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Need help overclocking my Athlon x3!!!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Ok so I'm new to overclocking. Let's start with that.

I've overclocked before but only under the supervision of a mildly experienced overclocker.

So basically I have an Athlon x3 with the 4th core unlocked.. Turning it into a "AMD Phenom II X4 B45.. Stock clock is 3.1ghz..

My motherboard is in my sig rig below.. In case you can't scroll down another 2 clicks it's an Asus M4A785-M.. Cheapo 60$ mobo from newegg but it's been awesome for overclocking my other processor. Anyways..........

This processor is locked so I can't just go "my normal noob route" and just mess with the multiplier and voltages. Worked well in the past with my old phenom processor. Easy to get stable overclocks with that one but that was because (as i said before) I could just mess with the multiplier and voltage and be good.

So I know I've got to mess with the north bridge frequency or whatever.. Then again I'm probably wrong about that.. I literally know (lets just say) little to no overclocking with locked processors.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Would like to get 3.5>3.7ghz stable maybe? Benchmarks?YES! Overclock if stable?YES!.. If anyone has any input on these processors that'd be greatly appreciated.

If you have even taken the time to read all of this thanks! Your what overclock.net really needs smile.gif

Ill be on to reply to posts and any other things I need to answer. I can take some pictures and post of anything if needed.. biggrin.gif
post #2 of 2
I had an athlon ii x3 2.9Ghz that I got to 3.5Ghz on stock cooling with no experience at all.

I'm sad to see that you bought an AM2+ mobo in this day and age, but it is what it is - sadly though - the memory is likely to be the deciding factor in this OC. When you OC the FSB - you will OC the processor, but you will also speed up the RAM and the NB and the HT at the same time...

Example: My old system was an Athlon II X3 at 2.9 Ghz when the bus was at 200MHz (stock) and the voltages, RAM, NB etc were all stock... so the RAM was at 1333MHz (side note: even though it's rated at 1600, anything over 1333 is technically an OC, and so has to be set manually in the BIOS regardless of what the box says) the NB was at 2000MHz and the HT was at 2000MHz.

After a lot of trial and error (I'll explain a method shortly) I came to the conclusion that a bus speed of 240MHz put me right where I had the best OC I was going to get on stock cooling and without a black edition cpu (unlocked multiplier) - The 240MHz bus bumped my cpu up to a 25% OC of 3.5 GHz and put my RAM right at it's stock speed of 1600MHz (being a noob at the time, I didn't want to OC the memory beyond rated speeds, I didn't know how to adjust the timings properly) and that took the NB to 2400 (2400 is far better than stock, but on some CPUs such as the Thuban's I was able able to get my 960T's NB to 3100MHz - most people want about 2600-2800 but this can be hard as a noob and with a locked multi) I also left the HT at 2400MHz, not knowing at the time that the HT can operate as designed anywhere between about 1800 and 2100Mhz, anything too far above or below that range will DECREASE 3D gaming performance!!

While your multis are locked, remember you CAN lower the CPU, RAM, NB, and HT multipliers - you just can't RAISE the CPU multi like you could on a black edition... this can be useful, for instance, when you have an OC like my example above, but need to slow down the memory or the HT to make things run stable and properly.

Remember to only OC one component at a time... this will isolate and freezes, and make finding a final OC easy instead of nearly impossible. Remember to only raise voltages when absolutely necessary, as heat can cause instability just as insufficient voltages can! Remember to monitor temps and don't let the CPU exceed 60C for any extended periods of time. Remember you're not completely stable until you pass at LEAST four hours of Prime95 BLEND tests (I say this because it usually takes this long to reach the 64K's which stess the NB the most).

If you want to get the absolute MOST out of your setup, test one thing at a time, and figure out where your maximums are at. Start out by shooting for the highest reference clock possible (lower CPU multiplier, RAM divider, NB, and HT Link keeping below stock). Next test your CPU clock speed, see how high that will go while everything else is stock. Then NB (same rules as above). Then of course your RAM. From there, try to get near your highest from all of the above to work together.

Voltages to tinker with:
CPU Vcore = CPU frequency increases will need this adjusted
NB = High reference clocks MAY benefit from adding more NB voltage as needed. This is your motherboard's NB, not the CPU's.
CPU-NB = Your IMC's voltage. Increases in NB speed and RAM speed will benefit from this being played with.
VDIMM = Obviously your RAM's voltage. Only helpful if your RAM is being pushed really really hard usually. Timings can also help here too.
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