I built my new system last Sunday and it's great!
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.
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.
- 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. NB chip is cooled by Antec SpotCool.
- 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 Cooled by Antec Spotcool.
- Video Card - Radeon HD 5450
- 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.
EDIT: Just added a Radeon 5450, and two Antec SpotCool's to cool RAM and NB chip.
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 12-15Â°C difference between core and CPU.
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?
- CPU Voltage = 1.?V (1.4? 1.475? 1.55?)
- CPU-NB Voltage = 1.35V
- HTT Voltage = 1.? V
- SB Voltage = 1.?? V
- NB Voltage = 1.2 V ???
- CPU VDD = 2.? V
They are set to Offset mode with Auto values (as shown in my BIOS):
- CPU Voltage = 1.225 V
- CPU-NB Voltage = 1.125 V
- HTT Voltage = 1.200 V
- SB Voltage = 1.100 V
- NB Voltage = 1.250 V
- CPU VDD = 2.5 V (.05 V higher than the safe voltage limit!?)
- DRAM Voltage = 1.490 V
- Sideport Memory Voltage = 1.500 V (what is this?)
- AMD Turbo Core Technology
- GPU Booster
- Enhanced iGPU SpeedStep
- GPU Power Saving Mode
- 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.
- CPU Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled]
- CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled]
- Cool 'n' Quiet
- C1E Support
- Anti Surge Support
- NB Thermal Protect
- CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Function
- CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Mode [Enabled/Disabled]
- CPU & Chassis Q-Fan Mode [Enabled/Disabled]
- Anti Surge Support in BIOS
- ASUS EPU OS software
- CPU & NB Voltage Offset Mode in BIOS
- CPU/NB Load-Line Calibration [Auto/Enabled/Disabled] in BIOS
- Cool 'n' Quiet in BIOS
- C1E Support in BIOS
- GPU Power Saving Mode in BIOS
- NB Thermal Protect mode in BIOS
- PhenomMSRTweaker/AMDMSRTweaker OS software
- 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?
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?
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.
Edited by Stealth3si, 28 April 2012 - 06:51 PM.