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New AMD rig to overclock an unlocked 960T w/ too many questions!!?

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Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Hey fellas!

I built my new system last Sunday and it's great! :thup:

Currently, pretty much everything is enjoyably better in almost every way even though I already had the SSD on my old system, I am not exactly sure which components were most responsible for the improvement but I got a noticeable bump in performance and I like it. :D

WEI went from 5.9/5.9/4.3/5.1/7.8 to 7.4/7.4/4.7/5.5/7.9. Overall not quite impressive compared to a gaming rig but, other than the final score, the sub-differences are fairly significant. I wonder if I can increase the 7.4s.

CrystalDiskMark scores however is lower on 4K QD32 yet higher on SEQ, 512k, 4k. Is this normal?

Anyway, it could still be faster! To put the icing on the cake, I wish to get a bit of extra juice from this baby if this is ok. I'm fairly new to OC'ing even though I've done a couple of basic OC'ing back in the Pentium II / Celeron days. Nowadays there's a lot more involved though and I'm wondering if I can get some guidance here. I've read some guides and I have questions and info along with it, which will be divided in 3 parts:

PART 1 is PREPARATION

PART 2 is FINDING & TESTING LIMITS

PART 3 is OVERCLOCKING & TESTING

My post will be lengthy because I know how you experts like to have a lot of information to work with and answering questions you probably already know from your experience. Not all questions however need to have immediate sequential answers. But I ask that they be organized in descending order if possible.

Aside from that, I'm making the rounds on other forums so you may respond with what you can as soon as possible at your convenience.

I will start with the first two questions because I think these answers will determine if I should continue on with the rest of my Q's. Then, if it's ok, I'll expand the OT.

Thank you in advance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 1: PREPARATION

Question 1 - Is it safe to continue running two extra cores using what I've got for light to moderate overclocking?
I begin with (A) my hardware and (B) my goal.

(A) Hardware.
  • CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 960T (unlocked to 6 cores)
  • Heatsink - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (with two Blademasters in push/pull)
  • Motherboard - ASUS M5A88-V EVO, Has heatsink on mosfets. Supposedly 8 + 1 Phase count (VRMs), but not sure if this is accurate or even good enough.
  • Power Supply - Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
  • Case - Antec 300 Illusion (w/ 2 front intake fans, 1 rear exhaust, 1 above and 1 fan on the side)
  • Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 1.5V F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
  • Thermal Paste - Prolimatech PK-1


(B) Goal - A stable 24/7 OC configuration, no ground breaking records or interest in extreme benchmarking scores. I'm not sure exactly what my final OC config could be but here are hypothetical numbers. I am fine with lowering this to achieve my goal on my current setup.
  • CPU (6 cores or how many good stable cores I end up with) = 4000MHz @ 1.400 vCore
  • MULTI = 16.0x
  • NB = 3000MHz CPU/NB @ 1.300 V
  • RAM = 1666MHz @ 1.55 V
  • FSB = 250 @ NB = 1.20 V
  • HT = 2000MHz

Question 2 - To even further cool the VRM heatsinks, what fans would you recommend?
I'm looking at these if they could do the job:

Adjustable, Bendable Portable USB PC Laptop Notebook Cooler Cooling Fan
Arctic Breeze Mobile Portable USB Fan

They're very short so I would need it longer to reach around from outside the rear USB ports and into the case through the pci slots.

EDIT: Upon closer inspection I'm already getting proper airflow to VRM, as well as RAM and NB/SB chips. My bad. :p
AirflowCase-1.jpg

EDIT: Just added a Radeon 5450, and two Antec SpotCool's to cool RAM and NB chip.

The remaining questions continue here...
 
Last edited:

ShrimpBrime

~MadHatDeLidder~
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Start bumping the Cpu multiplier and voltage (when you need it) and lets see how far the air cooler takes it. 3 ghz is pretty slow for a Phenom II
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Which way do you have your Hyper 212+ evo facing? With the ban blowing trough the heatsink to the top or to the back?
 

rescuetoaster

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Wait, are you saying you got a WEI score of 7.9? HOW?!

