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Biostar TA990FXE (overclocking problems)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Before we begin:

Prior to hooking up a HD to the MB, I tested the RAM with Memtest and there were no errors. However, I have not tested the RAM in the BIOS since this point and everything was set to their defaults in the BIOS at the time of testing. At this point, I changed the SATA option to AHCI in the BIOS and then installed the HDD and the OS. The system has been running like this for a couple of weeks now without any issues so, I decided to go ahead and overclock it to it's potential. The system runs 24/7 so stability, voltages, and temps are critical to me.


My rig is down in my sig but for ease of access it's as follows:

Biostar TA990FXE
AMD Phenom II x4 830 (this is a re-branded OEM version of the 925)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
G, Skill DDR3 1600 (2x4GB) F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG)
Ultra 500 watt ATX PSU (XF500BK)
Windows 7 Professional 64 (clean install on a blank partition)


The issue at hand:

Let me start by saying I have searched high and low here and through Google. I even read through the entire [Official] Biostar 800 series club. That did clue me into a few of the "nuances" of Biostar's firmware but, apparently not enough of it when it comes to a locked multiplier CPU.

I know what the AMD 830 is typically capable of. Prior to reading the 800 club thread, I couldn't get the CPU to overclock at all. It insisted on staying at 2.8 GHz. As a result I tried the "auto" method in the BIOS which was a joke at 3.3 GHz on the highest setting (V8 IIRC). BTW, the auto overclock hasn't worked since that point in time. Selecting any of the auto overclock settings has the CPU sitting at 2.8 GHz. After reading the 800 club thread, I thought I had a fairly decent understanding of how Biostar's "new" BIOS works as I was able to hit 3.5 GHz and it was stable for 16 hours in Prime95 on "blend". I figured 16 hours was long enough to determine stability so, I decided to go back into the BIOS and see what else I could squeeze out of the system.

It was at this juncture that I wanted to tear my hair out and started to loathe the BIOS. Any change at all resulted in the motherboard speaker incessantly beeping until the BIOS started to load or in a lockup prior to the point you would punch the "DEL" key to enter the BIOS. If the BIOS loads after the beeping, the CPU speed is 2.8 GHz even though all the OC settings are still in place.

I know what I need to do to overclock the 830 and my RAM but, I don't know how to go about some of it because of the way Biostar chose to change their BIOS layout. This is just driving me nuts because I know there is a little more left in the CPU and there is a ton left in the RAM. Granted, you need an i7 and it's divider to hit 2 MHz with the RAM I have and the 830 is going to be a bottleneck because it has a "cap" for the RAM speed it can effectively handle. I'm fairly certain the issues I'm running into are BIOS related though and not a result of the hardware. BTW, I also can not get the CPU back to 3.5 GHz as the BIOS does the incessant beeping so it's currently running at 3.4 GHz and the RAM is running at 816 MHz.

Ugh, locked multiplier overclocking was so much easier on an Asus A8n-SLi back in the socket 939 days. I know the temps are not the issue and I'm fairly certain the voltages aren't either. Speaking of the voltages the BIOS hardware monitor reports them as follows:

+1.368 V: CPU Vcore (verified in W7 Pro 64)
+1.575 V: DDR Voltage (verified in W7 Pro 64)
+1.212 V: NB HT Voltage
+1.236 V: CPU/NB Voltage
+1.140 V: NB Voltage
+1.256 V: CPU HT Voltage


What I'm trying to figure out:

How to adjust the CPU frequency, NB frequency, and HT frequency in proper relationship to one another without causing the CPU to run at 2.8 GHz and the motherboard speaker beeping like the Mother******* Death Star is done charging its laz0rs and I'm its locked on target. It would also be nice to figure out how to adjust the RAM divider so that I don't have to leave it's speed on Auto as that can really hinder the speed I can pull out of it. Essentially, I need a little guidance from someone that has experience overclocking a locked multiplier CPU using the Biostar BIOS on the 890 or 990 since Biostar felt the need to rename and hide stuff and, I haven't overclocked anything since the socket 939 days back when dual cores were still hella expensive.


