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Overclocking Phenom II 940 Woes.....

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

New to the forums, not new to overclocking. It has been a while since I was really into it though. Years infact. The last PC I overclocked on a regular basis was an Intel P4 Prescott 3 GHZ with a Zalman cooler on a Gigabyte mobo. Before that it was an AMD Athlon64 2800+, but I wound up burning out the VIA K8-800T chipset out of the cheap FIC mobo. Before that it was an AMD Thunderbird 1GHZ on an original ASUS A7V mobo. There was a couple cheap P4's in there too, but none worth mentioning. Maybe my HP DV6040 notebook with the Turion64 TL-52, but I've had to solder that graphics chipset with a propane torch so many times I bet it would only get about 6 FPS on Half Life 1 by now.

My current system is a bit more up-to-date, but I've had it for 2 years and only played with the overclocking features a couple times before always switching back to stock. Until I downloaded Metro 2033 on Steam when it was on sale I had no need to overclock the system. If it weren't for my poor framerate in Metro I'd probably still be stock...

Anyway... On to my system specs...

AMD Phenom II 940 BE Processor
ASUS Crosshair II Formula Mobo
Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler
4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 MHZ Memory
Dual eVGA 1GB 9800GT Graphics Cards in SLi
Corsair TX750w Power Supply
Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Case
NZXT Sentry LX Fan Controller/Temp Monitor
1TB Western Digital Caviar Black System Drive
320GB Hitachi Deskstar (Deathstar) Backup Drive
LG DVD +/- RW Drive



Here's the issue...

I read the manual for the mobo thoroughly. I consider it perfect bathroom reading material actually. I also looked up all over the place some base setups on how to overclock this beast. Before I did that I tried just bumping up the FSB and the PCIe bus a bit. This proved Hella unstable. I then found a good setup online...

FSB 200
Multiplier 17 -or- 17.5
Vcore 3.3875 -or- 3.400
PCIe Bus 100
HT Width Auto
HT Speed Auto
Stock Memory Settings (5-5-5-15 @ 2.20V)

This is touchy. When I do the benchmark for Metro 2033 I get better framerates, but stability is hit-or-miss. Most times is makes it through the benchmark, but sometimes the benchmark will crash. I went to restart the computer to try tweaking some more and the computer just loops over and over, restarting before ever hitting the BIOS. My CMOS LCD Poster says the system is getting hung up on "Detect DRAM". Eventually it will start, but it could repeat this loop 10 or more times before it does. Most times I just hit the CMOS reset on the motherboard.

I got this ram because I thought it was quality stuff (Then again, I was wrong about other components in this rig too, like the Hitachi, the Sentry LX, and the dual graphics cards in SLI). Now it seems that the ram might be my problem. Before I go mucking with timings and voltages (Which I admit to knowing very little about other than the basic premise) I figured I'd ask you guys for an in-depth setup.

I was looking on Amazon for another 4GB of this memory, but would it be wise to just go with 4GB of another type of memory that's more over-clocker friendly and just ditch the Corsair Dominator that I have now?

I'm also planning on ditching the dual graphics card setup, since it doesn't really net me any gains anyway. I tried taking one card out and all I noticed was a drop in system noise and temperature. Yes, SLi is enabled in the nVidia Control Panel. Even games that support nVidia PhysX (Like Metro 2033) don't seem to take advantage of the dual graphics cards. I knew I should've just bought one good card instead of two crappy ones... But the materialistic side of me told me "2 is better than one!" I was a moron, I know. I even bought this mobo because it can support dual SLi at 16X. Guess next time I'll do more research before I press the "Confirm Purchase" button. After I get my taxes back I think I'm going to convince my GF to let me get a near-top shelf graphics card. I do have a near-5 month old son (Whom happens to be the absolute best by the way), but I think I can convince her to let me go for the gold on the graphics cards. She is also a PC gamer, which is pretty cool considering you don't find to many gamer chicks around, especially at her age.
Edited by Platinum_Racing - 1/3/11 at 8:29pm
Puter V
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Phenom II 940 Black Edition ASUS Crosshair II Formula Dual 1GB eVGA 9800GT's in SLI 4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 Mhz 
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1TB Western Digital Caviar Black LG DVD +/- RW Windows 7 Ultimate LG 22" @ 1920x1080 
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Puter V
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB Western Digital Caviar Black LG DVD +/- RW Windows 7 Ultimate LG 22" @ 1920x1080 
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post #2 of 9
I've always heard the Corsair Dominators to be good quality. I also know the quality of SLI has increased quite a bit since the 9800s, I believe even up to 70% or more increase. To be fair though, Metro isn't an average game, as it taxes even some very high end systems.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
It is an incredibly taxing game. I hope I can make this memory work. It out performs any other mid-priced RAM I've used (At stock settings) and looks like its capable of getting rid of tons of heat through those huge fins on the spreaders.

