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AMD X3 720 BE OC Unstable !

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello,
I'm trying to overclock my X3 720 BE i know it might be late since i have been running it on 2.8GHz since I've bought it 1 year ago but i thought i would give it a shot
I've got a Gigabyte MA770T UD3P with F2c BIOS motherboard and a GTX 275 graphics card and a Thermaltake Frio OCK CPU Cooler (Air Cooling)

So right now i have the following settings:
Multiplier: x18 @ 3.6GHz
CPU-NB: x12 @ 2.4GHz
CPU Freq: 200 (Unchanged)
PCIE Clock: 101
Memory Clock: Manual @ 1333 (Changed it to manual so the OC won't screw up my memory sticks although 1333 is unchanged)
CPU-NB-VID: +0.125V (Changed to support the 2.4GHz CPU-NB increase)
CPU Voltage: +0150V @ 1.475V (Wasn't stable at all @ 1.45)

P.S: I have set everything that is auto to manual as i have recently known that the OC might up the RAM, VGA and fry them if they are set to auto ! i have also disabled Cool&Quite feature but let the smart fan feature Enabled

Programs used are: OCCT and Prime95 for stress tests and CoreTemp, Cpuz for watching Vcore and Temps

I have initially wanted to OC it to 3.7 but its not even stable @ 3.6 with 1.475 and i really don't want to up the volt to 1.5 since i don't want damage the cpu.

I ran a stress test for 8 hours with OCCT with this build with no errors thought it was stable
But then i ran Prime95 and it gave me a BSOD after 3 hours

The temp min was 31c on idle and maxed at 49c on full load, during the test it was between 44-46c

More Info: ACC was disabled as i failed terribly to unlock the 4th core, CPU stepping 0909 CPMW, Memory timings 9-9-9-24

So what should i do or what do you recommend:
- Lowering the multiplier to x17.5 @ 3.5GHz
- Increase the volt to 1.5v and maintain 3.6GHz
- Increase the CPU-NB and its VID
- Both and even try my luck with 3.7GHz (Note that I've tried 3.7GHz with 1.5v wasn't stable)
- Something i don't know

Help!
and Thanks.
Edited by Xive - 8/14/11 at 5:11am
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post #2 of 10
fill in your system specs in the user cp first.

since most of the 720's top out at 3.6 maybe 3.7 with high voltage, try this:
reference clock(fsb) 207
cpu multi 17.5
cpu-nb multi 13
ram 333 (666 on your board ?)
ht link can stay at 2000

cpu-nb volts 1.3-1.35
cpu/vcore 1.475
ram1.65 (this should be ok. you dont have your ram listed) leave your timings at stock 9-9-9

yes you only dropped 1/2 cpu multi but it might be enough. ddr3 seems to do a lot better on both core clocks and nb clocks. i'll keep looking through my notes and see if i can find more.

watch your temps and try this. see how long you can run prime

*edit*
reference clock 241(or 243 will get you to 3.645)
cpu multi 15
cpu-nb multi 11
ram 266 [533 on your board?(this will put your ram at 1282 but with tight timings later it'll work great)] leave your timings stock 9-9-9
ht link multi 8

all voltages same as above
Edited by pc-illiterate - 8/14/11 at 8:44am
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post #3 of 10
Increase vCore to 1.50v
Drop RAM timings to 9-9-9-24 if they are not already
Bump CPU-NB VID to 1.30v

It will run hot
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post #4 of 10
Making me almost want to overclock mine. 3.6ghz is where they tend to hit a wall I believe
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pc-illiterate View Post
fill in your system specs in the user cp first.
Done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pc-illiterate View Post
since most of the 720's top out at 3.6 maybe 3.7 with high voltage, try this:
reference clock(fsb) 207
cpu multi 17.5
cpu-nb multi 13
ram 333 (666 on your board ?)
ht link can stay at 2000

cpu-nb volts 1.3-1.35
cpu/vcore 1.475
ram1.65 (this should be ok. you dont have your ram listed) leave your timings at stock 9-9-9

yes you only dropped 1/2 cpu multi but it might be enough. ddr3 seems to do a lot better on both core clocks and nb clocks. i'll keep looking through my notes and see if i can find more.