I have all cores unlocked, and am running at 3.8 just fine. Trents helped me with my OC, so first thing you want to do is overclock with only 4 cores. Stress test it for like an hour, then note the difference in temperature between socket temp and core temp. The reason is that you will lose your core temp when you unlock, so you need to estimate it from the socket temp.

This has some good info about our CPU http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=703271

I'll see if I can find my other thread later.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Back.

What' would be the difference?

Well, you would want your case exhaust fan to be opposite the cooler back where the warmed air is coming through, not at right angles to it. Actually, I as I go back and reread your first post I see that you have a fan in the top and in the back. That should be fine.
 
OP
Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Well, you would want your case exhaust fan to be opposite the cooler back where the warmed air is coming through, not at right angles to it. Actually, I as I go back and reread your first post I see that you have a fan in the top and in the back. That should be fine.
noted. See pic above.
 
OP
Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
While we're waiting for the new parts to arrive, is there anything else I need to cool?

otherwise, we'll move on to the next set of questions...
 

Cman12

Registered
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Wait, are you saying you got a WEI score of 7.9? HOW?!

My Corsair Force 3 SSD and GTX570 gets 7.9 on WEI.

4ghz at 1.41v is pretty good for an unlocked 960t. Are you sure its stable?

And not to make your whole project not seem worth it, why not overclock it with only 4 cores? The extra 2 cores won't do much for gaming and you should be able to get a higher overclock with just 4 cores.
 
OP
Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
And not to make your whole project not seem worth it, why not overclock it with only 4 cores? The extra 2 cores won't do much for gaming and you should be able to get a higher overclock with just 4 cores.
I know. But I've got apps that use all 6 cores. And I would assume programs that use all six cores benefit relatively greater with slower 6 cores than faster 4 cores.
 

storm-chaser

Disabled
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Location
Upstate NY
I have found a couple stable O/Cs to share:

One is bumping up the FSB and tweaking the multi's on your CPU, NB, SB and memory. If you have high quality RAM, you may be able to push it past 1.6ghz. For my Biostar TA880GU3+ the max FSB I could push with stability was 223 (yet this netted 3121mhz NB). With the CPU clock @ 3.8-4.2ghz you will want a CPU-NB v of 1.39-1.43 and with your NB @ 3.0ghz the nb voltage should be 1.23-1.25. The key isnt passing all the benchmarks on the web so long as the computer is stable 24/7 for your purposes, which it is for me with this configuration. Granted, this CPU started life as a 970T (zosma), but still more or less the same as what you have.

3900oc.jpg

The second option is more stable from a "Benchmark" perspective. This means not tampering with the FSB, yet bumping the NB to 2400-3000mhz and the cpu multi up to desired clock. In this case, the CPU was stable at 3.9, but would BSOD every 5-6 hours running 4.0ghz. similar voltages apply, trade off is your NB is slower which will increase latency and decrease throughput. Yet you can tighten up the memory timings. both server a purpose, depending on what type of work/gaming im running. As for cooling, yes it is an important factor, yet I only have one 120mm fan on the hyper 212 and one 120mm fan up front. In fact I ran with just the cpu fan for about a year with the first overclock, with no heat issues. (I use AIDA64 to monitor temps)

cpuz1.png
cpuz2.png
 
Last edited:
OP
Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
These are the remaining questions from the original post (click here to go there.)

Question 3 - What should be the RPM of case and CPU fans when finding limits and during final overclocking?
Normally I have them running lowest RPM because I like having a quiet PC. I only maximise them during hot weather. Though, I wouldn't mind having it high constantly since I listen to my cans anyway.