Could it be temperature related? Corsair sells fans that clip onto the heat sinks, but I'm not sure if I'd need one set of fans or two. Also, I don't know if the fans only cover one channel or if they're good for both channels (In other words, if its two memory slots wide or four).

I've also heard that dropping the voltage a tad while keeping the timings the same can help stabilize troublesome RAM. I figured I'd ask before I try it though. I would've thought that this memory would be able to take a little abuse... I mean, I've overclocked way worse ram way higher than this in the past.
Puter V
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Puter V
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1TB Western Digital Caviar Black LG DVD +/- RW Windows 7 Ultimate LG 22" @ 1920x1080 
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post #4 of 9
On my Phenom II 940 I could never get it stable while just raising the Multiplier. I raised my FSB to 248 and left my CPU multiplier at 15 for a 3.72Ghz overclock with 1.488volts, I also overclocked my NB to 2400Ghz.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Do you really think its CPU related? Where the LCD Poster says the computer is getting hung up trying to detect the memory I was originally leaning towards the memory as the culprit.

Also, do you think the Cooler Master V8 can get rid of enough heat to hit 3.7 Ghz? I've been set on trying to hit 3.4 - 3.5 Ghz. I've got it stable at 3.4 but I'm still not happy with the systems performance or how it sometimes gets hung up trying to boot. I was hoping that with more tweaking I can keep it around 3.5 completely stable and see some modest improvements in performance.

While we're on the topic of heat, my primary graphics card posts routine temps exceeding 200 degrees F. I checked with nVidia and they said that 190 should be the maximum. Both cards are stock, and I even switched them around to see if it was just that one card that got too hot but they both do it when they're in the first PCIe slot. I have a 26 gallon air compressor in the basement for automotive-related projects and I regularly use it to blow dust out of the heatsinks, so I know its not dust bunnies. The strange part is that when I was looking into getting Scyth coolers for the cards I contacted EVGA and they said that those temperatures were normal and that if I upgraded the coolers I would still be covered under warranty so long as I replaced the stock ones when I sent them in for repair or replacement. Because of this I haven't replaced the GPU coolers, but the temps of the graphics cards have always been a concern of mine.
Edited by Platinum_Racing - 1/3/11 at 10:51pm
Puter V
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
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Puter V
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB Western Digital Caviar Black LG DVD +/- RW Windows 7 Ultimate LG 22" @ 1920x1080 
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post #6 of 9
A RAM issue could be caused by the CPU, since the IMC is in the CPU. I'm not sure about buyign fans for it though, as I've heard they're just flashy. I have my RAm running at 6-6-6-15-18 1T, 1333 Mhz, 1.8 volts. Heatspreaders only. As for GPU temps, the 8800 and the 9800s run really hot, so those temps seem normal for full load.
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post #7 of 9
I haven't seen a DDR2 ram set that needed 2.2volts to be stable at 5-5-5-15 2T 1066Mhz. It's safe to run it at 2.2volts but it shouldn't be needed to get those timings and frequency stable. You should RMA that set if you need 2.2volts to keep it stable.

Edit: I'm not quite sure if your V8 can handle 3.7Ghz I used a Zerotherm NV120 before the Venomous-X that I have on it now and the temps reached to 57C-62C with the Zerotherm now their sitting at 47C-52C. Your Graphics cards are running extremely high 93C! I haven't used a Nvidia card till the GTX 470 which is in my Phenom II 940 rig and it idles at 35-40C and reaches 65C while gaming. Did you change the fan profile on the cards to keep them cool?
Edited by WannaBeOCer - 1/3/11 at 11:45pm
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I didn't try changing the fan profiles yet. How can I do that?

Also, when I said 5-5-5-15 @ 2.20v I was just reading that straight off the memory stick itself.
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post #9 of 9
Download this and raise the fan speed don't touch anything else.

http://www.evga.com/precision/
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