AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition: New Hope?

Overclocking - AMD OverDrive Not Yet Mature, Continued

We conducted this test on an ASUS M3AA32-MVP Deluxe (rev 1.02G) motherboard using the current 0801 BIOS published on 26.12.2007. The Phenom CPU we used is a final version, just like any other you could buy in a store.

ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe

When we attempted to raise the multiplier of our Phenom 9600 Black Edition from 11.5x to 12.0x, our computer crashed. But changing the same settings in the BIOS allowed the system to restart without a hitch, boot Windows Vista, and run without a problem.

AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition

The Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 board, using the current F3 BIOS (1.12.2007), also crashed when we used the OverDrive utility.

The settings from the OverDrive utility are not saved to the BIOS. Thus, if you want to change the settings permanently, you'll need to note them down with pen and paper and then set them in the BIOS manually. However, since the settings don't seem to have the same effect across various boards - as we realized with our ASUS board - that calls into question the general usefulness of the tool. You can choose to have the tool start up with Windows, which will ensure that the settings are applied at every launch. Even this is not a 100% guaranteed method, though.

AMD will still have to invest some more time and effort into this tool before it works reliably and provides the desired results. For now, we can't with a clear conscience recommend using the OverDrive utility to overclock Phenom processors, since its functionality is still rather lacking. Even though we used specially adapted versions provided by the motherboard makers, we still experienced crashes and lockups. In the end, we decided to overclock our systems directly through the BIOS.

Voltage settings in theOverDrive tool

That's not to say that the AMD OverDrive utility does not offer some benefits, though. It allows the user to adjust the memory timings from within Windows, to monitor and change voltages, and keep an eye on temperatures. Still, even in the newest version (2.09), the tool was unable to supply correct temperature readings.

Incorrect temperature readings

  • ShadowKai
    I think on page 14 the author meant:

    "When Cool'n'Quiet is deactivated, idle power consumption rises to 51 watts. The jump in power consumption at 2.70 GHz is a direct result of the core voltage increase from 1.250 V to 1.400 V."

    And the bars for Phenom 9600 BE and Phenom 9600 BE (CnC) should be switched around.
  • I think it's also important to mention the fact that Vista SP1 includes it's OWN TLB fix which overrides the bios setting of many boards. I used an app that works in conjunction with Crystal CPUID to change the MSR directly to deactivate this secondary TLB fix. It caused a dramatic improvement in performance; the quick and simple WinRAR bench went from 232 to ~1300 after the fix. Just think it's worth mentioning!
  • I think I may have found a new problem with this bug. I have a Phenom X4 9600, and have tried two different motherboards. The problem occurs when running Windows 7. BSOD with a message stating that the operating system did not receive an clock interupt signal from the second processor. At first I thought it was a bios problem, but have since had to replace the motherboard. Tried Windows 7 again after replacing the motherboard and still having the same problem.