Questions 4 & 5 - What temp type should I be monitoring and what are maximum safe CPU and core Load temperatures?
According to HWMonitor's reading on 4 cores, there is a 12-15°C difference between core and CPU.

gtaforumscompostingnewt.png


Question 6 - How do I find the NB temp?
HWMonitor and Everest show only CPU and mainboard temps. Maybe the NB have no temp sensors?

Question 7 - What are safe voltage limits?
  1. CPU Voltage = 1.?V (1.4? 1.475? 1.55?)
  2. CPU-NB Voltage = 1.35V
  3. HTT Voltage = 1.? V
  4. SB Voltage = 1.?? V
  5. NB Voltage = 1.2 V ???
  6. CPU VDD = 2.? V
Question 8 - Are these correct stock voltages for 960T?
They are set to Offset mode with Auto values (as shown in my BIOS):

  1. CPU Voltage = 1.225 V
  2. CPU-NB Voltage = 1.125 V
  3. HTT Voltage = 1.200 V
  4. SB Voltage = 1.100 V
  5. NB Voltage = 1.250 V
  6. CPU VDD = 2.5 V (.05 V higher than the safe voltage limit!?)
  7. DRAM Voltage = 1.490 V
  8. Sideport Memory Voltage = 1.500 V (what is this?)
Question 9 - Which of the following settings do I disable?
  1. AMD Turbo Core Technology
  2. GPU Booster
    • Enhanced iGPU SpeedStep
    • GPU Power Saving Mode
  3. CPU & NB Voltage Mode [Offset/Manual]
    • Offset - CPU & NB Voltage is set to offset value.
    • Manual - CPU & NB Voltage is set to a fixed value.
  4. CPU Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled]
  5. CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled]
  6. Cool 'n' Quiet
  7. C1E Support
  8. Anti Surge Support
  9. NB Thermal Protect
  10. CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Function
    • CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Mode [Enabled/Disabled]
      • Turbo
      • Standard
      • Silent
      • Manual
Question 10 - Since I want to use power saving features once I settle for a final 24/7 stable configuration, how exactly do I effectively use (any of) them during and after the OC process?
  1. Anti Surge Support in BIOS
  2. ASUS EPU OS software
  3. CPU & NB Voltage Offset Mode in BIOS
  4. CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] in BIOS
  5. Cool 'n' Quiet in BIOS
  6. C1E Support in BIOS
  7. GPU Power Saving Mode in BIOS
  8. NB Thermal Protect mode in BIOS
  9. PhenomMSRTweaker/AMDMSRTweaker OS software
  10. Undervolting in BIOS

PART 2 - FINDING & TESTING LIMITS

Questions 11 & 12 - Do I use BIOS or AMD Overdrive or TurboV EVO to find my limits and in what sequential order should I find the limits?
  1. RAM
  2. NB
  3. HTT
  4. FSB
  5. Multiplier
Question 13 - While finding limits for each frequency one at a time, to keep other frequencies (and their respective voltages) @ stock settings do I manually enter them or leave them on Auto?
If I need to manually enter them, what is the stock speed for NB and HTT?

Multiplier - 15x
FSB - 200Mhz
RAM - 1600MHz

NB - 2400MHz? [must be 3 x RAM speed (before DDR) right?]
HTT - 2000MHz?

Question 14 & 15 - What program do I use to test the limits and how long should each test be?
Multiplier/FSB ~ Intel Burn Test, 3DMark, or wPrime?
RAM/NB/HTT ~ Intel Burn Test, OCCT, or Super Pi 32M?


PART 3 - OVERCLOCKING & TESTING

Question 16 - Using the BIOS, in what sequential order should I begin the final overclock?
  1. RAM
  2. NB
  3. HTT
  4. FSB
  5. Multiplier
Questions 17 & 18 - What program do I use to test for 24/7 stability and how long should each test be?

Multiplier/FSB ~ Linx? Prime95?
RAM/NB/HTT ~ Prime95 Blend?