BIOS Settings:

In order to aid in troubleshooting my issue, these are the settings that I have changed in the BIOS. These are also the only settings that will actually overclock the CPU. If any of them change (besides a reduction in the CPU Clock setting) the motherboard speaker goes ape**** after saving the BIOS settings and rebooting, the CPU defaults to 2.8 GHz.

SATA is set to AHCI

CPU Configuration

C1E
Disabled (default is Enabled)

SVM
Disabled (default is Enabled)

Power Now
Disabled (default is Enabled)

HT Temp:
70 C (default is 90 C)

Core leveling
Manual (default is Auto)
Enabled : Core 0
Enabled : Core 1
Enabled : Core 2
Enabled : Core 3


Biostar O.N.E.

Bio-unlock:
Disabled (default is Disabled)

Overclock Navigation:
Manual (default is Normal)

[CPU options in O.N.E.]

CPU Clock:
245 (default is 200)

Spread:
Disabled (default is Enabled)

Over volt:
Auto (default is Auto)

AMD Pstate:
Enabled (default is Disabled)

Core FID:
x14 2800 MHz (this isn't going higher as it's a locked multiplier)

Core VID:
1.375 V (default setting)

Core DID:
Divide by 1 (default setting)

NB FID:
1800 MHz (default setting is 2000 MHz) It is my understanding that this serves as the NB Divider

NB VID:
1.200 V (default setting)

HT Configuration
1800 MHz (default is Auto)


[DRAM options in O.N.E.]

MCT Timing:
Auto (default is Auto)

DRAM Timing:
Both (auto is default)

[DCT 0 & DCT1 Settings]
Everything is set to Auto except for 2TCMD. This has been changed to 2T (default 1T)


G.P.U. Phase
Off (default is On)
    
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post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
For anyone that's curious, I think I've managed to get "acquainted" with Biostar's BIOS. The only thing I don't care for on my current overclock is that the RAM is under-clocked. I can't set the RAM speed any higher or the motherboard speaker will just beep incessantly until I can get into the BIOS to drop the RAM speed back down. I'm not sure if it's a voltage issue or because I am using the Phenom II x4 830 CPU. It's probably a little of both but it's most likely the CPU not wanting to play well with a RAM speed beyond 1600. Progress is progress though. I have done very little testing with Prime95 as I was more concerned with working through the motions rather than final stability. For right now the maximum FSB I am able to achieve is 260. I could boot to W7 Pro at 265 but Prime95 BSOD almost right away with the following message:
Quote:
Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.48
Locale ID: 1033

Additional information about the problem:
BCCode: 101
BCP1: 0000000000000031
BCP2: 0000000000000000
BCP3: FFFFF880031D5180
BCP4: 0000000000000003
OS Version: 6_1_7601
Service Pack: 1_0
Product: 256_1

At the time I still had the CPU Vcore set to the default of 1.375 and the overvolt for it set to auto. During the first Prime95 test with a FSB of 260, there was an error on core 3. Changing the CPU Vcore to 1.350 and the overvolt to +0.050 allowed Prime95 to run for 4 hours on blend at which time I ended the test and moved on to the NB, and then the HT, and then the RAM. I have a hunch that the manual voltage settings on the CPU will allow me to run a higher FSB but, I didn't want to gamble on BSOD until after I have done a stability test in Prime96 for 12 to 16 hours. I also had HWMonitor Pro go a little erratic on me off and on. At one point it thought the motherboard temp was 125 C and that the CPU was -111 C and that the socket temp was 111 C. Obviously none of that was correct as the PC would have shut down or burst into flames. I mean the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is pretty cool and all but it's sure as hell not going to air cool a CPU down to -111 C. My ambient temps have gone up since my first post as a heat wave came out of nowhere yesterday so, that has partially caused an increase in the temps. Load temps were around 38 C to 42 C during the random short test sessions. Anyway, here is a screenshot of the current overclock (please ignore the horrible resolution as the VGA signal on this new TV has an obnoxious native resolution and anything higher results in an overscan):

1747994

In case anyone needs a "template" for the Biostar BIOS and a locked multiplier AMD CPU, here is what I did:

Biostar O.N.E.