watch your temps and try this. see how long you can run prime
Ram is DDR3 (1333) and runs on 667 indeed as its dual.
But this is a 3.5GHz build still, i would rather have it on 200 as default and not play with the FSB if the results are still the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pc-illiterate View Post
*edit*
reference clock 241(or 243 will get you to 3.645)
cpu multi 15
cpu-nb multi 11
ram 266 [533 on your board?(this will put your ram at 1282 but with tight timings later it'll work great)] leave your timings stock 9-9-9
ht link multi 8

all voltages same as above
My mobo won't boot and revert back the FSB to auto when i set it beyond 230 which is still a 3.5GHz build, btw i wouldn't mind having my ram at 1282 if it was at 3.6 or 3.7 but its still 3.5

Also is it right to up the FSB to 230+ without increasing the Mobo's NB voltage ?
the NB voltage was at default when i set it 243 and i think thats why it didn't boot and reverted back to auto though i didn't try to increase it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by test tube View Post
Increase vCore to 1.50v
Drop RAM timings to 9-9-9-24 if they are not already
Bump CPU-NB VID to 1.30v

It will run hot
My timings are 9-9-9-24 by default
CPU-NB is +0.125 which is 1.3v or 1.325 not sure but its 1.3v+
I did bump the vCore to 1.50v as you said and give it a test
the result was a BSOD again after 2 hours and 15 min of Prime95
======

So i didn't have a choice but to drop the multiplier to x17.5 @ 3.5GHz with default FSB @ 200
with the rest of voltages the same ( vCore 1.475, Cpu-Nb +0.125 )

I have been running Prime95 for the past 5 hours didn't crash nor gave an error looks stable
I think I'm going to stay with this OC unless someone has a better idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaivorth View Post
Making me almost want to overclock mine. 3.6ghz is where they tend to hit a wall I believe
Actually the common OC for this CPU after many hours of googeling is 3.7GHz, 3.6GHz *should* be pretty easy - was not to me - above 3.7 you have to go beyond 1.6 vCore which is not recommended not to mention the heat,
But meh from 2.8 to 3.5 is still good i can't say I'm not satisfied

Although any other input would be appreciated as I'm starting to like OCing

Thanks for the help.
Edited by Xive - 8/14/11 at 4:56pm
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post #6 of 10
I wouldn't mess with the FSB, that's why the 720BE came with an unlocked multiplier. FSB tampering would probably make your system more unstable, since everything else changes as a result it adds more variables to the overclock. and booting into a bad FSB OC can cause problems in your memory, which can pretty much brick your OS and force a reinstall.

you'd be better off sticking with upping the volts on the NB, which could probably benefit from a few extra mhz too.

as for RAM, make sure it's in unganged mode, if it isn't already. that way you won't get any problems from them since they don't need to be sync'd. plus unganged is the best for multi core applications anyways.

if all else fails, keep in mind that prime95 is a very precise application. each new calculation is dependent upon the previous and with just one single error every calculation after becomes incorrect.

while some overclocks can be 'unstable' in prime95, that doesn't mean you will have problems with regular programs. when it comes to applications, there's a difference between an error and a fatal error which is what crashes applications. you can get non fatal errors and never know. it's best to eliminate these, but if you're running it just fine with no crashes or lockups, I wouldn't worry much after I tried all I could.

if you can get it to 3.5 or so without errors, I'd leave it there and call it a day. an extra 100-200mhz isn't going to make a huge difference, especially if it's unstable.
Edited by AMDATI - 8/14/11 at 5:26pm
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post #7 of 10
try upping the cpu-nb up 1 more notch. Personally, i WOULD mess with the FSB but it takes more time fully tweaking because then u gotta find out the max speed of your cpu-nb and then your ram speeds and then ram timings. Just a note though, u generally never up the NB voltage.. it doesn't do anything...

Honestly though, 3.6seems to be the general cap of the cpu. Also, can u not try to unlock the extra core?
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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDATI View Post
I wouldn't mess with the FSB, that's why the 720BE came with an unlocked multiplier. FSB tampering would probably make your system more unstable, since everything else changes as a result it adds more variables to the overclock. and booting into a bad FSB OC can cause problems in your memory, which can pretty much brick your OS and force a reinstall.

you'd be better off sticking with upping the volts on the NB, which could probably benefit from a few extra mhz too.

as for RAM, make sure it's in unganged mode, if it isn't already. that way you won't get any problems from them since they don't need to be sync'd. plus unganged is the best for multi core applications anyways.

if all else fails, keep in mind that prime95 is a very precise application. each new calculation is dependent upon the previous and with just one single error every calculation after becomes incorrect.

while some overclocks can be 'unstable' in prime95, that doesn't mean you will have problems with regular programs. when it comes to applications, there's a difference between an error and a fatal error which is what crashes applications. you can get non fatal errors and never know. it's best to eliminate these, but if you're running it just fine with no crashes or lockups, I wouldn't worry much after I tried all I could.

if you can get it to 3.5 or so without errors, I'd leave it there and call it a day. an extra 100-200mhz isn't going to make a huge difference, especially if it's unstable.
It's not neccesarily true raising the FSB WILL absolutely cause instability but can be a cause regarding your settings when you raise the bus.
This will depend on how far you push it and the settings you use as a whole.