Questions 19 & 20 - Besides the life-shortening effect from overclocking, for the long-term use and stability of a computer, with respect to CPU degradation and longevity, is it better to use an offset voltage (which results in a lower idle but higher transition voltage) or manual voltage (roughly constant voltage)? Will the offset voltage spikes (although within my manufacturer's specified voltages) harm the CPU or cause it to degrade faster over time?

Assume the system is under load 60% of the time it is on (which is why I want to use offset mode - cooler and less power at idle).

This post concludes my pre-OC questions.

If needed, there might be another post with OC questions, and a final post with post-OC questions.

Thanks!
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
These are the remaining questions from the original post (click here to go there.)

Question 3 - What should be the RPM of case and CPU fans when finding limits and during final overclocking?
Normally I have them running lowest RPM because I like having a quiet PC. I only maximise them during hot weather. Though, I wouldn't mind having it high constantly since I listen to my cans anyway.

Questions 4 & 5 - What temp type should I be monitoring and what are maximum safe CPU and core Load temperatures? Monitor core and CPU temps both. Core temps are the critical ones but sometimes core temp sensors are not well-calibrated and so its smart to look at both. "Safe" temps would be don't let either the core temp or the CPU temp reach 70c. Instability typically sets in before then, usually when core temps exceed about 55c (again, if they are calibrated well).
According to HWMonitor's reading on 4 cores, there is a 12-15°C difference between core and CPU. Normal with good aftermarket cooling.

gtaforumscompostingnewt.png


Question 6 - How do I find the NB temp?
HWMonitor and Everest show only CPU and mainboard temps. Maybe the NB have no temp sensors? Maybe not. Not uncommon.

Question 7 - What are safe voltage limits?
  1. CPU Voltage = 1.?V (1.4? 1.475? 1.55?)
  2. CPU-NB Voltage = 1.35V
  3. HTT Voltage = 1.? V Leave it at stock, "Auto". Messing with this causes instability.
  4. SB Voltage = 1.?? V Leave it on Auto.
  5. NB Voltage = 1.2 V ??? I leave this on "Auto". Some people give it one or two increments of extra voltage. That may help on some systems. 1.25 maybe.
  6. CPU VDD = 2.? V I would leave this alone.
Question 8 - Are these correct stock voltages for 960T?
They are set to Offset mode with Auto values (as shown in my BIOS):

  1. CPU Voltage = 1.225 V
  2. CPU-NB Voltage = 1.125 V
  3. HTT Voltage = 1.200 V
  4. SB Voltage = 1.100 V
  5. NB Voltage = 1.250 V
  6. CPU VDD = 2.5 V (.05 V higher than the safe voltage limit!?)
  7. DRAM Voltage = 1.490 V
  8. Sideport Memory Voltage = 1.500 V (what is this?)

They look about right for stock.
Question 9 - Which of the following settings do I disable?
  1. AMD Turbo Core Technology Disable
  2. GPU Booster This is the onboard video. Are you using a separate video card? If so, the onboard video is automatically disabled anyway.
    • Enhanced iGPU SpeedStep Ditto from the previous one.
    • GPU Power Saving Mode Ditto
  3. CPU & NB Voltage Mode [Offset/Manual] Just depends on how you like to do the adjustment. "Offset" will use increments like +. 025. "Manua"l will allow you to enter a value for the resulting final voltage that you desire. Two ways of doing the same thing.
    • Offset - CPU & NB Voltage is set to offset value. Ditto
    • Manual - CPU & NB Voltage is set to a fixed value. Ditto
  4. CPU Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] Experiment. This supplements under load the value you chose in bios for CPU voltage.
  5. CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] Ditto.
  6. Cool 'n' Quiet Disable
  7. C1E Support Disable
  8. Anti Surge Support Don't know
  9. NB Thermal Protect If you want. This will set a threshold temp when reached that will throttle down or shut off the system.
  10. CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Function
    • CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Mode [Enabled/Disabled] This stuff allows you to set a graduated fan speed profile so that the fan will speed up with increasing motherboard temps. Experiment to get the right setting for your needs.
      • Turbo
      • Standard
      • Silent
      • Manual
Question 10 - Since I want to use power saving features once I settle for a final 24/7 stable configuration, how exactly do I effectively use (any of) them during and after the OC process? You can't have it both ways. If you want the best, most stable OC you will need to disable power saving features and leave them disabled.
  1. Anti Surge Support in BIOS don't know what this is

