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Overclocking advice for ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO & amd phenom ii x2 500 BE

Last response: in Motherboards
August 28, 2012 5:16:51 PM

Hello to all the experts!
I am a novice when it comes to Mother boards and memory but right now I am at the juncture where I need some advice.
I have a desktop that has the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO mother board and I am running it at 4 GB RAM.

Recently while gaming and trying to record the gameplay I could not help but notice that there is a huge lag which kind of led me to the conclusion that I need more RAM.

Now when I checked the motherboard's spec I see
4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 1800(O.C.)*/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066/800 ECC,Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory

Now what RAM should I buy - I currently have corsair ddr3 1333. Should I continue with this same memory spec or can I go ahead to 1600 which apparently the mother board supports. I got no clue about oc'ing, so please treat me gently :) 

Also I am only keen on performance and dont necessarily want to oc. I am thinking of going up to 16 GB - so should I stick to 1033 or buy 16 GB of 1600 DDR3 RAM?

I hope my question is correct. Also is g skill better or should I stick to corsair? Please consider me as noob and give me all the advice.

August 28, 2012 5:31:27 PM

Just to add the processor is a AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition. Please help out :) 
August 29, 2012 7:48:13 PM

Hello experts :) 
I am adding some more information, so please help out. I really need some advice.

Today I did the unlocking and to my surprise, after I did the acc AUTO and unleashed ENABLED on the BIOS, I was able to log into Ubuntu and it did recognize 4 CPUs.
But the sad part is when I tried playing minecraft and recording it, it was still the same. Even with all 4 cores running, I noticed no change in performance

Next, I updated my BIOS version to the latest and it went well.

Then I swallowed my fear and did a prime95 test.
All 4 cores went to 100% and the temp soared to 60 in 25 seconds after which my machine duly rebooted and presented me back at my login screen into ubuntu.

While I dont think this points to defective cores, I think my max temp was reached and system shut down.

Now what should I do? SHould I try to overclock - all I want is for the game to run without lag while recording.

Please do help out, I am really hoping this community would be able to help me out

Related resources
August 29, 2012 9:59:36 PM

Should this be moved to "overclocking" so that it is in the right section and more replies would come?
August 30, 2012 12:52:20 PM

Hey bud, so I came over here to take a look at what you have posted over here so far and man, you really have gotten NO comments...that sucks.

So I am going to be honest with you, I have limited experience overclocking AMD chips, the idea is the same between overclocking your chip and the old intel chip that I have. The biggest thing that I cant tell you about is the core unlocking. I do not know how this will affect system stability or if there are any additional step that need to be taken.

The whole key to overclocking is finding a balance between heat and frequency. As a general rule, the higher voltages you have the hotter your chip will get. Your frequency is a result of two things, the Northbridge (NB) BCLK and the multiplier. Unfortunately I cant tell you exactly what settings you will see in your BIOS but it is probably similar to mine since I also use an Asus mobo.

So to make things a little easier for us, go into your BIOS and underclock your memory. Take it down from 1333 MHz to I believe it will be 1066 MHz. This is just a step to make things a little bit less complicated. We will change this back once we get a stable overclock.

Could you tell me what your current values are for your Northbridge Voltage, BCLK Frequency (or NB Frequency), and the multiplier?

Also, you are running on a stock CPU heatsink, right?
August 30, 2012 1:03:38 PM

Thanks a ton man, really nice of you :) 
It is time to be honest with you that most of the lingo you have used in your post flies way above my head. I am going to get a BIOS dump of my desktop and see what information it has that matches to what you want.
If you can give me the exact menu items to look into the BIOS, it would be easier for me.

Also - I was assuming that given my disastrous stress test sing mprime, I cannot anyway do with my current cooling right?
So would overclocking be affected by this. Do let me know.

Also given that I am installing the new card, I have to upgrade my ubuntu distro to 12.04, which I would be doing in the next 2 hours. I will try your BIOS changes after that. One more thing - do you want me to do oc with the 4 cores enabled or not?

Let me get back to you with a decent BIOS dump in 15 min

August 30, 2012 1:47:03 PM

I am really sorry but I am lost. From the bios dump (using a linux command line), I was not able to get any information you asked for. I think I need to manually go to BIOS and get that information.