Bio-unlock:
Disabled (default is Disabled)

Overclock Navigation:
Manual (default is Normal)

[CPU options in O.N.E.]

CPU Clock:
260 (default is 200)

Spread:
Disabled (default is Enabled)

Over volt:
+0.050 CPU Vcore (default is Auto)
- 0.050 DDR Vcore (default is Auto)
Auto on everything else (default is Auto)

AMD Pstate:
Enabled (default is Disabled)

Core FID:
x14 2800 MHz (this isn't going higher as it's a locked multiplier)

Core VID:
1.350 V (default is 1.375)

Core DID:
Divide by 1 (default setting)

NB FID:
2000 MHz (default setting is 2000 MHz) It is my understanding that this serves as the NB Divider

NB VID:
1.200 V (default setting)

HT Configuration
1600 MHz (default is Auto)


[DRAM options in O.N.E.]

MCT Timing:
Manual (default is Auto)
1066 (this is a 3:8 or x5.330 divider)

DRAM Timing:
Both (auto is default)

[DCT 0 & DCT1 Settings] (default is Auto)
9
9
9
Auto
2T (default 1T)
24
33
Auto
Auto
Auto


G.P.U. Phase
Off (default is On)
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 830 Biostar TA990FXE XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG) G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Ultra XF500BK (500 watt ATX) What's a case? MadCATZ Cyborg M.M.O. 7 
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
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post #3 of 8
ok..umm..a)screw a fan into the side of your case and point it @ your vrm/nb sinks


450

b)your psu is umm..garbeej..get something with real power
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AMD Machine
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OCZ Agility2 40GB Lite-On Rasa Waterblock + Bong Samsung 2 ms 
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dell Thermaltake Tr2-800 Elite 330 cheap 
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Newegg box flap onboard 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500K Gimped @ stock Gigabyte H61-DS2 XFX 5870 800/1250 The Samsung RAM (Awesomeness) 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Crucial m4 64 Sunbeamtech Core-Contact 92 attached via zip-ties. Varies Samsung 2ms 
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varies Corsair GS800 eMachine cheap 
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmuckley View Post

ok..umm..a)screw a fan into the side of your case and point it @ your vrm/nb sinks

b)your psu is umm..garbeej..get something with real power

Wrong thread.
    
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Phenom II X4 830 Biostar TA990FXE XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG) G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 
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WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
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Logitech G11 Ultra XF500BK (500 watt ATX) What's a case? MadCATZ Cyborg M.M.O. 7 
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Phenom II X4 830 Biostar TA990FXE XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG) G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 
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WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I decided to throw a bit of caution to the wind and play around with my voltages to find the outer limits of the system. With the HT and NB running at around 1100 MHz, I was able to boot into Windows with a FSB of 284 which was 3976 MHz with my locked x14 multiplier. It did a BSOD when I told it to reboot. That combined with the fact that a 285 FSB caused a BSOD at boot told me I needed to go down the ladder a bit. Running the CPU at 3,9 GHz became unstable in Prime95 around 2.5 hrs into the blend test so I dropped down to 3.8 GHz and I was solid for 6 hours in Prime95 on blend so I ended the test. After I tweak the voltages down, confirm 12hr to 24 hr stability in Prime95 on blend, and Verify with CPUZ, I'll post all the BIOS settings. Until then, I'll just toss up the screen shot I took at the 6 hr mark. The voltage adjustemnt on this board sort of irritate me. Some of the available steps are entirely to far apart. Maybe one day they will actually allow the BIOS to handle voltages the way the FSB is handled so you just punch in an exact number and be done with it.