Older machines without a PCI bus lock suffered from HHD corruption but virtually all MB's today have this lock if it can OC at all so that shoudn't be a problem.

AMD's have a history of preferring a mix of both multiplier and bus speeds for the best results. This trend isn't as noticeable with today's hardware but it still applies to get the most from an AMD setup.
I know my 720 BE isn't exactly partial to straightup multiplier adjustments with nothing else done, it prefers to stay at or below 18x for OC'ing as a whole with some bus speed thrown in but can hit 4.3GHz+ with the tweaks I use.

Doesn't mean your chip would since no two chips are alike in behaviour or capability. The tendency of the 720's is to top out around the 3.8GHz mark on average.

I will come out and say 1.6v's is too much voltage to use for clocks at 3.6GHz. You are doing nothing but roasting the chip needlessly. That kind of voltage or higher should be reserved for absolute OC'ing/suicide runs.
Remember that anytime you add voltage, you add heat.
The common rule of thumb used is you should not need to use more than 1.55v's for most any reason with everyday use, less if possible for the clockspeed you want.

As an example my 720 can hit 4.0 with as little as 1.44v's used and I'll also say the train of thought about more voltage is better isn't always true, sometimes it's the temps themselves that will hold you back and Phenom II chips are heat sensitive anyway. If raising voltage doesn't seem to be working try less voltage.

The deal with RAM speeds is that yes, if you push it too high and too far, it can toast a OS in a hurry but that's where you learn how to use RAM dividers and learn about RAM timings, how they would apply and the proper way to do this.

Best thing I could tell you is before pushing onward do some research, there's a wealth of info floating around here you can read on.
For reference, you can look here at the results chart in the opening post of the thread for ideas - Yes I'm in there.
http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/47...00-series.html
Edited by Kryton - 8/14/11 at 11:49pm
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDATI View Post
I wouldn't mess with the FSB, that's why the 720BE came with an unlocked multiplier. FSB tampering would probably make your system more unstable, since everything else changes as a result it adds more variables to the overclock. and booting into a bad FSB OC can cause problems in your memory, which can pretty much brick your OS and force a reinstall.

you'd be better off sticking with upping the volts on the NB, which could probably benefit from a few extra mhz too.
You mean the Cpu-NB right not the mobo's NB !
And the only thing that bothers me about messing with the FSB is the memory clock as i don't know if my memory can take a few extra MHz without dying on me i'd prefer the FSB @ stock speed as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDATI View Post
as for RAM, make sure it's in unganged mode, if it isn't already. that way you won't get any problems from them since they don't need to be sync'd. plus unganged is the best for multi core applications anyways.
Yap its Unganged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDATI View Post
if all else fails, keep in mind that prime95 is a very precise application. each new calculation is dependent upon the previous and with just one single error every calculation after becomes incorrect.

while some overclocks can be 'unstable' in prime95, that doesn't mean you will have problems with regular programs. when it comes to applications, there's a difference between an error and a fatal error which is what crashes applications. you can get non fatal errors and never know. it's best to eliminate these, but if you're running it just fine with no crashes or lockups, I wouldn't worry much after I tried all I could.
Does that mean my 3.6GHz build -in the first post- was actually stable and prime was just yanking my chin however prime got me a BSOD not an error :|
something i don't understand is that OCCT ran 8 hours with no errors nor BSODs at 49c maxed which was acceptable and Prime just failed after 2 or 3 hours !
Although i was not running the Linpack test on OCCT