    I think I have already answer most of the stuff below with comments above. Except for the last two and I don't know what the next to the last one is about. The last one seems obvious by its own description.
  2. ASUS EPU OS software
  3. CPU & NB Voltage Offset Mode in BIOS
  4. CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] in BIOS
  5. Cool 'n' Quiet in BIOS
  6. C1E Support in BIOS
  7. GPU Power Saving Mode in BIOS
  8. NB Thermal Protect mode in BIOS
  9. PhenomMSRTweaker/AMDMSRTweaker OS software
  10. Undervolting in BIOS

PART 2 - FINDING & TESTING LIMITS

Questions 11 & 12 - Do I use BIOS or AMD Overdrive or TurboV EVO to find my limits and in what sequential order should I find the limits?
  1. RAM
  2. NB
  3. HTT
  4. FSB
  5. Multiplier
Question 13 - While finding limits for each frequency one at a time, to keep other frequencies (and their respective voltages) @ stock settings do I manually enter them or leave them on Auto?
If I need to manually enter them, what is the stock speed for NB and HTT?

Multiplier - 15x
FSB - 200Mhz
RAM - 1600MHz

NB - 2400MHz? [must be 3 x RAM speed (before DDR) right?]
HTT - 2000MHz?

Question 14 & 15 - What program do I use to test the limits and how long should each test be?
Multiplier/FSB ~ Intel Burn Test, 3DMark, or wPrime?
RAM/NB/HTT ~ Intel Burn Test, OCCT, or Super Pi 32M?


PART 3 - OVERCLOCKING & TESTING

Question 16 - Using the BIOS, in what sequential order should I begin the final overclock?
  1. RAM
  2. NB
  3. HTT
  4. FSB
  5. Multiplier
Questions 17 & 18 - What program do I use to test for 24/7 stability and how long should each test be?

Multiplier/FSB ~ Linx? Prime95?
RAM/NB/HTT ~ Prime95 Blend?

Questions 19 & 20 - Besides the life-shortening effect from overclocking, for the long-term use and stability of a computer, with respect to CPU degradation and longevity, is it better to use an offset voltage (which results in a lower idle but higher transition voltage) or manual voltage (roughly constant voltage)? Will the offset voltage spikes (although within my manufacturer's specified voltages) harm the CPU or cause it to degrade faster over time?

Assume the system is under load 60% of the time it is on (which is why I want to use offset mode - cooler and less power at idle).

This post concludes my pre-OC questions.

If needed, there might be another post with OC questions, and a final post with post-OC questions.

Thanks!

Okay, I got exhausted and gave up! You're asking way too much of folks on the forum with this approach. Some of these things you need to experiment with to figure out and some of them you need to research for yourself. When in doubt, leave something on "Auto". Pleas limit your requests for help to one or a few questions at a time. Not a whole grocery list that's a mile long. We're not hear to spoon feed follks but to help them learn.
 

storm-chaser

Disabled
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Location
Upstate NY
These are the remaining questions from the original post (click here to go there.)

Question 3 - What should be the RPM of case and CPU fans when finding limits and during final overclocking?
Fans come in all shapes and sizes. Some fans run light pitch but need more rpms to net additional CFM flow, while others run a very aggressive pitch but dont need to turn rpms to push a nominal amount of air. Much like the final drive gear in a vehicle's transmission, you have counless configurations based on peak engine torque and where that would occur in the rpm zone to achieve best gearing possible. In this case 120mm cpu cooler fans run about 1800-2400rpm give or take. If you want quiet, try the other fan with a nominal rpm of less than 2000. Simplest awnser to this question is look up the fan model's online to find the specs to make sure its running properly.

