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Overclocking AMD Phenom II x6 1090T w/ stock fan

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December 17, 2012 3:26:05 PM

Hi all, I have an AMD Phenom II x6 1090T @ stock 3.2Ghz and I am looking to safely overclock it on stock heat sink and fan. I bought it on November 2011 along with an ASUS M4A77TD Pro motherboard and 4 gigabytes of Team-Elite DDR3 RAM @1333Mhz (which CPU-Z identifies as running at 667Mhz for some reason). The main reason I wish to overclock it is because an Intel i5/i7 is on the horizon so I thought that I might as well squeeze my Phenom II since it's not going to be around for more than 2 years.

Here are some specs for anyone kind enough to impart some knowledge :) 

CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (@3.2Ghz)
Motherboard: ASUS M4A77TD Pro
Memory: 2x Team-Elite 2Gb DDR3 (1033Mhz) = Total of 4 gigs
Storage: 500Gb Seagate or Western Digital (can't remember :/ , but it's SATA II 6Gb/s if I remember correctly)
PSU: Xclio 850W (cost me about 110 Euro about 2 years back so I think it's quite dependable)
Case: Antec 900 (so ventilation is not a problem)
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

Up till now, I went into the BIOS and OC'ed my CPU by 5% via the Jumper Free Configuration option. I used the 'Overclocking Profile' so I just went for 5% and thought I'd settle for that for now (speed is about 3.33Ghz). Is this too much? I'm not willing to run Prime95 because at stock speed, temps go up to about 82 C after 4 minutes (if that's even possible). I use my PC for gaming mostly (BF3, Crysis 2, Smite, Hitman Absolution, Far Cry 3, Hawken, Skyrim) so I believe that the CPU won't be anywhere near 100% load in-game (I'll leave that to my graphics card :p ).

That's my current situation in a nutshell. Anyone offering advice regarding overclocking my processor is more than welcome to fire away :D 
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
December 17, 2012 3:44:25 PM

start overclocking once you get an aftermarket heatsink. overclocking on stock heatsink will just cause overheating and system shutdowns
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
December 17, 2012 4:04:14 PM

Ya you can go to about 3.6 without changing voltage any but on these 6 cores the heat jumps dramaticly after 1.45 volts and I had to do 1.5 on water to get 4.2 ghz. I would not do much on stock fan as it is barely good enough for the stock setup when it boosts.

Thent
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December 17, 2012 4:36:08 PM

82 is high i would wait for the heatsink like alvine said
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
December 17, 2012 4:53:29 PM

82 will burn out the cpu , I know I did it . Nothing over 60 to be safe and a long life for the 1090t . I use a deepcool mc3002gx on mine and temps are under 53 @3,9 All cores @1000% . The cooler is 18.00 , does a good job cooling and is silent
December 17, 2012 5:06:31 PM

Thank you all for your input. While I knew that 82 C was way too much for sustainable CPU usage, when my system is idle, it is always about 30 - 32 C (because Cool'n'Quite brings down the multiplier to x4.0 making 6 cores at 840Mhz. In game, the temperature reaches about 60 - 62 C max (and that is on games which are either ported and require emulation or on very badly optimized games). Case in point is: Hitman Absolution (built from the ground up for PC independently from consoles) CPU is about 54 C while in Smite (closed-beta: still not so optimized) CPU is about 62 C.

Also, I failed to mention that I do not intend to play with voltages as I fear the worst. The next sensible question would be: Would I be able to squeeze more Mhz for less temperature if I disable 2 cores? It is my understanding that games do not use more than 2 - 3 cores, so if I disable 2 of my 6 active cores in order to further push the remaining 4, would it be a sensible move?

Again, much appreciated guys! :) 
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
December 17, 2012 5:43:13 PM

Not really why have a 6 core if not to use them all?? Bump your multi up till you hit 3.5 ghz and then leave it alone till you get a better cooler.

Thent
December 17, 2012 6:39:41 PM

Yes, but my question is: will disabling 2 cores allow for more headroom for the remaining 4 cores? My main reason for this is that games only utilize 2 - 3 cores, hence 6 cores, realistically speaking, is overkill for my needs xD I bought a six-core because a year or so ago I thought that more = better (even for gaming). It is only recently that I found out that games only use half my processing cores. Thanks mate ;) 
December 17, 2012 7:06:01 PM

First of all if you aren't willing to play with the voltages then don't bother with a new heatsink. If you aren't going to up the voltage I would be shocked if you got past 3.6G with any kind of cooling you wanted.

