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Overclocking Phenom II 945 question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
So.... I have a 945 CPU. My bad, should have splurged a little more for the dang BE CPU, but at the time, a younger and much more naive me wasn't planning on overclocking. Fast forward to present time and I have this sick and nagging feeling that my processor is under-powered, or it will be when Crysis 2 launches.

I have dutifully read and (tried to) understand this here thread:
http://www.overclock.net/amd-general...ing-guide.html

But, I still have questions, and since the last question in that thread got unanswered for two months...

1. My overclocks seem to be stuck at 3.3GHz (220x15). At the current rate, it is only overclocked by about 10%. I can reach this clock level without raising the voltage (which is nice). However, any attempt to go above this level will result in a system freeze (if done using software) or a complete inability to boot (if done from BIOS). So, how much should I push the voltage? All the way to 1.5V and then start running Prime95?

2. What do I need to do with my RAM timings (9-9-9-24)? Would I also need to increase the voltage? Corsair mentions that their RAM is designed to run at 1.65V, so should I push it up to that voltage level? Do I also need to specify the clock speeds?

Note that I'm a very n00bish overclocker and I've been using AMD OverDrive or Turbo-V to overclock my PC. Should I be doing it differently? I have read that users can reach at least 3.7GHz with their 945s, so should I expect something similar, if not close?
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post #2 of 25
BIOS is your friend. I got mine to 3.8 on 1.42v, but my crappy air cooler halted any advance. I believe I was at 253x15, and that was the ABSOLUTE max FSB for my CPU, yours will vary.
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post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakai4eva View Post
So.... I have a 945 CPU. My bad, should have splurged a little more for the dang BE CPU, but at the time, a younger and much more naive me wasn't planning on overclocking. Fast forward to present time and I have this sick and nagging feeling that my processor is under-powered, or it will be when Crysis 2 launches.
Hey mate. About buying a BE, it's not a huge difference unless the motherboard is the limiting factor. Most boards can reach base clocks around 260, some are even better. It depends on luck if you have a good board and CPU. And about Crysis (2) it is limited by the graphics card, not processor.
Quote:
I have dutifully read and (tried to) understand this here thread:
http://www.overclock.net/amd-general...ing-guide.html

But, I still have questions, and since the last question in that thread got unanswered for two months...

1. My overclocks seem to be stuck at 3.3GHz (220x15). At the current rate, it is only overclocked by about 10%. I can reach this clock level without raising the voltage (which is nice). However, any attempt to go above this level will result in a system freeze (if done using software) or a complete inability to boot (if done from BIOS). So, how much should I push the voltage? All the way to 1.5V and then start running Prime95?
What is the RAM, NB and HT speed? Did you lowered their multipliers so that their speed keeps close to stock? When changing the base clock you OC not only the processor core, but also these other three parts. You need to lower their multipliers to keep them close to stock speed.
Quote:
2. What do I need to do with my RAM timings (9-9-9-24)? Would I also need to increase the voltage? Corsair mentions that their RAM is designed to run at 1.65V, so should I push it up to that voltage level? Do I also need to specify the clock speeds?
If they're meant to run @1.65V it means you shouldn't go over 1.65V. You can use lower voltage if stable or to save power, but undervolting should be a priority after you manage to find the highest clocks at specified voltage.
Quote:
Note that I'm a very n00bish overclocker and I've been using AMD OverDrive or Turbo-V to overclock my PC. Should I be doing it differently? I have read that users can reach at least 3.7GHz with their 945s, so should I expect something similar, if not close?
If you haven't kept the RAM, NB and HT speeds in check and still got 3.3GHz, by doing it properly you won't have any difficulty reaching 3.7GHz.

One last thing, don't up the voltages in "big steps". You mentioned upping the Vcore to 1.5V, I see no reason to do it (for now). There is a law of diminishing returns: at some point the possible clock speed headroom given by the voltage boost will be canceled by the heat output increase that is associated with overvoltage. Increase Vcore only if necessary as it will worsen the thermals and increase stress on the motherboard power circuitry - which in turn can lower maximum overclock.
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post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
Hey mate. About buying a BE, it's not a huge difference unless the motherboard is the limiting factor. Most boards can reach base clocks around 260, some are even better. It depends on luck if you have a good board and CPU. And about Crysis (2) it is limited by the graphics card, not processor.
What is the RAM, NB and HT speed? Did you lowered their multipliers so that their speed keeps close to stock? When changing the base clock you OC not only the processor core, but also these other three parts. You need to lower their multipliers to keep them close to stock speed.
If they're meant to run @1.65V it means you shouldn't go over 1.65V. You can use lower voltage if stable or to save power, but undervolting should be a priority after you manage to find the highest clocks at specified voltage.
If you haven't kept the RAM, NB and HT speeds in check and still got 3.3GHz, by doing it properly you won't have any difficulty reaching 3.7GHz.

