well over 1333. Found it while looking up stuff for OCing the cpu oddly enough lol. Anyways, I'll probably just tighten the timings instead of raising the frequency to 1600.
July 28, 2012 8:21:43 PM

Well I think I've gotten the cpu stable @ 3.6 with 1.375v. It turns out increasing my NB freq might help with getting the ram to operate at spec:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/273117-29-northbridge...

I guess I should make another thread for this, but if anyone sees this, would I need to increase the NB voltage to run it at 2400 and support all 4 dimm slots populated?
July 28, 2012 10:08:10 PM

Haven't really left it sitting long enough to know the idle for sure, been too busy trying to get CnQ to work with the OC, but it seems to be 34c or less. After 2 hours of P95 my highest temp was 50C and it generally hung around 48C. And that was after my room had gotten quite warm from stress testing all day haha.

Edit: I'm thinking about just using a non OC bios profile for when I know I'm not going to be gaming or doing anything intensive. I've also read something about a program that essentially lets you set up your own volts for an idle/low use state. Both methods seem like a pain though.
July 28, 2012 10:19:39 PM

Well I am overclocking with the BIOS, and the program for p states would be last resort I guess. I just really would like to have the CnQ for browsing the net and such to extend the life of my cpu.

And I thought I might stay where I'm at, I hear the voltage increases get hefty after 3.6 on the C2. More performance would be nice though. Anything you would recommend I do to make this a better OC? As far as the NB and HT or whatever other knowledge you can impart to me.
July 28, 2012 10:22:27 PM

Also, another thing discouraging me from going higher is the lack of a good fan control for my board. I tried using speedfan and easytune6 and both seemed like a pain, so I'm on the default curve for this board. I wish like hell it had a speed to temp control in the bios.
July 28, 2012 10:27:30 PM

Well CnQ apparently disables itself when I OC, it remains listed as "Auto" in the bios, but my voltages never drop from full load to idle. And what is C1E?
July 28, 2012 10:31:09 PM

Okay thanks. I don't think it has it. My mobo seems like it has very limited control.
July 28, 2012 10:45:13 PM

Yeah probably not. I just saved a stock clock CMOS for when I'm not going to do anything cpu intensive, and an OC CMOS. Best I can do I guess.

And the reason I was concerning myself with the NB even though I have a multiplier was to get my memory to run at 1600. Ala:
http://www.gskill.us/forum/showthread.php?t=7688

Although I'm thinking it might work just as well for all intensive purposes to just run it at 1333 cas 8, instead of 1600 cas 9.
July 28, 2012 10:49:14 PM

Yeah, if I set it to 1600 without tinkering with anything else, I get near instant BSOD after reaching the desktop.

Oh sorry missed the word timings. Yea, I have it set at 8-8-8-24 at 1333 right now.
July 28, 2012 11:01:12 PM



Ok, here's what CPU-Z displays.
July 28, 2012 11:04:08 PM

July 28, 2012 11:16:25 PM

I never tried to set it to cas 8 at 1600... :sarcastic: 

It blue screens at spec. Its because of the way AMD chips handle memory as far as I know. Look at the gskill forum post I linked earlier.
July 28, 2012 11:18:56 PM

I set it at 8-8-8-24 at 1333 because it was failing at 9-9-9-25 at 1600. It's been working fine at these timings (8 passes in memtest 86+) so I'll probably just keep them to avoid farting around with NB and HT freq.
July 28, 2012 11:50:41 PM

Yeah I really wish I had a C3, but I got this cpu (and the mobo) like 3 years ago in a prebuilt when I hardly knew anything about computers. I just went for a quad core and ddr3 compatibility. I don't know if C3 were even around then. Oh well, make due with what I have until I upgrade. Thanks for your help!
July 29, 2012 10:28:03 PM

Best answer selected by taydee.
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