Second if you do decided to overclock it you will want to turn off CnC as it will mess with your manual overclock and you may not get very good results.

Third, short answer to disabling cores is yes it will help. Longer answer is that it didn't help me as much as I expected it to. I disabled 2 of the cores and could only end up dropping the max voltage by a couple of tenths and it didn't help me up the speed of the other cores at all.
December 17, 2012 7:29:18 PM

I see. Ok thanks, that definitely doesn't justify switching off 2 cores :)  So basically, overclocking to 3.6Ghz offers no visible improvement over the stock 3.2? As I stated earlier, I'm looking to squeeze this processor (not to the point of oblivion though xD) and without risking damage to it or to other components too much.

Regarding cooling I have narrowed it down to these 2:

http://www.scanmalta.com/eshop/arctic-cooling-freezer-1...

http://www.scanmalta.com/eshop/enermax-heat-pipe-dt-mul...

Any suggestions?
Since I live in Malta, it's not worth buying a cooler from OcUK only to pay the same price of the cooler in shipping :S

Thanks for you info guys!
December 17, 2012 8:09:45 PM

I would probably say go for the enermax and replace the fan for a better one. I have a couple of Enermax fans and they are great fans if you want something to be quite. However the problem with them for heat sinks is they do not have very good static pressure so they don't do as well as some other fans with used with a heatsink. I would buy a couple new fans for a push-pull setup on the heat sink and use that Enermax for an intake or exhaust on your case.
a c 108 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a b À AMD
December 17, 2012 8:29:11 PM


Disabling 2 cores will boost the L3 cache shared per the remaining 4 cores, and improve your gaming performance.

You should be able to easily hit 3.6GHz with the stock cooler (if you have a C3 stepping), but you will have to disable Turbo.

At your current settings, in certain instances, you will be *Turbo'ing* 2 cores to 3.8GHz, anyway, BUT, you will also be encountering a phenomena known as *core-hoping* which will slow you down.

BTW, with aftermarket cooling, 6 cores (no Turbo) at 4GHz with fast RAMs does the same GFLOPs as an i5 2500k or i7 2600k BUT not in AVX coded software.

There is no AVX-coded software at the moment, at least, none that I am aware.

And while your motherboard is decent, it's not really *The One* as it actually came to market before the Thubans ever existed.

December 17, 2012 8:54:32 PM

Just to sum up your main points (both j2j663's and Wisecracker's):

1. I have to disable Cool'n'Quiet from the BIOS. (Might I ask why, as it seems to prolong the life of the processor by stepping down from 3.2 to 0.8 per core while idle?).

2. I have to disable Turbo Core if I am to overclock to 3.6Ghz (I'm afraid to do it on stock cooling as a gaming session with 6 cores clocked at 3.36 took my temps to 65 already).

3. Disabling 2 cores might have a positive impact on in-game performance.

4. The above only applies not if, but WHEN I get a decent aftermarket cooler.

Now, for the million dollar question: Just how hard is to to OC to 4Ghz on my Mobo with solid aftermarket cooling? :) 
a c 108 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a b À AMD
December 17, 2012 9:08:46 PM


I don't disable C&Q :) 

It's hard to say, really, on your OC. If you have a C3 stepping your chances are likely good because of the 8+2 (or really, 4+1 (x2)) PWM.

Asus had a run of boards with volt swings that made top over-clocks a little tricky. If you have load line calibration (LLC) in the BIOS you can minimize the volt swings.

December 17, 2012 9:18:09 PM

Usually if you keep CnC enabled when you overclock you will find that it starts to drop your overclock at time that you are using the CPU. It seems to break the limit of only adjusting clock speeds when the CPU is idle.

Your mobo is obviously an aging one but it looks like it has some decent overclocking features. I cannot predict how easy it will be or if you will even be able to get your CPU to 4G but it can't hurt to give it a shot. (fyi, you will never get to 4G without changing the voltage on the CPU)

In terms of cooling, I got my 1090T to 4G using the Hyper 212 evo. So I would expect it would be possible for you to get it there with either one of those coolers. However, using the EVO I had to selectively use my 4G profile as it would run very hot even when idle (42c idle, ~60c load). And that was with all of my fans at max speeds. I wasn't happy with that and upgraded to the H100, which is equivalent to some of the high end air cooling.