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDATI View Post
if you can get it to 3.5 or so without errors, I'd leave it there and call it a day. an extra 100-200mhz isn't going to make a huge difference, especially if it's unstable.
I got to 3.5Ghz stable with prime @ 1.475v .. i still think thats too much volts for 3.5 but ya i guess your right 100-200mhz isn't going to make a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hesho View Post
try upping the cpu-nb up 1 more notch. Personally, i WOULD mess with the FSB but it takes more time fully tweaking because then u gotta find out the max speed of your cpu-nb and then your ram speeds and then ram timings. Just a note though, u generally never up the NB voltage.. it doesn't do anything...
I tried upping the cpu-nb 1 more notch @ x12 (2.4GHz) it didn't stabilize the system also tried to increase it to x13 (2.6GHz), got a hardware failure on core #1 so i know my max cpu-nb is x12 @ 2.4GHz ram timings however no :S

Quote:
Originally Posted by hesho View Post
Honestly though, 3.6seems to be the general cap of the cpu. Also, can u not try to unlock the extra core?
I have tried to unlock it setting the EC firmware to hybird and ACC to auto but the PC won't post,
had to reset the CMOS to get it working i have also tried it with the OC @ 1.475v thought that might give the 4th core a kick still no go, also tried besides Auto; All Cores and Per Core at -2% and 0% still no post ... i gave up after that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryton View Post
I know my 720 BE isn't exactly partial to straightup multiplier adjustments with nothing else done, it prefers to stay at or below 18x for OC'ing as a whole with some bus speed thrown in but can hit 4.3GHz+ with the tweaks I use.
Did you have sacrifice some ram speed for that OC ? also i can see your HT Link Freq @ 1.6 (From the charts) may i ask why did you decrease it does it help stabilize the system ?
What was your cpu-nb freq and voltage ?
sorry for the too many questions I'm still learning this stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryton View Post
As an example my 720 can hit 4.0 with as little as 1.44v's used and I'll also say the train of thought about more voltage is better isn't always true, sometimes it's the temps themselves that will hold you back and Phenom II chips are heat sensitive anyway. If raising voltage doesn't seem to be working try less voltage.
Well then let me ask you this do you think 1.475v is too much for 3.5GHz @ (200x17.5) ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryton View Post
Best thing I could tell you is before pushing onward do some research, there's a wealth of info floating around here you can read on.
For reference, you can look here at the results chart in the opening post of the thread for ideas - Yes I'm in there.
http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/47...00-series.html
Yes, i had this chart in-front of me while i was trying out the volts / multipliers tweaks
one thing i noticed about it is that almost all Gigabyte boards require a little bit more volts to stabilize the cpu than Biostars boards it might be irrelevant its just what i noticed.

Thanks for the input guys.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xive View Post
Did you have sacrifice some ram speed for that OC ? also i can see your HT Link Freq @ 1.6 (From the charts) may i ask why did you decrease it does it help stabilize the system ?
What was your cpu-nb freq and voltage ?
sorry for the too many questions I'm still learning this stuff
No problem with the questions, keep asking them.
Yes I had to drop the RAM speeds some based on my FSB settings used at the time for stability. I've since nabbed a much better set so now my RAM can go much higher and maintain stability. Can't recall the exact settings used at that time for my CPU-NB speeds (I think it could have been stock) but for your HT speeds, anything at or below 2400 should be OK. Sometimes trading off a few MHz here gives you some MHz elsewhere and that's simply part of tweaking things. Too much HT speed can cause problems and that's why I dropped that to be sure I hit the speeds I was looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xive View Post
Well then let me ask you this do you think 1.475v is too much for 3.5GHz @ (200x17.5) ?
Well, as long as temps are good, it's OK but do know using a higher multi (20x) is working the chip harder per MHz cycle than a multi of 18x as an example.
Some chips tolerate the higher multi's just fine, others not so much. This is why I stated you might want to use a mix of multiplier and FSB speeds to get the clocks you want. Higher multi's always work the chip harder = more heat and yes, you will sometimes see temps appearing to be OK BUT CPU core temps become the problem since those can spike suddenly under load causing a crash that in many cases you'll never see since it can crash suddenly.
Luckily with my benching I had noted my chip doing this using a higher multi since my MSI has a temp readout LED on the board. Noted the spike in temps right before it would crash and made the needed adjustments to correct. Temp monitoring software can miss these spikes since most tend to have a delay in what's being displayed vs what's happening at that moment. The LED on my board doesn't appear to have any noteable "Lag" in it's temp reporting and that works out well for me.

Going back to using 1.475v's to get 3.5GHz, that is alot of voltage to hit that speed but some chips may simply require it. Could be yours is a dud compared to most other 720's and I've had a few chips like that in my time but I believe you can do better with some additional tweaking.

Keep at it and I believe you'll get things figured out.
Edited by Kryton - 8/15/11 at 7:21am
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