I do want to point out real quick that the monitoring software had some anomalies that I am fairly certain are false like the 101 C reading on the motherboard, 2.9 V on the RAM, etc. I'm not sure how "reliable" the Biostar T software (lower right corner) is but I know I can't always trust HWmon Pro as it told me my CPU socket was running -101 C the other day during a test. I've also seen both of them report different max temps from one another during the same test. Anyway in case the picture is to small here are the major stats:

272.00 FSB = 3808 (OC) (default is 2000)
x10.00 NB = 2720 (OC) (default is 2000)
x07.00 HT = 1904 (OC) (default is 2000)
x05.33 RAM = 0725 (UC) (default is 0800) @ 8-8-8-24 2T (default is 9-9-9 2T)
CPU VID = 1.510v (default is 1.375v)
DDR VID = 1.636v (default is 1.500v)

LL


I don't think I am going to try to push the CPU any higher as there probably won't be a lot left in it. I would really like to get more out of the RAM but the CPU just doesn't like the RAM much past 800 (1600). Even with the FSB at 250 (3.5 GHz), it will only see 4 GB of the RAM at 833. I can drop the FSB down to 240 (3.36 GHz) and have the ram at 800 (8 GB) but, I have a hunch the system would be much slower than it currently is. Surely an additional 448 MHz on the CPU and an additional 320 MHz on the FSB would trump the extra 74.66 DDR speed. I hate that the CPU is ultimately bottlenecking the RAM but it doesn't surprise me as it was designed to work with 1333. For a $50 CPU though, it's kicking all kinds of ass even if it does slightly underclock my RAM when I run an overclock. I may try to run around 1.7 V on the RAM and loosen the timings up just to see if I can get a faster speed to work with my CPU. I'm pretty sure it won't though. I'm almost positive the CPU is my actual limitation and not the board or the RAM.

I guess I could always try something crazy like seeing if the system could boot at a FSB of 300 on a x13 multiplier (3,9 GHz) and running the RAM on a 1066 (3:8) divider to run the RAM at 800 lol. I'm not sure what the actual FSB cap is as I was letting the CPU overclock when the BSOD hit at boot on the 285 FSB with a x14 multiplier.
    
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sorry to anyone keeping track of this thread for a fairly lengthy delay in any updates. I got sidetracked with a couple of other projects and then once I got back to this one I decided to try a different overclock "style". I was able to get the CPU to 3.8 (x13.5), the NB to 2.8 (x10), and the RAM to 750 (1500) @8-8-9-30 using a 280 FSB but, even at the bleeding edge of safe voltages it wouldn't run stable on the large FFT test in Prime95. The CPU was stable for 24 hours on the small FFT test, I know the RAM can run at faster speeds, and it was still unstable at higher RAM timings and a lower NB. Based on that, the FSB was most likely the issue so, I backed it down

I decided to run at a 272 FSB with the CPU at x14 (3.8 GHz), the NB at x10 (2720 MHz), the HT at x7 (1904 MHz), and the RAM at 1033 (725/1450 MHz) @ 8-8-9-1T. I was able to drop the voltages down a little but I did have to raise the NB voltage and alter the RAM timing. Prime95 is currently at the 20 hour mark on a large FFT test (knock on wood). I'll put up some screenshots and all the details over the next couple of days after I can confirm 24 hour stability in a Prime95 blend test and in OCCT. In the meantime though here are the basic details:

272 FSB
3.8 GHz CPU (x14) @ 1.488V
2720 NB (x10) @ 1.224V
1904 HT (x7) @ AUTO (1.255V)
725 RAM (1033) @ 1.600V

Ram Timings:
8 (TCL)
1T (2TCMD)
8 (TRCD)
9 (TRP)
4 (TRTP)
24 (TRAS)
35 (TRC)
8 (TWR)
4 (TRRD)
5 (TWTR)


Benchmarks:

Geekbench is showing W7 32 because, it is the trail version. The scores would likely be higher if it was running the W7 64 tests. The temperatures are a little skewed compared to prior posts as there was a large increase in the ambient temperature due to a heatwave that randomly hit. Not a big deal though as it gave some insight as to what the temperatures will look like closer to the summer. The CPU hasn't gone past 55 C during the large FFT test and the load average is 45 C to 50 C.

