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Underperforming Overclocks (Phenom II+Cape Verde)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, where to start... First off, I guess I should say hello to everyone. This is my first post in OCN (barring my introductory thread posts), and is actually the main reason I decided to make an account. I'm really hoping you guys can bear with me and help me out as I word my problem out as eloquently as a bumbling bovine. I'm not exactly that OC-savvy yet, so if you feel the need to expound on anything or point out any mistakes or misconceptions I might have, please do.

Anyway, on to my point; I've basically been really disappointed with the way my components, particularly the CPU and GPU, have overclocked. Check my sig out for the exact parts. Thing is, the clock speeds I reach before hitting a BSOD (CPU) or screen hang/crash (GPU) are so much lower than anything I've researched online.

(EDIT: For posterity's and google's sake, I'll write down the specs I had at the time I wrote this thread:
CPU - Phenom II 555 BE
Mobo - Asus M4N68T-M v2
GPU - Powercolor HD 7770
RAM - Kingston 4GB 1333MHz, x2
PSU - Crown Challenger 500W (generic)
Case - (really generic)
End EDIT)

A Phenom II X2 555 BE should be able to reach a minimum speed of 3.9 or 4.0 GHz without voltage tweaking, but the best I can do is a pathetic 3.6 with mine before needing to mess with voltages. And in order to reach 4 GHz, I need to overvolt as much as 1.6V, which is totally insane based on the several threads on overclocking Phenom II chips I've read so far. It's also very bad for my mobo, since it's only got 3+1 phase VRMs which throttle down when I try to get decent clock speeds with unlocked cores.

The story is similar with my HD 7770 (Powercolor). The average overclock level should be 1150MHz for the card in general, and the only review site I saw tackling the Powercolor unit specifically showed an OC of 1125MHz or something. I can't break past 1100MHz with FurMark, and GTA IV and Dishonored refused to play without hanging the screen above 1070MHz. Fiddling with the max power variable does nothing, and voltage control is disabled. (On a sidenote, I was using an HD 4770, same maker, up until last week, and it also OC-ed badly.)

I know that I might just be pretty darn unlucky and bought really bad units of each to OC, but I'm holding out on the hope that something else might be choking my OC headroom. Two things I'm worried about would be the PSU, which is generic, and the mobo, which is Asus but a generally crap Asus mobo for OC-ing. I'm actually going to purchase a new PSU soon - FSP Hexa 500W - along with a new case, and am looking to get a 990FX-based mobo down the line (particularly looking at the Asrock 990FX Extreme 3). I'd just like to hear everyone's thoughts on possible causes and solutions of my under-ocerclocking woes, since it's been bugging me for a while now.
Edited by firagabird - 2/3/13 at 7:23am
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X2 555 M5A97 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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AMD Phenom II X2 555 M5A97 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Samsung HD200HJ Asus DVD-ROM Deep Cool Iceberg Pro 
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-Bit Samsung SyncMaster P2250 Genius somegenericshit 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
FSP Hexa 500W Thermaltake V4 Black Case A4Tech somewirelessshit Edifier somecrappy2.1shit 
Other
Zalman STG2 Thermal Grease 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Asrock 890GX Extreme 3 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Deep Cool Iceberg Pro Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit FSP Hexa 500W 
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post #2 of 15
i think you should learn a lesson by getting a better board for oc'ing. that asrock might not cut it either. look for a 8+ phase board. not too sure about that cooler either. a cooler master 212 plus MX-2 paste might help you reach your goal (i suppose - 4GHz?). sorry, cannot help you with the gpu.

the only other thing i'd suggest is 1600 RAMs.

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

btw, do you know if your chip unlocks? some of the newer boards have done away with core unlocker. a quad at lower clock will perform better than a dual core at 4GHz.
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
@rdr09, thanks for replying! The main question I have though is whether my current motherboard and/or cooler would require my CPU to have relatively higher voltages in order to gain the same multiplier-OC'ed clocks. I know that the mobo is a problem when it comes to its VRM throttling (or worse, getting burned from a too-high over voltage) and that the cooler is a problem if my CPU BSOD's due to heat or is otherwise approaching its max safe temperature (which I've researched previously as being ~62C).

In my particular case, though, I've already learned to accept and work around the limitation of VRM throttling by clocking as high as I can without the mult throttling to 4x (800MHz), and my core temps are WAY below the max safe temps; heck, they're hovering somewhere below 40C. Of course, this isn't even factoring the mobo's possible effects on my GPU clocks, either.

I can only hope that the higher-voltage-for-same-OC-gains-in-CPU/GPU problem is in fact tied to my mobo, or better yet my PSU, the latter of which I'll be replacing by the end of the week. I really don't want to accept that I have totally *****ty units for OC-ing, you see. =/

By the way, yeah, I know about unlocking cores. The benefits when it comes to gaming are highly dependent on the specific game, though - and I'd still want to find some sort of solution to the overclocking problem if I can.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X2 555 M5A97 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Samsung HD200HJ Asus DVD-ROM Deep Cool Iceberg Pro 
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-Bit Samsung SyncMaster P2250 Genius somegenericshit 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
FSP Hexa 500W Thermaltake V4 Black Case A4Tech somewirelessshit Edifier somecrappy2.1shit 
Other
Zalman STG2 Thermal Grease 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Asrock 890GX Extreme 3 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Deep Cool Iceberg Pro Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit FSP Hexa 500W 
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AMD Phenom II X2 555 M5A97 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Samsung HD200HJ Asus DVD-ROM Deep Cool Iceberg Pro 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-Bit Samsung SyncMaster P2250 Genius somegenericshit 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
FSP Hexa 500W Thermaltake V4 Black Case A4Tech somewirelessshit Edifier somecrappy2.1shit 
Other
Zalman STG2 Thermal Grease 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Asrock 890GX Extreme 3 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by firagabird View Post

A Phenom II X2 555 BE should be able to reach a minimum speed of 3.9 or 4.0 GHz without voltage tweaking, but the best I can do is a pathetic 3.6 with mine before needing to mess with voltages. And in order to reach 4 GHz, I need to overvolt as much as 1.6V, which is totally insane based on the several threads on overclocking Phenom II chips I've read so far. It's also very bad for my mobo, since it's only got 3+1 phase VRMs which throttle down when I try to get decent clock speeds with unlocked cores.

