So I've made a LOT of positive progress on my "spare odds and ends" build project since I first posted over in the system forum with mobo problems last month. I have it up and running perfectly on an Asus M5A78L-M LX Plus board instead of the faulty MSI. Tonight I spent a few hours tuning and couldn't seem to get a stable startup with all four cores active. I decided instead to see what I could do with just overclocking the chip as a tri-core.
I ended up with a FSB of 265 and multiplier of 15x at 1.52v for 3975mhz CPU clock speed, up from 3300 factory speed. After running a long Passmark benchmark with OCCT running to monitor the heat/voltage under stress, I realized that I had the highest CPU score of any X3 455 in their results database. Now on one hand I am tempted to turn the chip into a X4 955 still, but on the other, am I likely going to get any improvement in processing power even if I do manage something like 4 cores at 3500mhz?
FYI, I need a larger heatsink! I ordered a 212 Evo after the tuning session, but have it *very* stable at 3750mhz at 1.44v until then.
If I were you I would leave it as a tri core....if you had issues unlocking the 4th core at stock speeds its gonna be one hell of a fight trying to oc it with all 4 cores active...you are not gonna notice too much of a performance bump in games or anything going from 3 to 4 cores at the same speed....so since you will have the 3 core at higher speeds I would expect the performance to actually be better with the 3 core settings....most games do not take advantage of the extra cores....also a good way determine stability on a cpu oc is prime95 torture test too
Thanks for the feedback- I appreciate it. I suspect the 4th core *may* be dead, but the confusing part was getting the BIOS to read it as a Phenom 955 before it'd crash the windows startup. Ah well. I actually got it to 4ghz this morning with heat being the only thing that made me turn it way back down for now. I have a cheap Silenx low-profile "orb" type cooler right now because I didn't anticipate that I'd be motivated to try overclocking. Needless to say that I'm WAY too hot at 4ghz. I got up to 54c under load before shutting the project down until my next cooler arrives. Although, now I'm measuring and worrying about height a bit. I may need to find an effective, affordable AM3 cooler that is under 140mm tall (that would allow room to keep my side fan in place).
I should ask- right now I have Crucial Ballistix Sport PC3-10600 memory that's running at 1780mhz seemingly okay after I set the timing to 10-10-10-28. Would it be worth my while to pickup something like PC3-15000 RAM so that I could keep the current overclock configuration and run the memory at a much higher clock with standard latency?
no it would in no way be worth it to purchase faster ram...you will see little to no performance increase....as far as temps go 54c really isnt that bad for that cpu keeping under 60c is pretty good....my i7 hits 70c under load all the time lol....if you already order the hyper 212 evo I would try to stick with that...if it doesnt fit in the case maybe cut a hole in the side panel and make some duct work for it or something lol....the cooler would be worth it. and I am not surprised about the 4th core possibly being dead that is the case all the time
Haha.... I don't think that I'll cut a hole in the side of the case. That's the good thing about having multiple projects going on at once- I have to buy a cooler for the most recent system that I built, plus improve the cooling on my Inspiron 570 since I overclocked its X4 965 to 4.3ghz and now feel like the case is going to melt. So the Evo will get used somewhere.