Geekbench.png

8-1T-8-9-4-25-35-8-4-5MaxxMEM2_m204012141_9812_9016_941GBsec_574ns.jpg
    
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WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
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Phenom II X4 830 Biostar TA990FXE XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG) G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 
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WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
The overclock is stable in Prime95 for 24 hours on both a large FFT (in place) test and a large FFT (blend settings) test. Further stability testing is likely not needed but, I'm going to go ahead and run Prime95 in blend for 24 hours and then do 24 hours of OCCT. The CPU temp never broke 55 C on the large FFT (in place) test. It peaked at 63 C at some point around the 4 to 5 hour mark (I stepped out of the room) on the large FFT (blend settings) test. I seriously doubt it ran at that temperature for any "sustained amount of time" as I was only out of the room for a few minutes and when I came back the CPU was at 45 C and still under full load. It was likely a random temperature spike or erroneous reporting. It was likely an actual spike as the Biostar software also showed the same temperature. The threshold on the 925 is 55 C to 71 C and, since this is a re-branded 925 it should have the same temp range. Given that it was a short temperature burst and the average load temperature is either 40 C - 45 C or 45 C - 50 C (depending on the ambient temperature) I think it was likely a fluke due to the immense amount of stress being placed on the IMC from running large FFTs on blend settings. That is why I want to run a traditional Prime95 blend test tough as well as an OCCT test. The PC likely will not see this level of stress on even a semi-regular basis but, I am approaching this from the same mindset that I would with a vehicle which means making sure it can handle more than it typically would so that you have a comfortable amount of headroom in case you do need to push it harder. Based on prior testing, going to 2T reduces the CPU temperature under load by a fairly "decent" amount so I can always roll over to 2T from 1T if the temps get to out of hand.


Prime95 large FFT (in place) test for 24 hours:

Prime9524hours.png


Prime95 large FFT (blend settings) test for 24 hours:

Prime9524hours-1.png
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 830 Biostar TA990FXE XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG) G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 
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WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
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Logitech G11 Ultra XF500BK (500 watt ATX) What's a case? MadCATZ Cyborg M.M.O. 7 
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SPDIF out to Onkyo HTR520 
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Phenom II X4 830 Biostar TA990FXE XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG) G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Ultra XF500BK (500 watt ATX) What's a case? MadCATZ Cyborg M.M.O. 7 
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SPDIF out to Onkyo HTR520 
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just a quick progress report. Prime 95 on blend failed at 12 hrs, 25 min into the test on the 4th core. The peak temperature of the CPU was 57 C and it was averaging 43 C to 50 C. Stability should be narrowed down to an issue with the RAM at this point so it may be a few days before I post anymore results as I slowly bump the voltage up on the RAM. The ambient temperature has returned to it's typical winter level so hopefully that doesn't skew the testing to much as it makes it difficult to ascertain if it's an issue with voltages or if the system is getting pissy at "reasonable" temperatures.
    
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WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
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Logitech G11 Ultra XF500BK (500 watt ATX) What's a case? MadCATZ Cyborg M.M.O. 7 
Audio
SPDIF out to Onkyo HTR520 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 830 Biostar TA990FXE XFX GeForce 9500 GT (PV-T95G-ZAFG) G Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WDC WD10 01FALS-42K1B0 Samsung SH-222BB (CDDVDW ) Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo Windows 7 Professional 64 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Ultra XF500BK (500 watt ATX) What's a case? MadCATZ Cyborg M.M.O. 7 
Audio
SPDIF out to Onkyo HTR520 
  hide details  
Reply
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