On average a Phenom II 555 oc about 3.6ghz without touching the cpu voltage, so you have an average cpu there.
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
@dixson, that's fairly disappointing if it turns out to be true. Still, I'm holding out hope that someone can come and definitively say that it's possible one of the other components of my rig, whether mobo, PSU, or something else, is negatively affecting the ability of both my CPU and GPU to overclock.

On a sidenote, would an ECS A890GXM-A motherboard be a worthwhile upgrade? Based on this, it seems to be a fairly solid mobo for OC-ing (except for closing off possible upgrading to FX CPUs, and having an overvolt limit of 1.55V).

EDIT: Wanted to throw this motherboard for comparison as well; it's an ASUS M5A97 R2.0, and although it's got an upgrade path to FX, I'm worried that the 4+2 phase count is weaker than the ECS mobo I posted earlier. Also not sure if it also has the 1.55V limit, which would suck.
Edited by firagabird - 1/30/13 at 11:19pm
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X2 555 M5A97 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Samsung HD200HJ Asus DVD-ROM Deep Cool Iceberg Pro 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Asrock 890GX Extreme 3 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Deep Cool Iceberg Pro Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit FSP Hexa 500W 
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post #6 of 15
Well I owned 4 Phenom II 555. The major part is holding you back is the Nvidia chipset mobo. Nvidia chipset mobo sucks for ocing.
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post #7 of 15
i agree with dixon. between the two mobos, though, i'd go for the asus but if you can find a NON R2.0 version the better. that version did away with core unlocking. stay away from ecs mobos. not sure where you're from but keep an eye out for the mobs for sale in the ocn market or geeks.com site.
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post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Oh wow. I never knew R2.0 took away core unlocking. Does that apply to all boards that have R2.0, or just the M5A97? Anyway, I'm definitely leaning towards the Asus one, since ECS has a nasty 1.55V limit and no upgrade path to FX. I've also been checking for more high-end mobos (it's actually getting darn hard to find decent AM3+ chipsets in my location [Philippines]), and the other stuff is just out of my price range.

Case in point:
ASUS M5A97 - PHP4690 (USD115)
Asrock 990FX Extreme3 - PHP6150 (USD151)
Asrock 990FX Extreme4 - PHP7700 (USD189)
MSI 990FXA-GD65 - PHP7000 (USD172)

If it's not way more expensive than the M5A97, it's way cheaper (by roughly 30%), but of lower quality of course (the 880 ECS, and Asrock 890GX-PRO3). Suffice it to say, Asus' mobo is the only one that let's me have a solid board for OC-ing (far as I can tell) and not make my wallet cry at the same time.

So, do you guys both agree that upgrading my mobo will give me the best chance of getting more headroom from my CPU+GPU units?
     
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post #9 of 15
wait for dixon. he knows more about this subject. meanwhile, check this thread . . .

http://www.overclock.net/t/1311222/the-difference-between-msi-990fxa-gd65-gd65v2

btw, those prices are pretty decent.
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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
@rdr09, I used to think that having R2.0 on a mobo meant a previously AM3-only chipset was updated to accept AM3+ CPUs, like in the case of ECS. Also, I guess those are decent prices for those mobos, but I'm on a pretty tight budget right now. With the savings I racked up, the M5A97 is really the only one I can afford without compromising too much on OC performance.

Anyway, I wanted to give an update. I just started trying out my new PSU - it's an FSP Hexa 500W - and tried improving the clocks of my GPU. Lo and behold, I think I may have actually stumbled upon one bottleneck factor. Mind you, I only seemed to gain an extra 10MHz on average, but I'll take what I can get. Dishonored used to need 1070MHz to play stable (yes, I know it's more CPU-heavy than GPU; I'm using it for stability purposes), but after swapping in the new PSU, I managed to play it at 1080MHz. GTA IV can now play smoothly with 1085, and I can run Unigine Heaven's benchmark with, uh, that same clock I think.
     
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Kingston Samsung HD200HJ Asus DVD-ROM Deep Cool Iceberg Pro 
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-Bit Samsung SyncMaster P2250 Genius somegenericshit 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
FSP Hexa 500W Thermaltake V4 Black Case A4Tech somewirelessshit Edifier somecrappy2.1shit 
Other
Zalman STG2 Thermal Grease 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Asrock 890GX Extreme 3 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
RAMCoolingOSPower
Kingston Deep Cool Iceberg Pro Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit FSP Hexa 500W 
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Thermaltake V4 Black Case Zalman STG2 Thermal Grease 
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AMD Phenom II X2 555 M5A97 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
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Kingston Samsung HD200HJ Asus DVD-ROM Deep Cool Iceberg Pro 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-Bit Samsung SyncMaster P2250 Genius somegenericshit 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
FSP Hexa 500W Thermaltake V4 Black Case A4Tech somewirelessshit Edifier somecrappy2.1shit 
Other
Zalman STG2 Thermal Grease 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Asrock 890GX Extreme 3 Sapphire HD 7850 Dual-X Edition Kingston 
RAMCoolingOSPower
Kingston Deep Cool Iceberg Pro Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit FSP Hexa 500W 
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