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New AMD rig to overclock an unlocked 960T w/ too many questions!!?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Hey fellas!

I built my new system last Sunday and it's great! thumb.gif

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. biggrin.gif

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.
(A) Hardware.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Thermal Paste - Prolimatech PK-1
th_Untitled1-1.jpgth_Untitled2.jpgth_Untitled3.jpg
(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. tongue.gif
AirflowCase-1.jpg

EDIT: Just added a Radeon 5450, and two Antec SpotCool's to cool RAM and NB chip.

The remaining questions continue here...
Edited by Stealth3si - 4/28/12 at 7:46pm
post #2 of 63
A1. It should be safe running you 960T with 6 cores. Even with an OC up to 4Ghz.

A2. If you can try looking for Antec's Spot Cooler they are designed for that type of cooling, note I have heard before they are not very quiet.

In reference to question 1, you may have some trouble trying to get a medium to high OC using inbuilt graphics.

If you use a dedicated GPU and disable you inbuilt graphics it should make it easier.
post #3 of 63
ginger is right you could always get aftermarket coolers for the nb n sb.
as for the vrms the fans on the hs and the rear exaust should pull the heat off them.
post #4 of 63
i agree with ginger. totally safe to run your rig as a hex. without o'cing you can even lower the vcore to 1.16v with Cool & Quiet enabled.

once you start o'cing, you will have to disable C&Q, C1E, HT, Turbo, and Turbo V (if present).
for 4GHz and below and after stability testing you can enable C&Q and test stability again.

i would use Linx first to check how high a temp you'll get after o'cing and making sure the cpu temp does not go over 62C (60C to be safe). About 5 runs at Max. Follow this with Prime95 blend using 90% of memory for 12hrs at least. Note that Core temps cannot be read when chip is unlocked. Use HW Monitor and Speedfan to monitor temps closely.

i use to have the 212+ and it was good for 4GHz unlocked but struggles any higher. Thubans do get very hot above 4.

for proper oc'ing use this guide . . .

http://www.overclock.net/t/777378/official-gappos-little-deneb-thuban-overclocking-guide-with-too-many-smileys

for further help . . .

http://www.overclock.net/t/1189945/amd-zosma-960t-1600t-1605t-cpu-club

+ rep for a fine presentation. you must be a tech writer.gl!

EDIT:
all good settings . . .

•CPU (6 cores or how many good stable cores I end up with) = 4000MHz @ 1.400 vCore (with the 212 i needed 1.42v)
•MULTI = 16.0x
•NB = 3000MHz CPU/NB @ 1.300 V (raise to 1.35-37 even 1.40v if it does not boot)
•RAM = 1666MHz @ 1.55 V
•FSB = 250 @ NB = 1.20 V
•HT = 2000MHz
Edited by rdr09 - 4/21/12 at 4:25am
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post #5 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger_nuts View Post

In reference to question 1, you may have some trouble trying to get a medium to high OC using inbuilt graphics.
If you use a dedicated GPU and disable you inbuilt graphics it should make it easier.
Why?

Do you thinkthis would be an upgrade?
Quote:
Originally Posted by richie_2010 View Post

ginger is right you could always get aftermarket coolers for the nb n sb.
I gotta side fan blowing into the PCI slot areawhere the nb n sb chips are right next to them which should cool them as well. see pic above. smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdr09 View Post

i agree with ginger. totally safe to run your rig as a hex. without o'cing you can even lower the vcore to 1.16v with Cool & Quiet enabled.
once you start o'cing, you will have to disable C&Q, C1E, HT, Turbo, and Turbo V (if present).
for 4GHz and below and after stability testing you can enable C&Q and test stability again.
i would use Linx first to check how high a temp you'll get after o'cing and making sure the cpu temp does not go over 62C (60C to be safe). About 5 runs at Max. Follow this with Prime95 blend using 90% of memory for 12hrs at least. Note that Core temps cannot be read when chip is unlocked. Use HW Monitor and Speedfan to monitor temps closely.
i use to have the 212+ and it was good for 4GHz unlocked but struggles any higher. Thubans do get very hot above 4.
for proper oc'ing use this guide . . .
http://www.overclock.net/t/777378/official-gappos-little-deneb-thuban-overclocking-guide-with-too-many-smileys
for further help . . .
http://www.overclock.net/t/1189945/amd-zosma-960t-1600t-1605t-cpu-club
+ rep for a fine presentation. you must be a tech writer.gl!
EDIT:
all good settings . . .
•CPU (6 cores or how many good stable cores I end up with) = 4000MHz @ 1.400 vCore (with the 212 i needed 1.42v)
•MULTI = 16.0x
•NB = 3000MHz CPU/NB @ 1.300 V (raise to 1.35-37 even 1.40v if it does not boot)
•RAM = 1666MHz @ 1.55 V
•FSB = 250 @ NB = 1.20 V
•HT = 2000MHz
some of my incoming questions are based on what you just said...
Edited by Stealth3si - 4/22/12 at 1:29pm
post #6 of 63
Because over clocking will increase the speed at which the graphics chip, I believe the North Bridge chip, operates at.

This would be the limiting factor for it.

And that 5450 would be considered an upgrade.
post #7 of 63
You can also use a halo framed fan like the CM Excalibur on the pull side of your CPU cooler to help VRM airflow
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103083

and a slim fan on the back side of the CPU socket/VRM's will lower temps as well
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185071

You should switch to a dedicated GPU as mentioned above, although I would at least maybe step up to the HD 6570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102934
or the HD 6450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161376
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post #8 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger_nuts View Post

Because over clocking will increase the speed at which the graphics chip, I believe the North Bridge chip, operates at.
This would be the limiting factor for it.
well then... i just placed an order for the 5450. should lift some load off of the nb.

but i jus re-checked my airflow...the vrms seem cooled enough but looks like the ram and nb are in dead space...no direct airflow on them. tho the rams are directly behind the cpu fan that air is being pulled from them but you see we have heat waves here in socal hot enought to make me faint and i think these should benefit from active cooling in the summer.

to be safe I ordered 2 antec spot cools for the ram and nb. specool.gif
Edited by Stealth3si - 4/22/12 at 11:33pm
post #9 of 63
Use the Multiplier to OC, i think you are OC'ing using the FSB yours is a BE which has an unlocked multiplier.

myself wants to OC my unlocked 960T but due mobo and no core temp reading I am a little cautious.
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post #10 of 63
Thread Starter 
While we're waiting for the new parts to arrive, is there anything else I need to buy?

a new chipset cooler perhaps? although i'd rather put new paste on the nb and spotcool it along w/ the ram and call it a day.

otherwise, we'll move on to the next set of questions...
Edited by Stealth3si - 4/24/12 at 12:06am
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