Long story short, for me, I had to spend the cash for a high end air cooler or closed loop water cooler to get 4G to be reliable and cool enough for day to day use.
December 17, 2012 9:19:43 PM

+1 for the LLC, it helps a lot when all 6 cores are drawing a full load.
December 17, 2012 9:29:32 PM

Alright guys, I've bothered you enough with my questions. The bottom line seems to be: Scrap getting i5/ i7, get a good AM3+ motherboard (I'm looking at 990X chipset), couple it with some solid RAM, put in a high-end cooler in the mix and I'll post back to you when I have the system up and running (which won't be anytime soon xD).

Thanks again for your invaluable help people. I'll be tweaking and tinkering over the next few days to get better acquainted with OCing stuff. I'll call it a day, not bad for a first attempt xD

Cheers all!
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
December 18, 2012 12:29:55 AM

Ijust lowered th voltage om my 1090 and temps went down 3c with a 3.7 OC . i try to run with lowest voltage possible , of course i;m not going for a big OC . Good luck
a c 108 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
a b À AMD
December 18, 2012 10:12:03 AM


jerry6 said:
Ijust lowered th voltage om my 1090 and temps went down 3c with a 3.7 OC . i try to run with lowest voltage possible , of course i;m not going for a big OC . Good luck


Ding! Ding! Ding! [:lutfij:4] Perfect example for yah, honx8.

With you voltages on *Auto* the BIOS will tend to really crank 'em up at load. More Volts = More Heat

If you take manual control of your voltages (sometimes, you don't even have to change the actual voltage, just switch from *Auto* to *Manual*), you will minimize the volt boost at load and keep your temps down.

If I recall, this is in the *AI Tweaker* menu in the BIOS (as is the LLC adjustment).

Also, there is really nothing you can do to screw things up that cannot be fixed if you know how to reset your CMOS. Do you need a little tutor om that?


Anonymous
December 18, 2012 10:41:09 AM

hello,

i've done alot of overclocking with my system, this was my findings

1. at 4ghz there is improvement but not as much as you might think.
2. at 4ghz some games gained 5-10 fps (could be graphic's card limit though)
3. at 4ghz seem stable but you will get random crash's people might think its crappy windows or the softwares fault . its not its over clocking and you should expect this to happen.
5. the only thing i find overclocking to have a use for is benchmarking as it's not worth it to me just for brag'n rights.
6. overclocking should be looked at as fun, not serious gains and being stable.

i have loads of benchmarks tests i have stored on 3d marks web site date'n back years, overclocking is fun but not really worth it with your 1090T to behonest , but if you had a weak cpu in the first place then it probs worth overclocking.

thats just how i see things, what i use my pc for is gaming the gains i get from my 1090t even at 4ghz not worth it and why over clock my cpu if its already get 100fps at normal 3.2 setting, if cpu is only getting 25fps then even at 4ghz it might go up to say 28 or 30 again not worth it to me, i dont speak for everyone i just say from my findings... it should be about fun, because overclocking is not its all made out to be apart from lots of fun.
Anonymous
December 18, 2012 10:48:45 AM

basicly the gains from over clocking AMD top phenom II cpus not that brill, AMD got the most out of the architecture performance and efficiency they could so had to change to different architecture, hence the new range of cpu which they have failed to do in my books.
Anonymous
December 18, 2012 11:22:56 AM

try testing with intel burn test, good test for ram and cpu they have updated the software to work with amd cpu to

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Benchmarks/IntelBur...

· Linpack binaries updated (7-20-2012) + patched for AMD CPUs
· Improved effectiveness of Xtreme Stress Mode
December 18, 2012 12:18:43 PM

Hey all, I just got back from Christmas shopping xD

I'll give a shot at setting the voltage from auto to manual sometime later on because honestly, I just got my new G930 Headset and knowing my luck, something will fry and I won't even be able to test my new sound (which I've been awaiting for 3 weeks) :p  To answer stevevnicks, yes I'm not looking for a huge boost in gaming as my PC crunches any game I throw at it. I am overclocking, as you rightly said, just for fun and to gain some experience along the way :)  Regarding OCing to 4Ghz, that will only happen in my dreams xD That would be too much as the method I'm using is an 'auto overclocking profile' from the BIOS which gives you increments in % and overclocks automatically according to the percentage. I've noticed that this method also overclocks my RAM which is not exactly suited for OCing as it started out as a budget setup :) 

That said, thanks for you insight guys!
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