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Amd Overdrive "Auto Clock" just crashed my new box...

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ZealEngine

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Dec 6, 2009
I just built a new box...

Asus M4A79XTD MB
AMD PH II X4 955 3.2ghz
Sunbeam freezer with AS5
Saphire Radeon 4890
4gb Gskill PC 1600 DDR3
1 TB Seagate HD
Antec 300 case with extra fans (all air exiting the case is cool)
500w Thermaltake psu

After installing Windows 7 64bit I installed all the drivers, flashed to the latest bios (using the asus flash gui), and installed AMD overdrive. CPU temps were 38c idle, 43c load. GPU was 62 idle.

I let the machine run overnight, and it seems pretty stable (was able to play a few games ok). However today I tried to run the "Auto clock" option in AMD overdrive and it ended up crashing my machine (auto reset).

It started out ok, before the crash the first thing it did was change my cpu multipler to 16x (how does the cpu multipler relate to raw ghz/speed?), then it started to up my "CPU clock" from 200mhz to 201, 202 ect... This went on for about 10 minutes till it hit 205 where it auto reset my machine :(.

I was told this processor would overclock very well (up to 3.8 or evern 4ghz), and my temps look fine... so whats going on? How are things exploding so fast?

Only two things I notice as odd - on the Status - Board Status screen my voltages look off (12v is 1.8v, 5v is 2.8v, and 3.3v is 1.79v). The voltages look fine in bios however. Also my ram is showing as 666hz frequency, is this right for THIS type of ram...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-Memory+(Desktop+Memory)-_-G.SKILL-_-20231193

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

DarkWhite

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Nov 14, 2009
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ok, just to answer your multi question first
In layman's terms (the only ones I know) Your full speed is your clock speed times your multiplier, lowering your multiplier is useful when you want to see how far you can push your core clock. If you have a black edition processor, you can also raise your multiplier, which is the most straightforward way to overclock.
And about voltages; software is often inept at reading voltages, and you won't recieve much accuracy.
If your processor is a black edition and I were you I'd leave off overdrive for a while, and go about just by moving your multiplier up .5X at a time until you're unstable.
I'd then bump your voltage 1 step (1.4 to 1.425 or something like that) and keep boosting your multiplier. There's a very good write-up about voltage bumps HERE I suggest you read it.
there's also another general guide HERE That I'd look at If I were you.

Also finally, playing games doesn't necessarily constitute a stable machine, A rig is considered stable when it can handle ~8 hours of Prime 95 Toture Test, 1 client per core (4 for you)
 
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ZealEngine

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Dec 6, 2009
Yes I have a 'black' edition. So if I understand your explanation of the core multiplier, there is no difference between a cpu at X ghz, and a cpu at X-Y ghz with a higher core multiplier? If thats true, what is the point of a core multiplier (if the only thing it really does is just 'multiply' a value you can just raise directly)? So lets say I run auto tune again and it sets my multiplier to 16x. What is my effective ghz at that point (assuming we started at 3.2ghz)?

So anyway, in my auto clock window it says...

The result of last successful tune is:

Last CPU clock is: 204 MHz
Last HT Link ref. clock is: 204 MHz
Last CPU multiplier is: 16 X

So I guess that was the last successful setting before my machine reset? Should I try and load those settings? I am a little uneasy about raising things manuall, I was hoping this auto clock tool would do all the scary work for me heh..
 
Last edited:

Parad0x420

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Auto-tune will increase your settings slowly.. usually until they become unstable and crash.. which is what it did.. pretty normal for any kind of auto-tune software. Id check out the guides DW posted, and do most of your clocking through BIOS. Best thing you can do, is change a setting, either .5 on the multiplier, or 5mhz increments on the bus speed, boot into W7, and run a stress test for about 15-20 minutes, to see how high your temps go in that small period. Longer testing is recommended as you will have a rock-solid computer when it can run for 8+ hours at a specific setting under that kind of load. I'd suggest either Prime95 or OCCT. If it crashes immediately, increase the CPU voltage a bit. When you get up to 3.5-3.6+ you should also start to pay attention to your CPU-NB speed.. and should probably be around 2200-2400 by then. HT link speed should stick around 1800-2000.. no reason to go any higher unless you add another 4890 or 2 to your rig. Good luck and post back with your results. :)
 

DarkWhite

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Nov 14, 2009
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Let's say your Core Speed is X
Your Multiplier is Y
Your Processor's Speed is Z
X*Y=Z

So your 955 has an internal clock of 200 MHz stock, but runs at 3.2 GHz
My 965 has an internal clock of 200 MHz stock, but runs at 3.4 GHz, and is therefore faster.