Normally I have them running lowest RPM because I like having a quiet PC. I only maximise them during hot weather. Though, I wouldn't mind having it high constantly since I listen to my cans anyway.

FAN noise is like having a noisy house fan. People take for granted they can actually have a very quiet PC that is still flowing 80+ CFM through the case. www.endpcnoise.com has excellent products, in perticular I use the case insulation kits located here: http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/std/category=Case_Insulation.html to quiet down machines the benifit is usually 80% quieter than a stock case with say a 120mm cooler.

Questions 4 & 5 - What temp type should I be monitoring and what are maximum safe CPU and core Load temperatures?
According to HWMonitor's reading on 4 cores, there is a 12-15°C difference between core and CPU.
Try to another great program called core-temp-setup.exe to monitor temps real time. You can configure it to display all four core temps on the right, in the task bar. Totally customizable. Changes are you will never overheat a phenom II if you have a decent aftermarket cooler on there. In addition you dont need massive volts to get a good overclock 1.464 is all I needed to get 4200mhz on my 970T X4, and thats about the limit for a thuban unless you go with a liquid cooling system.

gtaforumscompostingnewt.png


Question 6 - How do I find the NB temp?
HWMonitor and Everest show only CPU and mainboard temps. Maybe the NB have no temp sensors?

As far as a know there is no NB voltage listed in Everest.
Easy method, granted you have a quality board is to load the BIOS and go to your hardware monitor settings or voltages page. The NB, CPU_NB, DRAM, and HT voltages should be listed real time somewhere. Now if you could only get into the bios from windows. HP has a very cool failsafe system on the proliant G6's, "Lightsout"...



Question 7 - What are safe voltage limits?
  1. CPU Voltage = 1.55
  2. CPU-NB Voltage = 1.488
  3. HTT Voltage = ?
  4. SB Voltage = 1.3000
  5. NB Voltage = 1.3200
  6. CPU VDD = 2.? V
Question 8 - Are these correct stock voltages for 960T?
They are set to Offset mode with Auto values (as shown in my BIOS):

  1. CPU Voltage = 1.225 V
  2. CPU-NB Voltage = 1.125 V
  3. HTT Voltage = 1.200 V
  4. SB Voltage = 1.100 V
  5. NB Voltage = 1.250 V
  6. CPU VDD = 2.5 V (.05 V higher than the safe voltage limit!?)
  7. DRAM Voltage = 1.490 V
  8. Sideport Memory Voltage = 1.500 V (what is this?)

    Sideport is dedicated RAM memory for your GPU, built in with your MB. This is a cool feature because you dont have to share system memory, and you keep everything seperate which improves overall performance.

Question 9 - Which of the following settings do I disable?
  1. AMD Turbo Core Technology - Turbo core is auto disabled once you start changing the multiplier for the CPU. Just go ahead and disable it, not very effective anyway, at least not like Intel's turbo core tech.
  2. GPU Booster
    • Enhanced iGPU SpeedStep - I would go ahead and disable, but your power bill will go up a few cents
    • GPU Power Saving Mode - Again, disable
  3. CPU & NB Voltage Mode [Offset/Manual] - Set to manual for more granular control
    • Offset - CPU & NB Voltage is set to offset value.
    • Manual - CPU & NB Voltage is set to a fixed value.- This should be enabled if you want to start overclocking.
  4. CPU Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] - auto
  5. CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] auto but if it bsods tweak it
  6. Cool 'n' Quiet - You said you want a quiet case, so you might keep it enabled if your cpu doesnt overheat
  7. C1E Support - Disable
  8. Anti Surge Support - auto
  9. NB Thermal Protect- yes
  10. CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Function - this ties in with Cool and quiet but instead of the processor variably changing the fan rpm based on load and temp, Q-Fan is the motherboard setting a speed.
    • CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Mode [Enabled/Disabled] yes enable for control of fan speeds
      • Turbo
      • Standard
      • Silent
      • Manual
Question 10 - Since I want to use power saving features once I settle for a final 24/7 stable configuration, how exactly do I effectively use (any of) them during and after the OC process?
  1. Anti Surge Support in BIOS- Dont think this is a powersave feature. More like it wont die if you get a surge
  2. ASUS EPU OS software google it?
  3. CPU & NB Voltage Offset Mode in BIOS - Set to disabled for overclock, perhaps enabled for stock speeds
  4. CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] in BIOS
  5. Cool 'n' Quiet in BIOS (This is the second time you asked this)
  6. C1E Support in BIOS (Again, see above)
  7. GPU Power Saving Mode in BIOS ^
  8. NB Thermal Protect mode in BIOS yes
  9. PhenomMSRTweaker/AMDMSRTweaker OS software probably not of much value. a quality overclock is done from the BIOS, but those utilities may be useful to find voltage and clock speed limits.
  10. Undervolting in BIOS - This goes without saying. You really want to find the lowest "stable" voltages because this will keep the heat down


