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[ASK] Unlocking & Overclocking X3 on 95W TDP board?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I was wondering, what would it do to the motherboard if I unlock an Athlon II X3 to quad-core on a 95W TDP max. motherboard?

Also, without unlocking, how safe it is to overclock a 95W rated CPU on a 95W TDP board?

PS: Does OC'ing GPU have any correlation to the board TDP? or the TDP only affects the CPU?

I tried googling on the subject, but there was no clear answer regarding this topic. Help would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 7
There's been talk about wether unlocking an Athlon II X3 raises the TDP to 125W or if the TDP stays at 95W. Either way, do not OC the chip on a 95W TDP rated board. You wouldn't want the boards VRM's to fail on you and you be out a motherboard.

And no OC'ing the GPU is not related to the boards CPU TDP. TDP stands for Thermal Design Power and it's the rated wattage for the CPU. The boards rated TDP is the maximum safe CPU TDP. So plugging a 125W TDP CPU into a board rated at 95W would be asking for insta-death so to speak.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iinversion;13474562 
There's been talk about wether unlocking an Athlon II X3 raises the TDP to 125W or if the TDP stays at 95W. Either way, do not OC the chip on a 95W TDP rated board. You wouldn't want the boards VRM's to fail on you and you be out a motherboard.

And no OC'ing the GPU is not related to the boards CPU TDP. TDP stands for Thermal Design Power and it's the rated wattage for the CPU. The boards rated TDP is the maximum safe CPU TDP. So plugging a 125W TDP CPU into a board rated at 95W would be asking for insta-death so to speak.

"Insta-death". That term made me laugh! biggrin.gif
So, there's actually no research made on whether unlocking increases the TDP?

I've been thinking, since Athlon II X3 TDP of 95W is the same of Athlon II X4 TDP rating, would it be possible that AMD bind the Deneb as Rana because the TDP as quad-core exceeds 95W? So, logically speaking, unlocking the dormant core would bring the TDP to the original wattage rating of >95W?

Regarding my second question about OC'ing on 95W rated board:
What is this VRM you're talking about?

What if I overclock the X3 with stock voltage, since no extra voltage will be going through the CPU, my logic says that there's no chance of frying the circuit cause of overvolting. Therefore, the temperature delta gained from the clock frequency increase would be theoretically neutralized by a better aftermarket cooler. Thus, allowing the CPU to stay within the rated Thermal Design Power. CMIIW.

Also, why is different clocked CPU's from the same family (ie. all of the Phenom X4s) has the same TDP, unless rated as 'energy efficient'? Does that mean clock speed does not increases the TDP? Or AMD just put an "upper safe number" and the actual TDP is less than the rated one? Or, the TDP rating is the same regardless of the clock speed, because TDP is the maximum thermal power the silicon/material/transistor could handle?

This TDP stuff is really hard to comprehend. Please shed me some light regarding this matter, oh mighty overclocker(s)!
Edited by elzafir - 5/12/11 at 4:26am
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by elzafir;13475599 
"Insta-death". That term made me laugh! biggrin.gif
So, there's actually no research made on whether unlocking increases the TDP?

I've been thinking, since Athlon II X3 TDP of 95W is the same of Athlon II X4 TDP rating, would it be possible that AMD bind the Deneb as Rana because the TDP as quad-core exceeds 95W? So, logically speaking, unlocking the dormant core would bring the TDP to the original wattage rating of >95W?

Regarding my second question about OC'ing on 95W rated board:
What is this VRM you're talking about?

What if I overclock the X3 with stock voltage, since no extra voltage will be going through the CPU, my logic says that there's no chance of frying the circuit cause of overvolting. Therefore, the temperature delta gained from the clock frequency increase would be theoretically neutralized by a better aftermarket cooler. Thus, allowing the CPU to stay within the rated Thermal Design Power. CMIIW.

Also, why is different clocked CPU's from the same family (ie. all of the Phenom X4s) has the same TDP, unless rated as 'energy efficient'? Does that mean clock speed does not increases the TDP? Or AMD just put an "upper safe number" and the actual TDP is less than the rated one? Or, the TDP rating is the same regardless of the clock speed, because TDP is the maximum thermal power the silicon/material/transistor could handle?

This TDP stuff is really hard to comprehend. Please shed me some light regarding this matter, oh mighty overclocker(s)!


I personally believe that unlocking the extra core does indeed raise the TDP >95W, although there's no way to prove it by monitoring via software on an OS because any software is going to give an inaccurate wattage reading. It could very well be increased to 125W, but then again it could be somewhere in between, but I'm sure it raises at least a little. You are correct when you say keeping the stock voltage value will not increase the temperature, but increasing the frequency will increase the TDP. If I recall right every 100MHz increases your TDP by 3.66W(roughly) for the Athlon II X3/X4. Increases to both voltage and frequency will increase TDP.

The VRM's/MOFSETS are located to the left of the CPU socket. You will see black boxes, and to the left of the black boxes either a heat sink(good) or bare VRM's(bad). You want a board that has a lot of black boxes, and a heatsink on the VRM's and possibly even a heatsink AND fan on them. biggrin.gif ..simply put anyway.

I can't really answer your last question, but I'm going to assume that they put an "upper safe limit" like you said. I mean they did that with voltage sorta? They put a limit of 1.55v on chips knowing every chip they ever made would be able to handle that voltage safely, and that's why many of them can handle much higher voltages.
Edited by iinversion - 5/12/11 at 1:05pm
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post #5 of 7
On my MOBO, after installing CPUID's Hardware monitor, there was this reading labeled "Package" and at full load it would be at 105W, and at idle it was something like <40W (I forgot exactly...I'm on a diff computer ATM.) CPU-Z at stock says Max TDP is at 95W.

I unlocked, and the max wattage went from 105W to 140W. CPU-Z at unlocked now says Max TDP is at 125W.

Though...while stress testing I pointed an infrared thermometer at my VRM's heatsink and there was barely any difference in temperature between stock and unlocked.
Edited by Raizy - 8/19/11 at 8:37pm
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post #6 of 7
What is the particular board you are using?
TDP rating relates to the heat output and what type of stock cooler is to be bundled with the product. AMD uses the more reasonable ACP rating in server processors for this reason. Actual power consumption may be less than the TDP.
post #7 of 7
What cpu did you manage to unlock?
Does it actually say Deneb in cpuz or Propus?

If its Deneb, no doubt it will have 125 watt TDP.
However, most Propus quadcores run in 95 watt so it should be safer.
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