Your 955:
X=200
Y=16
therefore Z = 3200Mhz (3.2 GHz)

My 965:
X=200
Y=17
Therefore Z=3400 MHz (3.4GHz)

To overclock there are 2 ways, the easy way is by your multiplier, for black edition processors. The hard way is to raise the core clock.

When raising your multiplier, it's the most straighforward way possible, and is the way to start. It takes your flat 200MHz and multiplies it. Simple.

When raising your core clock, you are sill making your processor faster (albeit in smaller steps), but that same clock will also raise other speed in your PC, like your RAM.
This is better detailed in the guides I linked to earlier, and their respective authors are much more experienced and knowledgeable than myself.

I'm also not a huge fan of software overclocking tools, because they can make it seem like overclocking is simple and straightforward, especially with your core clock; where it's not.
If I were you I'd read the guides and try doing it in your BIOS, just to start learning, and become more comfortable with what you're doing.
 
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ZealEngine

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Dec 6, 2009
Hrmm so the consensus is that auto clock just sucks? But in any case, the fact that it was only able to go to 16xmultiplier and 204mhz core (I assume that means each of the 4 cores were running at 3.264ghz?)... I was watching the temps while it was doing the auto clock and they never went above 44c... How could it fail at such a low overclock...

Would I have better luck if I upped the core clock first instead of the multiplier? I still dont understand what the difference is between 200mhz core with a 1x multiplier, and a 100mz core with a 2x multiplier. Is there any?

*ok according to what DarkWhite just said, raising the coreclock also effects other things (memory speed ect...) while core multiplier affects JUST cpu speed. I will read those links you posted now...

And the reason I am so fond of overclocking from the os is, it seems like if you push too far, nothing gets saved into bios, so its easier to recover. If I do all the clocking form bios isnt it possible my machine will become un bootable?
 

DarkWhite

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No, there is no difference, it's the final number that counts, except for your RAM speed which ill get to later
Frankly with a black edition processor, your multiplier alone should be able to get you to at least 3.6 or even higher.
I have the 965 which is just a 955 with a higher multiplier, and I'm at 3.7 using multiplier alone, without increasing the core speed, and I'm still going.
The M4a79T (I have it too) Is not the greates for overclocking your core, I haven't really pushed mine because of how well the multiplier works for me.

Now about the RAM. RAM is clocked at a ratio to your core clock, and there are 4 ratios used (1 of which I can remember)
Say your RAM is clocked at 3:8, 3 being your core clock, 8 being your RAM.
If X is core clock,Y is multi, Z is overall clock and R is RAM speed:
X*Y still = Z
X/3*8=r
r*2=R
So having 200 X and 1Y Z=200 and r=533 so R=1066
Having 100 X and 2Y Z=200 and R=264 so R=528

So in changing the multiplier only, your RAM remains unchanged, and that's why it's considered easier.
If you start boosting your core clock, say it's up to 300MHz your s is now at 800MHz, so your RAM is clocked at 1600MHz, and that's where you start having problems. Maybe your RAM can't handle that speed, so you have to drop your ratio so your RAM is clocked at something it can handle.

There are also other clocks that all will change depending on your core clock, and will need to change as you raise your core clock.

EDIT: And the consensus isn't so much that autoclocks suck, but that they will do much less than you can manually.
 
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ZealEngine

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Ok well it looks like I can manually adjust the multiplier from amd overdrive, is there any reason why that wont work? Everyone keeps saying do it from bios, but what is the difference? This way at least if I push it too high, the values seem to get reset back to defaults when I reboot. But if I save the settings to bios, it seems like I could perma hose my box (well I could always clear the cmos, but thats a pain).
 

DarkWhite

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First and foremost, software overclocking will be less stable than doing it through the BIOS.
Second your system will fail Priime95 torture tests long before it fails to post, o if as long as you are realistic in your increases, you will never lose the ability to change it in the BIOS.
 
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ZealEngine

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Well I am starting to think less and less of this amd overdrive. While watching my cpu status it reports 800mhz frequency with 4x multiplier. Makes sense, thats the defaults. But every now and then it reports 2000 frequency with 10.5 multiplier... That doesnt even seem possible, so it has to just be a misreading right?

It also says my nb speed is 2000mhz with 10x multiplier...

I noticed inmu bios I have this thing called 'ai overclock tuner', which is set to auto. In the manual it says it just loads 'optimal parameters', whatever that means.