    You should have been able to find the solution to most of your questions by googling

PART 2 - FINDING & TESTING LIMITS

Questions 11 & 12 - Do I use BIOS or AMD Overdrive or TurboV EVO to find my limits and in what sequential order should I find the limits?

You can use AOD to find system limits, why not? but it places limits on max voltages and speeds, you will have more granular control by overclocking in the bios (ie pushing the voltages)
  1. RAM
  2. NB
  3. HTT
  4. FSB
  5. Multiplier
Question 13 - While finding limits for each frequency one at a time, to keep other frequencies (and their respective voltages) @ stock settings do I manually enter them or leave them on Auto? - Make sure you manually enter them to ensure they are stable. sometimes a motherboards "auto" can be different than the hardware's "auto" voltage
If I need to manually enter them, what is the stock speed for NB and HTT?

You need to read up on this yourself, I mean wow. The stock speed for the NB is 2000-2200mhz
Multiplier - 15x
FSB - 200Mhz
RAM - 1600MHz

NB - 2400MHz? [must be 3 x RAM speed (before DDR) right?]
HTT - 2000MHz?

This is something you have to figure out on your own by tweaking each setting and finding stability

Question 14 & 15 - What program do I use to test the limits and how long should each test be?
Multiplier/FSB ~ Intel Burn Test, 3DMark, or wPrime?
RAM/NB/HTT ~ Intel Burn Test, OCCT, or Super Pi 32M

All are good all are different. AIDA64 has a system stability checker, and sisoftware sandra is a good one as well, but the name really sucks




PART 3 - OVERCLOCKING & TESTING

Question 16 - Using the BIOS, in what sequential order should I begin the final overclock?
  1. RAM
  2. NB
  3. HTT
  4. FSB
  5. Multiplier

No set rule here. Generally start with getting the memory dialed in, then move on to the cpu mutli and core voltage, then move to the NB. If you mess with the FSB you will need to change all the multis on your NB CPU and SB/HT link

Questions 17 & 18 - What program do I use to test for 24/7 stability and how long should each test be?


Daily use is the best program to test for stability. If its stable for you without any BSODs and you can run any game peg the cpu to 100% and use it without any glitches or hiccups, you have a "solid overclock". Otherwise, Prime is the best program to get your 2 hour overclock investment to BSOD your PC in a hurry.


Multiplier/FSB ~ Linx? Prime95? Chinese food? Seafood? What do you think?
RAM/NB/HTT ~ Prime95 Blend? Google could be a friend

Questions 19 & 20 - Besides the life-shortening effect from overclocking, for the long-term use and stability of a computer, with respect to CPU degradation and longevity, is it better to use an offset voltage (which results in a lower idle but higher transition voltage) or manual voltage (roughly constant voltage)? Will the offset voltage spikes (although within my manufacturer's specified voltages) harm the CPU or cause it to degrade faster over time?

