Upgrading, Unlocking & Overclocking !

I'm new to posting so bear with me if I get it wrong.

I am looking at upgrading to a Phenom II X4 965.

I currently have two Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3 motherboards in identical Xigmatek Asgard cases with Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro ver.2 cpu coolers.

My day to day unit has a Phenom II X2 555 BE overclocked to 3.6 but refuses to go above 2 core (refuses to boot & have to do a CLR CMOS to get the unit running again)

My audio/video/gaming unit has a Phenom II X2 560 BE overclocked to 3.6 and the other day I managed to unlock the other 2 cores. I've only run Prime95 for about half hour so far but temp is only reaching about 60 C so looks good.
I try and avoid doing restarts as the GPU fails to reset but that's another post :)

My question is: as I want to use the X4 965 in the gaming unit (incase a core fails in the 560 or it gets unstable) would I be better to move the graphics card/HDD's/DVD/powersupply between the 2 units as they both have the same MB and the 560 is already working happily (in effect, swap the case/CPU/MB between units) OR do I leave all the peripherals in they're respective units & just change both CPU's & hope i can unlock the 560 again on the other MB?
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  1. let me try to get it all straight
    you have a 555 and a 560
    one you got unlocked, the other won't post when acc is set to auto
    you want to buy a 965 to replace the 555 and make that the dedicated gamer
    (correct me if i'm wrong please)

    so whats the unlocked 560 machine going to be used for?
    i'd finish running stability tests before i went and shelled out for a 965, if the cores are good, they are good.

    As for the 555 i'd drop it to stock clocks and bump the voltage to 1.5v before i gave it up for unlockable.

    but if you are dead set on buying a 965 i'd just swap cpu's as thats the easiest. just make sure both have the same version bios and that your acc firmware bios option thing is set to hybrid on both, and if for some strange reason only the one motherboard unlocks then you can swap it all back and take the hard way of changing out everything, though even then i'd leave everything in the case and just pop out the boards and swap them.
  2. correct on the 965 replacing the 555 & turning that into the gamer unit.

    the 560 would become the day to day unit's CPU. Basically giving the gamer unit the faster processor although I haven't tried pushing the 560 above 3.6 yet as I can't find any pages with hints on what vcore to use. I guess it's just a case of up the ratio a notch, see if it works, up it again if it works or up the vcore if it doesn't till it pops. Only headache there is the graphics card not initialising on reboots. Maybe I need to open another post on that topic.

    I'll try dropping the 555 back down to 3.2 & upping the vcore to 1.5, see if that works.

    I've tried doing searches for overclocking but most sites tell you what cpu's they've got to what speeds but don't always say what FSB/Vcore/etc they used to get there.

    How long should I run stability for? is 24 hr the norm or do I just run it till it hits an error?

    I like experimenting at getting the most from my units when I have time to but I also know when it comes to overclocking, 1 wrong setting and goodbye CPU.

    My main reason for getting the 965 is to see how far I can overclock it safely as a gaming unit and as it's already faster & sold as a x4 in it's natural state I figured I could push it further than the 560.
  3. 4.0ghz sems to be fairly standard with the 965 on air cooling. seen some higher, but 4.0 seems to the the normal goal. some push it just a bit further, 4.1, 4.2.

    i have read that what really holds you back is heat. the better your cooler, the more you can get out of the 965.
  4. yeah 24 hours is the norm for saying the cores are totally stable at that clock.

    i don't like pushing the phenoms past 1.5v for normal 24/7 use, so i start there with the vcore find my max oc with fsb and/or raising and lowering the multi on the cpu, then see if bringing it down to 1.45 *(or 1.475 whatever the next step down your board allows) keeps you stable, but thats just how i do it.

    it's very possible that your 560 is really just a 965 with two perfectly fine cores disabled you know, wait 24 hours to see if the disabled cores are good then see how far you can overclock it, like mrthorp says 4.0 is the goal, but anything above 3.8 is a success in my book. If your 560 is stable with 4 cores at 3.8 or higher congrats you have an overclocked 965.

    Don't worry so much about toasting your cpu, if your temps are good they will run for years at 1.5v, but also if you unlock your cores do not use stock cooling, I think that the 5xx ship with a smaller heatsink then the 9xx, could be wrong, but i seem to remember hearing that. Anyway if you are shooting for max oc cooling is your friend.

    *edit: for bad maths
  5. Finally found time to have another go at the 555.

    Dropped it back down to default 3.2 & upped the vcore to 1.5. Set Gigabyte's MIT to Hybrid & ACC 'All cores (auto)', pressed F10, waited for Bios update & reboot.

    Good news was it booted, showed as a Phenom II X4 B55 (I think it was B55, it flashes past so quick!).

    The Gigabyte GA-MA770 have a Dual Bios. Mine got as far as telling me it was updating the backup bios before rebooting.
    It then did the same bootup sequence to the point of telling me it was updating the backup bios before rebooting.
    It then did the same bootup sequence to the point of telling me it was updating the backup bios before rebooting.
    It then did the same bootup sequence to the point of telling me it was updating the backup bios before rebooting.

    The above was deliberate. I gave up after the 5th update & reboot, went back into the Bios & reset it back to normal. Waited for the Bios to update & reboot.
    Got as far as the 'updating backup bios' again, rebooted, went straight through to Windows login.

    Seems I have an unlockable 555 but my Gigabyte MB in the day to day unit has a backup bios that won't update. Same MB in the gaming unit & not a problem when I unlocked the 560. Is it likely to be a fault with the MB or could dodgy cores on the 555 be causing it? Should I look at getting another MB?

    The 560 is happily running as a quad core and I had it up to 3.7 on 1.4. I might try 3.8 with 1.5 & see if it's stable.
    Cooling shouldn't be a problem as both CPU's have the Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro ver.2 which gives 130watt cooling capacity using a 92mm pwm fan.

    Thx for the help so far.
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