One last thing, don't up the voltages in "big steps". You mentioned upping the Vcore to 1.5V, I see no reason to do it (for now). There is a law of diminishing returns: at some point the possible clock speed headroom given by the voltage boost will be canceled by the heat output increase that is associated with overvoltage. Increase Vcore only if necessary as it will worsen the thermals and increase stress on the motherboard power circuitry - which in turn can lower maximum overclock.
Ok... so how do I go about setting RAM, NB and HT multiplier speeds then? In the BIOS too? Any pitfalls I should look out for before I take the dive?
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post #5 of 25
First off you should find out if you have the C2 or C3 revision of the chip...i have the c2 or 125watt version, which has a critical temp of 62c the c3 version is a 95watt and has a higher tolerance 71c, but i see you have a good cooler. The 945 i have here, some ppl have told me its a magic chip cause i got to an unstable 4.0ghz with 1.45v and that was on a crap cooler but 3.9 and 3.8 were stable with stock voltage i.e. 1.35v.

So the main thing to remember is that the faster you go the slower you need to bring your ram. If you have 1333mhz ram, try to keep the speed around the stock speed. And as i was telling another guy, as a rule of thumb, the slower in mhz the ram, tighten the timings, the faster the ram loosen the timings
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post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amd-dude View Post
First off you should find out if you have the C2 or C3 revision of the chip...i have the c2 or 125watt version, which has a critical temp of 62c the c3 version is a 95watt and has a higher tolerance 71c, but i see you have a good cooler. The 945 i have here, some ppl have told me its a magic chip cause i got to an unstable 4.0ghz with 1.45v and that was on a crap cooler but 3.9 and 3.8 were stable with stock voltage i.e. 1.35v.

So the main thing to remember is that the faster you go the slower you need to bring your ram. If you have 1333mhz ram, try to keep the speed around the stock speed. And as i was telling another guy, as a rule of thumb, the slower in mhz the ram, tighten the timings, the faster the ram loosen the timings
It's a C2. What parameters do I have to change if let's say, I wanna try to reach 3.7GHz? What do you mean by loosen/tighten the RAM timings? It's currently at 9-9-9-24 (I think)... Is there any way to do this via AMD OverDrive? I can see some RAM settings there, but I dunno what it means...
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post #7 of 25
okay lets say ur stock ram timings are 9-9-9-24 to tighten the timings mean decrease the numbers so now u can go 7-8-7-21 and to loosen timings is just the opposite 10-10-10-27. So the slower in mhz you take the ram thetighter u make the timings, the faster in mhz the loser you make it
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post #8 of 25
better yet i wrote down my configuration when i had my my chip at 3.7 and 3.8 let me see if i can locate it and i'll post it up for ya...it includes the various volts etc
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post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
I see... so if I wanna go for higher overclocks, i need to:
1. Loosen RAM timings
2. Lower the NB multiplier

Anything else I should watch out for?
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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakai4eva View Post
I see... so if I wanna go for higher overclocks, i need to:
1. Loosen RAM timings
2. Lower the NB multiplier

Anything else I should watch out for?
Yea thats pretty much the short form of it...but with overclocking its alot of trial and error...no two chips are alike so everyone will have different experiences...but here you go i found my old OC sheet:

To get to 3.7ghz

fsb 247x15 multiplier

RAM timing: 9-9-9-24 (RAM speed was 1646mhz)

Voltage: stock (1.35) this is why ppl said my chip was magic

To get to 3.8ghz

fsb 255x15 multiplier

RAM timing: 8-8-8-20 (RAM speed 1360mhz)

Voltage: 1.38

Hope this helps a little, again you need to try different things....to get to 4.0ghz i basically used the 3.8 config and bumped up the fsb and the voltage to 1.45
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