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Can't OC my Phenom II x4 925?!

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June 16, 2011 9:29:25 PM

After many hours of trial and error I'm starting to think that I just simply can't OC my CPU (AMD Phenom II x4 925 @ 2.8Ghz). I have an Asus M4A78LT-M LE board and I'm using the BIOS to OC.

First I increase from 200 to 210 and everything was stable, then I move to 215 and no POST. I lowered the RAM freq and manage to get up to as high as 240, 14x multi, and lowerd HT multi to 8 to stay around 2000.

The problem is, none of the settings are stable! It's so frustrating. My temps are around 50c and I just can't figure this out. When I refer to being stable I'm doing OCCT testing, as well as game play tests and the OCCT passes but games (ALL of my games) run worse with the OC. Lower frames and constant stuttering and game crashes.

I hope someone might have some advice for me, please!

More about : phenom 925

June 16, 2011 9:39:52 PM

Have you bumped any voltages?
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June 16, 2011 9:45:49 PM

r-sky said:
Have you bumped any voltages?


I haven't changed any voltages yet, I read a number of posts saying this CPU can get up to 3.4 on stock volts. Do you think increasing voltage will help?
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June 16, 2011 9:53:31 PM

aethyal said:
I haven't changed any voltages yet, I read a number of posts saying this CPU can get up to 3.4 on stock volts. Do you think increasing voltage will help?

That's fairly accurate, however there's no guarrantee you'll be able to overclock at all. Depending on how much you are increasing clock speed, you'll have to at some point add voltage to achieve stability. Typically for AMD Phenom II's, that is around 3.5 Ghz. However in your case you've got a locked multi, so you'll be Reference overclocking.

This means upping the voltages on some peripheral areas such as the northbridge.

I'd start @ 1.35 volts CPU @ 3.4Ghz



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June 16, 2011 9:59:28 PM

Here's a primer on overclocking locked AMD cpu's:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-cpu-overclock,2...
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June 16, 2011 10:10:35 PM

Quote:
if this fails to get past bios just reset/clear the cmos.


I understand BIOS but don't understand clearing the CMOS. I heard this once before when I changed my CPU from AMD Athlon x2 245 to the current CPU I have. Is this something that is important and how would I clear the CMOS?
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June 16, 2011 10:23:05 PM

On my Mobo after setting an OC, if it doesn't POST I hit the reset button my PC and it says "OC Failed...!" then loads like normal. I always assumed that was resetting the CMOS.
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June 16, 2011 10:24:17 PM

I just attempted 1.35v @ 3.4Ghz and ended up with the same results. OCCT passed a (quick) test and three of my games resulted in 30+ lower FPS. This is becoming very frustrating. =\
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June 16, 2011 10:25:43 PM

Will report back shortly.
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June 16, 2011 10:26:24 PM

Quote:
this is important if your bios cannot post.
to do this you will need to either look in your manual to your motherboard or look on the physical board for a small jumper with a small plastic peice on it, it will be named cmos under it or something very similar.
to erase/reset it just lift the jumper and replace it.


This is why I highly recommend you dl and install AMD overdrive:
http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/amd-overdrive/Pa...

This allows for small overclocking in windows that will also be able to test stability with a stress test and also monitor core temp. You can play with various settings and if you do something bad or cause instability, it won't save into BIOS so you'll be able to boot into window again. I like this from the standpoint of changing multipliers or other settings and seeing results in windows immediately. Once you kind of dial in some settings that work for your setup, you can go into BIOS to set these more permanently. One thing I do caution is to not allow AOD to run at startup. It will negatively impact performance.
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June 16, 2011 10:28:22 PM

One thing; I didn't see what type of heatsink you're using. Also, its a good idea to monitor temps throughout, what kind of temps are you running?
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June 16, 2011 10:32:49 PM

good advertisement for the BE phenoms here.
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June 16, 2011 10:41:27 PM

I have a 95w Mobo and this was the fastest CPU I could get in my budget without having to replace my Mobo.

I just attempted higher clocks, can't get it to post after 250x14, HT Link Multi @ x8 and with the VDDNB set at 1.45v.

In windows this was unstable and in game it was nearly unplayable (20 FPS).

My cooler is an Asetek LCLC 120 Liquid Cooler. and my temps during the above test settings were at 48c idle and 56c under load.

I may just have to settle on slower speeds for now and upgrade later, but this is frustrating because I'd read so many people achieving stable clock of AT LEAST 3.4Ghz.
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June 16, 2011 10:48:07 PM

Antec 650w GreenWatts.
Asus GTX 560 TI DCU2 TOP
Apex Vortex case (not the best but my temps are fine all around)
Asetek LCLC 120 Liquid Cooling (for CPU)
Asus M4A78LT-M LE (95w AM3 micro ATX)

It's possible that I just got a bum CPU (as far as OCing). Every attempt I've made over the past few months ends up in an overall drop in performance throughout ever task on my PC (video editing, gaming, etc). I'm disappointed because I bought this CPU hoping to get some bang for my buck, $100 for an Phenom X4 (on a budget) that had the potential to OC.

As a point of reference my previous Athlon X2 245 managed a very stable OC from 2.9Ghz to 3.7Ghz with a huge overall increase in performance on my PC. Nothing on my PC has changed except the CPU, which puts me at a loss.

I really appreciate everyone's help on this.
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June 16, 2011 10:53:45 PM

I am saving for i5 2500K and a p67 board. Currently about half way there (I can buy one of the two items now, but prefer to wait).
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June 17, 2011 2:47:47 AM

Lap the cpu and cooler to get more even cooling and lower temps.