Sigh ok.. so there is no other good overclockign software I should try? I have to bite the bullet and monkey with things in bios?
 

closeracing

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Nov 19, 2009
I tried the autotune feature too and thought it worked OK (3.84ghz stable). Your system will crash because autotune keeps raising the multiplier and bus until it crashes.
I was able to get a little higher overclock manually (3.95ghz) but it required higher voltages. I am going to try running some benchmarks with the settings applied by overdrive and see how well the system performs.
 

e6600

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amd overdrive should work OK
the autotune is really the big problem on any ocing software. it's never reliable
 

DarkWhite

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You don't absolutely have to use the BIOS, but your system will be more stable if you do so.
AMD Overdrive will allow you to overclock, but I wouldn't recommend it over the BIOS
 
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ZealEngine

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I just heard that it is impossible to become 'unbootable' with bad bios settings? Is this true? I mean I know I could completely fry a component, and thus not be able to boot, but other than that I should ALWAYS be able to hit 'delete' and enter bios, right?

So I guess what I am trying to confirm is, bios wont apply your overclocked cpu/mem settings until AFTER it at least gives you a chance to enter bios when booting?

That would make me feel a whole lot better about commiting changes in bios rather than from the OS.
 

DarkWhite

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Yes, as long as you haven't caused damage to your components, you will be able to enter the BIOS and play around.
Worst case scenario, you have to clear the CMOS, BUT as long as you run a stability test between steps you should never reach that point.
 
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ZealEngine

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OK I have read through those links you posted earlier, I have one question about memory - There seems to be a bottleneck between your core clock (or maybe the HT freq?) and the memory freq. In otherwords, if your memory is running at 600 mhz, but your core clock is only 400 mhz, your memory might as well be running at 400 mhz. Is this correct?

Also I just took a look around my bios and pulled this info...

Power - Hardware Monitor

Vcore - 1.343

Thats my cpu voltage right? Isnt that kinda low for a PH II X4 955 3.2ghz black? Maybe thats why auto tune crashed so fast?

Then on my 'jumper free config' page we find all my freq/multiplier stuff. Unfortunately everything is set to auto, so I have no idea what the next 'smallest step up' is. Can you tell me what I should set these things at for my initial test?

Jumper Free Configuration

CPU Ratio - ?
CPU NB Freq - ?
CPU Volt - (assume this is the 'vcore' 1.343?)
CPU NB Volt - ?
CPU VDDA VOLT - ?

HT Link Speed - ?
HT Link Width - ?
HT Volt - ?

Dram Freq - ?
Dram Volt - ?

NB Volt - ?
NB 1.8v Volt - ?
SB Volt - ?

I am more than happy to spend some time doing this in slow small increments (like those links suggest), but I just dont know where to start. And is it wise to focus exclusively on the CPU first, and completely ignore memory, gpu, ect...? Or do you need to raise them all together in order to gauge things?
 

DarkWhite

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First of all with the VCore, that is your CPU voltage, and it should be at 1.4v minimum for the 955, so that probably caused a little instability.

Now to the bottleneck:
The speed of your RAM is related to your core speed, via a ratio you set in your BIOS, more on that in one of my earlier posts. If your core is at 200MHz, than your RAM can run at 533, 800, 1066, 1600 with no bottlenecks.

You should be able to find the numbers you need in Overdrive, and those would be fairly accurate, just remember you don't necessarily need to raise every setting at every step.
I'd read the general overclocking guide in my firt st post and get an idea of what needs to be changed when.
And if you want to start playing with voltages then please read the guide, also in my second post.
Once you start playing with voltages you're getting into dangerous territory, and your processor will be putting out more heat, so I'd run CoreTemp to make sure it doesn't get too high.
 
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ZealEngine

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I have been monitoring temps very closely in amd overdrive. They seem to idle around 34c, and spike at 47-48 when running a prime95 64bit torture test. Thats good right (using a sunbeam freezer with as5 that hasnt even had time to set yet)?

Unfortunately the other information in amd overdrive is all over the place. Sometimes it says my clock is 200mhz with 16x multiplier, othertimes its 800mhz with 4x... its like its getting flakey readings, or something is 'auto tuning' things on the fly...

And you say I should start the vcore at 1.4? No need to step it up gradually from 1.3?
 

DarkWhite

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I'm assuming your stock voltage is 1.4v, if your stock voltage is 1.3 then use that.
There is little use (when overclocking) to lower the voltage of your processor below stock.
CPU-Z is another tool for system info, and OCCT has decent monitoring features.
When you're using Overdrive, I'd take readings based off of 1. which one seems right, and 2. which one is shown more.
 
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ZealEngine

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How do I tell what stock should be? I dont see it anywhere onthe packaging...

Also I just downloaded OOCT and it reprots the same randomness that amd overdrive does. When sitting idle it looks like I am 800hz x4, but when I run prime95 it reports 3200hz x16! clearly it cant be x16 or my house would be on fire right now.. Maybe the variations are because I have all my bios settings set to 'auto'? Perhaps they will stay constant when I specify values and save them to bios?

I still am a little confused about what I should be aiming for when I start, do I want a low freq like 200, or something higher like 800?