An overclocked cpu will almost instantly begin to degrade. After a while it will start to blue screen, next your 24 hours of prime will turn into 24 seconds, and the next phase is underclocking just to get it to boot. When the system starts to BSOD, you will need to invest in water cooling because the internals of the cpu are getting cooked, slowly. If you run out of fresh-water, you can always turn to seawater injection if you live next to the ocean, but at great cost to the cooling system and uranium core. Within 6 months it will suffer a complete meltdown and blow a hole in the side of the case, as there is no containment structure, much like what happened at chernobyl and trust me, you do not want the IAEA on your back

Assume the system is under load 60% of the time it is on (which is why I want to use offset mode - cooler and less power at idle).
You cant have your cake and eat it too. You will need to set this to manual for any powerful overclock, but as a work around you can use CIE and Power settngs in the bios and power states min to 20% and max to 100% so it should vary the cpu multi, saving a bit of money

This post concludes my pre-OC questions.

If needed, there might be another post with OC questions, and a final post with post-OC questions.

Dig in and let us know how it turns out. Lots of guides out there for overclocking, in the future it would be best to start there and you'd have a good baseline, and less questions for us to awnser :)

Thanks!
 
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Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Thanks for all your info trents adn storm chaser!.

So sorry it's been a while. I've been rediculously busy with other things. For one, my psu was a defect and I had to replace it before i did anything and my registiry got corrupt so I had to reformat everything and bring my computer back to the way it was before.

ummm..is it okay if the cool 'n quiet optin in bios is greyed out? it says 'enabled' but the option is greyed out so i can't change the option to 'disabled'.

i already disabled c1e supprot and cpu/chassis q fan funciton

Thanks.
 
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Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
dang My ram overclock is Prime95 unstable even tho they're IBT stable...to get it stable i know i need to increase the ram voltage. would the cpu/nb voltage help too or shall i just keep incresaing ram voltage until it's stable?

Here are my ram settings in chronological order:

Ram speed: 1600-1760Mhz @ 1.49V
CPU speed: 2970Mhz
NB/HT speed: 1980Mhz
FSB: 220

Ram speed: 1768-1784Mhz @ 1.58V
CPU speed: 2899Mhz~
NB/HT speed: 2007Mhz~
FSB: 221-223

Ram speed: 1792Mhz @ 1.63V
CPU speed: 2912Mhz
NB/HT speed: 2016Mhz
FSB: 224

Ram speed: 1800Mhz @ 1.70V
CPU speed: 2925Mhz
NB/HT speed: 2025Mhz
FSB: 225

Here is what i did:

According to Intel Burn Test, all my ram overclocks above are STABLE. FYI, I did 'very high' stress level, all cores, 5 loops. it lasts around 19 minutes each session.

I ended my benchmarking @ 1800mhz @ 1.70V and the voltage was getting near 1.75V!
 
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Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
i use the computer all day and i really can't afford to use memtest to test for ram staiblity... lately i've been using prime95 blend but .is there anotehr program to reliably test for ram stability..?

also, i'm hestitant on using memtest mainly because it never reprots any ram instability errors while prime95 blend is reporting ram instability errors. so it looks like prime95 is either more reliable in testing ram instability or faster in detecting ram isntability, or am i wrong here? is memtest not accurately gauging ram (in)stability or is slower?
 
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Stealth3si

Stealth3si

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
so i finally was able to get three stable ram configurations using Prime95 Blend for over 36+ hours.

1587 8-8-8-15-33-2T @ 1.61V

1760 9-9-9-15-40-2T @ 1.53V

1768 9-9-9-15-40-2T @ 1.64V

I also compared several timings, keeping the NB/HT speed as close as possible, but some ram configurations seem to do better or worse in certain timing settings.

SO it woudl help me out alot to know in terms of ram performance what is better/most important in order of: Read, Write, Copy or Latency?