The only one voltage field which was listed under processor information - value is 1.5 - is this what you are looking for?

Other than this I am not able to find multiplier etc? Can you give me a little more pointed information so that I can go into BIOS and get it.

August 30, 2012 2:21:30 PM

You are going to need to set these manually in the BIOS. I am more of a Windows user, thought I have dabbled a bit in Linux, and I know there are some automatic overclocking utilities that Asus, MSI, and some of the other big companies have made, but I do not know if they have Linux support.

And yes, leave the cores unlocked, I have seen some people with your chip reaching 4.0 GHz with four cores so I dont think it will be an issue.

The voltage that you reported can be a couple of things, it could be the memory voltage, or it could be the CPU max voltage. Either way, we will see more information in the BIOS.

Take a look at these guides, they will explain some of the lingo I was using in my first post and give you a good intro to overclocking.
August 30, 2012 3:18:56 PM

All righty, I am done updating my ubuntu.
Please clarify one thing - in the BIOS all values are set to Auto, so how will I know what the actual is. I think 2 categories are of interest - Jumperfree configuration and CPU configuration right? But all values are auto. I will read the guides and see if I can make more sense.

Also what about my inferior cooling? :( 
August 30, 2012 3:38:00 PM

Definitely read the guides, it will explain a lot.

What we are going to do is change a number of those set values that you computer needs to run the overclock.

Your lack of an aftermarket cooler will definitely limit how high of an overclock that you are going to be able to reach. If you could get an aftermarket cooler and some Arctic Silver 5 (or equivalent thermal paste) it would definitely help you reach a higher overclock and keep your processor cooler. I am not sure on the prices in India, but you should be able to get both for under $50 USD.
August 30, 2012 6:09:12 PM

Great, off to reading.
One last thing before I get back to you "enlightened" :) 
Can you tell me what cooler? I have no clue about brands in this domain or their specs, please give me some suggestion to get started. Will try and get my hands on them.

Will get back to you soon.
Thanks a ton !
August 30, 2012 7:38:44 PM

Well, the best AND most affordable is the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo. If you can get your hands on one of those, get it. If you cant find that, the Scythe Shiruken and Noctura NH-D14 are also good choices, though the Noctura is a bit more expensive.

If you cant find any of those when you are looking around, make SURE it is AM3 compatible (AM3, not AM3+ though usually if it is one then it is both).

Be SURE to get the Arctic Silver Thermal Compound...correct application of that is just as important as the fan itself.
August 30, 2012 7:39:48 PM

OK, I have read the stuff and I think I know my way around the BIOS a little bit better now. Let me see if I can get some stuff straight:

Assuming that the change you are asking me to do is the Memclock value under DRAM timing configuration right? In my BIOS when I set the Memory Clock Mode to Manual, I see a Memclock value of 400, not 1333. Am I looking at the wrong place?

I am assming that by NB frequency you are referring to the NB Freq multiplier

My reference clock is 200
But the processory frequency multiplier and cpu/nb frequency are set to AUTO. On the right it says no information about what value AUTO matches to. How would i know?
If I do a quick math, it says my cpu speed is 3100. If I divide this by my ref clock speed, I get 15.5, would this be my procesory frequency multiplier? Still I dont see how I can get the NB multiplier :( 

As for voltages I see 3 values:
CPU Over Voltage, VDDNB Voltage - and all are auto again, what to do?
However for CPU VDDA Voltage, on the right panel I see I see a max, min and standard - so if standard is the auto then it is 2.5 V.

Stock CPU Heat sink - boy, I am lost on that one. If you are guessing no aftermarket cooler - yes and if stock cpu heatsink is what that refers to the one that comes with the phenom ii processor, then yes.

I am sorry but I am coming back with more questions than answers but this is all a little bit overwhelming, so please be a little patient with me.

Also as per the first link recommended temperature is 50 degrees - my regular running of the machine reports 44 - 49 degrees, that is worrisome :( 

Best solution

August 31, 2012 12:35:39 PM

cannon_dt said:
Please check

Given that I live in India would the 212 evo be sufficient? :( 

Alright, well im glad that you are looking into this stuff. Definitely the better cooler you get, the better off you are going to be. I dont know too much about most of those air coolers that were mentioned in the post except for the Scythe Mugen, i know that one is great. I would say definitely go with what those guys are recommending because they are all very knowledgeable regulars here.