-Get a tube of decent cpu paste something like arctic silver (pick one that is in a syringe) and a tube of cheap silicone cpu paste and a sheet of 220 to 320 grit sandpaper.(you can change at the end to finer sandpaper like 400 or 600 grit if you like)
-Run the computer till it is warm, shut it off, and remove the cooler and cpu.
-clean both the cooler and cpu of all paste.
-put the sandpaper down on (best is a glass top table) flat table like the kitchen table with the grit side up. sand both the face of the cpu and cooler flat by sanding it on the flat sandpaper on the table.
-after both the cpu and cooler are nice and flat, clean them making sure there is no grit residue left on them.
-Empty the syringe of cpu paste onto something like a plastic container lid. Then pull the syringe plunger out. Put a blob of the cheap silicone paste that is about 1/8 the size of the other paste (NOT TOO MUCH!! ONLY A LITTLE!!!). Mix the 2 together and refill your syringe and keep it for later.
smear a really thin layer of this custom paste on both the cpu and cooler and reinstall it. The added silicone will stop it from drying out and let it go on thinner.

-If you replace the cooler later you need to lap the new cooler.

-get cheaper small fans or a old p4 cpu fan and put them on the chipset coolers.

Drop the ht bus to the next lower speed. The memory should have a fixed speed option, but if it doesn't and follows the fsb, set it to the next lower one.

Increase the chipsets, memory voltages to the next higher step above stock.

Set the cpu voltage at 1.375 or 1.4 volts and check it in the hardware monitor after a reboot, it should be lower than where it is set to. If it is between 1.33volts to 1.37volts in the hardware monitor it should be fine. This is called "v-droop" and is worse on lower wattage boards like 95 watt boards. You may have to go as high as 1.425volts to get 1.35volts actual.

Increase the fsb by 5 in the bios until windows fails to boot but it still posts.
Let the system cool down for 10 mins after windows failed to boot.
Boot up and go into the bios, drop the multi by 10fsb. First boot windows and see if its working ok. If it is, shut down and check your temp in the bios, if its ok, restart windows and test with prime95 or other benchmarks and games, then reboot and check your temps again after they system was tested.
If it fails the tests drop the fsb by another 5 and retest.
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June 17, 2011 3:02:18 AM

You really do need extra chipset fans if you have water cooling, since on most boards the chipset coolers depend on the cpu cooler fan to move some air over them.

It would be the easiest thing to try first.

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June 17, 2011 3:07:02 AM

Best answer selected by aethyal.
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June 17, 2011 4:10:19 AM

need4speeds said:
You really do need extra chipset fans if you have water cooling, since on most boards the chipset coolers depend on the cpu cooler fan to move some air over them.

It would be the easiest thing to try first.

This is true, adding voltage to the northbridge to get a better FSB clock will just add heat to your chipset. CPU temps are not the only ones you need to be concerned with, especially if Reference clock or FSB overclocking..

I would be disappointed as well in your shoes. Sorry we could not get that thing stable. I do recommend in the future for overclocking to get an unlocked multiplier for best results.
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June 17, 2011 4:13:58 AM

For my Biostar board, notorious for screaming high system temps, I bought a thermaltake chipset cooler and slapped it on my southbridge. It now keeps my system temps chilly, at times even right at ambient room temps. That sucker is awesome!

this is not the same , but looks just as good:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 17, 2011 4:53:08 AM

For $17 it certainly doesn't hurt to try. Worst case scenario I'll have it for when I upgrade to i5. Thanks all for the help, I tried a few more things this evening and just couldn't get anything stable. =\
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June 17, 2011 6:19:16 AM

Something like a old stock p4 $2.99 fans on sale, just put fans over the existing heatsinks. Use a small tie-wrap to attach it carefully to something or use small pieces of black duct tape. Sometimes you can catch a screw into the heatsink fins to attach the small fan.

Even a 8cm fan over it will work. any kind of fans you have kicking around will work. Your old oem cpu cooler fan?



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June 17, 2011 6:43:01 AM

Installing a aftermarket chipset cooler set is a little more elegant than taping fans on.
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June 18, 2011 5:46:28 AM

For anyone still following this thread: I was gaming today and my stock CPU just hit 58c and my game's frame rate proceeded to plummet. I went out and bought some AS5, cleaned the CPU and heat sink, and when I went to replace everything I noticed that the liquid cooling heat sink was loose, even when the screws ran out of thread. It's a circular heat sink and I could actually twist it with very minimal pressure when it was fully clamped down.

The heatsink is an Asetek LCLC 120 Liquid Cooling system (it's a loop with a radiator). Apparently my temps have never been fine (as I said above) and I'm overheating my CPU even at stock settings. I didn't realize that 58c for this CPU was dangerous, I had read that 70c was max temp. I will probably remove my liquid cooling and run some tests with the stock heat sink that came with the CPU (which is some cheap non-copper fan). If things look better than I may have found the culprit and will need to purchase a better cooler. (It's also possible that my liquid system has dried up..?)

This is still strange as I had OC'd my previous CPU from 2.9 to 3.7 stable and didn't have heat issues. It's possible that when I replaced my old CPU and put this new one in that I did something to cause this problem, but I just can't see how a heat sink will suddenly not fit properly.

Will update after running tests.
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June 19, 2011 3:25:24 AM

Sadly I couldn't find my original AMD socket clips so I couldn't set up my old heatsink. I'll be ordering something new, for sure, and won't be back to this thread. Thanks everyone for all the help!
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