So going into the overclocking:

You are going to want to change three of the values from auto. The CPU/NB Frequency, the processor frequency multiplier, and the CPU/NB voltage.

You are exactly right when you divided the CPU clock of 3100 by the reference clock to get the multiplier. The typical stock multplier for all of the phenom chips is 15.5.

The voltage that we are looking for is going to be somewhere between 0.85 V and 1.425 V, that is the min/max I see on that guess is that it will be 1.25-1.3 V. I am not exactly sure what the name of this field is though.

What we are going to do to overclock is increase the multiplier, and as we increase the multiplier we will gradually be increasing the voltage as well since the faster we make the processor the more power it needs to function properly. The problem is, the more volts we push through the processor, the hotter it gets. This is where the heatsink comes in.

It is a bit of a slow process if you want to overclock the right way, or you could find a shortcut...someone with a similar setup who has successfully overclocked, and you can use their settings. Now doing this is not guaranteed to work, all CPU chips are different and the settings that work on one chip will not necessarily work on another, but it can give you a baseline to start working.

After that post I know you were looking into the Heatsinks and aftermarket coolers, you understand that a bit more now or did you have other questions about it?
September 1, 2012 2:46:14 PM

Yes, he is right, overclocking 2 cores is definitely easier to reach a higher clock than with the chip unlocked to four, HOWEVER, with what you are doing, more cores is more beneficial.

You will see better performance out of a 4 core overclocked to 3.4 than a 2 core overclocked to 3.8.
September 1, 2012 2:59:13 PM

Great, thanks for that.
Over at my graphics card - I reported the enormity of my sadness - the 6670 improved nothing on minecraft :(  :(  :(  :(  :(  :(  :(  :(  :( 
Anyways - I have sent you an invite on gtalk, it should make communication more instantaneous.

However I have more to report
I did an mprime at 2 cores today - in 10 minutes the temps reached 59 and I got scared and shut it down. So I dont think I can do anything until I get the cooler. That has a problem too. At my thread for that ( the 212 is sure to not fit my cabinet. Nothing is going right :( 
And the arctic paste is out of stock here, will take some time to get.

So I dont see what I can do now with nothing in place.

Now for another noob question - if the intended speed is 3.4, can I not simply raise my CPU multi to 17 and I would get 3.4 right? You can scream at me if you want to if it is that silly :D 
a b V Motherboard
September 1, 2012 3:11:39 PM

cannon_dt said:
Recently while gaming and trying to record the gameplay I could not help but notice that there is a huge lag which kind of led me to the conclusion that I need more RAM.

Also I am only keen on performance and dont necessarily want to oc.

I also read your other thread. The OC advice in here is great. If you OC the EVO will be great for you. If your chip actually has 4 good cores then use 4 (based on what you said in the other thread, I think you need to retest the stability of 4 cores at stock clocks - you said it crashed - if the unlocked cores are good then it shouldn't). Less active cores = less energy used = less heat generated. Therefore, usually higher clocks can be achieved by having only 2 or 3 cores active. But like dalmvern said - use four if they are actually good.

But really - since your ultimate problem is trying to capture gameplay video without experiencing huge lag, I think it would be best to start there and then work forward.

Unfortunately, I am not a person with experience in capturing/editing gameplay video, however I know that there are many other members of this community who do have that experience. To help them to help you, you need to list your full system specs, OS and list which games you are doing what with, and what software you are using to capture/edit the gameplay video. Describe the huge lag and when it happens (e.g. all the time?).

When experienced people understand what your complete system is and what you are trying to do with it, they can then tell you what you need to change or upgrade to achieve it. This is my point - Before you spend money on a cooler to OC, why not make sure that OCing or adding ram will actually solve your problem? I wish I could tell you - It will certainly speed up the CPU, but for all I know, that might not be your only problem.
September 3, 2012 4:47:23 PM

I did post a new thread in systems but so far there has not been a single reply to it :( 
September 10, 2012 12:09:37 AM

Best answer selected by cannon_dt.