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Bit old school - Phenom II X4 965 BE OC question

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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Bit old school - Phenom II X4 965 BE OC question

Hi all,

Its been many years since I have been on this forum but I need a bit of help on this, I am aware that the Phenom II CPUs are now very old considering its still running on the AM3 socket but I am enjoying seeing what I can get out of the CPU until I upgrade at some point in the future.

The CPU is currently a large bottleneck on my current graphics card - 4GB RX470, but I currently hold the highest benchmark score on Firestrike (all of them) for the processor and GPU combo, my physics score is holding me back getting a higher score which is CPU related.

I am currently running a basic overclock on the CPU of 4 GHz - 200 x 20, my Corsair RAM is only 1333mhz so might look to change to some 1600mhz sticks at some point, HT speed is set to 2000Mhz, cool and quiet is off, currently looking at the NB speed - its current at 200 x 13 so 2600mhz. I am currently stuck at the 4GHz mark, I have got a valid CPU-z at 4.1ghz but its not stable enough to run through benchmarks:

4.0Ghz stable - although have bumped the NB further since validation - max temp under load has been around 51C, am currently using a basic AIO water cooler after swapping out a Hyper 212 Evo - aware that he thermal wall is at 55c.

https://valid.x86.fr/56m221

4.1Ghz not 100% stable but enough to run and validate (voltage is higher than needed)

https://valid.x86.fr/ne7tra

I am still running the stock NB voltage of 1.1v, might look to run to 1.2v and push for 2800mhz or maybe 3000mhz to hopefully bump the performance slightly, I can tell by looking at the highest benchmark scores of those running a single RX470 that I am basically close limit of the card in terms of FPS performance and overclock before I start to get artifacts.

Worth noting that this is a bit of fun, I am aware that the CPU is old but its interesting to see how far I can go and run the current generation of benchmarking - worth also noting that my current score on Firestrike is better than 57% of other benchmarks so not too bad for such an old CPU! Here is my current highest benchmark so far at 9,505 - https://www.3dmark.com/fs/17209628.

I was looking at the X6 as a possible upgrade on the AM3 as they aren't that expensive but I think I will plan to carry on with the X4 overclock for the time being.

My PC is used for general use as well as running games at 1080p - I can run most of the games I own on full settings with 60fps (apart from Metro 2033!) - the overclocking and benchmarking is more of a bit of fun to see how far I can go.

I have a couple of questions though as I am looking to push past the 4Ghz mark:

Northbridge speed - will running the NB speed at 2800 or 3000 and bump the voltage to 1.2v help with stability - I believe the best speed at 4Ghz is at around 2600 which is currently is at
RAM - would swapping out to 1600 sticks work better - currently have 2 x 2Gb sticks and 2 x 4Gb sticks running in ganged mode, should I run unganged? RAM is never at 100% so perhaps unganged might work?
RAM timings - currently at stock settings, should I look to tighten these up?

I think I am looking for some help to keep the system stable, I know it can clock higher but I am trying to work out which part of the system is causing the instability, its why I am using the unlocked multiplier first as then the RAM isn't overclocked, I have also run the CPU at 1.5v just to see if its a core voltage issue when pushing past 4 Ghz and it doesn't seem to be as it still crashed out - trying different settings using AMD Overdrive at the moment.

I welcome any suggestions for this overclock, have been running a mild multiplier overclock for a while but didn't really know about the extra performance the NB gave at above stock 2000mhz speeds.

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 06:47 AM
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Average OC on air based on HWBot submissions is around 4050. Looking at the hardware in use your OC is damn good, Micro ATX boards generally aren't associated with screaming OCs. Using two different RAM sizes can cause some stability problems also. What you are doing and testing different voltages/settings is about all you can do.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 06:50 AM
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Which motherboard? You should be running unganged, and also they should be running in alternating slots...i.e. the same sticks in slots 1 and 3 and slots 2 and 4. The cpu/nb speeds depend on your particular IMC, 2800+3000MHz at up to 1.35v.
http://www.hwbot.org/submission/2272...90_21991_marks one of my old cpu's.

https://valid.x86.fr/cache/banner/4d8m5e-6.png
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 07:34 AM
 
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I didn't have one, but that Asrock board could of ran them. had like the doggest 8320 then got actually a really good 9590 for it...that one did clock good on lower vcore. It was allll dogged out. I was running mostly like 2400mhz NB and HT...I still got a couple sticks of 2400mhz.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Redwoodz View Post
Which motherboard? You should be running unganged, and also they should be running in alternating slots...i.e. the same sticks in slots 1 and 3 and slots 2 and 4. The cpu/nb speeds depend on your particular IMC, 2800+3000MHz at up to 1.35v.
http://www.hwbot.org/submission/2272...90_21991_marks one of my old cpu's.
Its a cheap Foxxconn A88GMX, will look to set it to unganged - am I correct to say that this means each core gets 1 stick of RAM? With regards to the alternating slots, the motherboard is colour coded so as far as I know 1 and 2 are paired along with 3 and 4. I might actually look to remove 2 of the sticks and just run the 2 x 4GB matched pair to see if it makes a difference - might also experiment with a matched pair of 1600mhz RAM as well.

Will look at playing with the CPU/NB speed a bit, only bumped it slightly as the stock speed was 2000Mhz - didn't know it was common to overclock to 2800 or 3000 etc - will try some back to back runs to see if it makes a difference.

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Aleslammer View Post
Average OC on air based on HWBot submissions is around 4050. Looking at the hardware in use your OC is damn good, Micro ATX boards generally aren't associated with screaming OCs. Using two different RAM sizes can cause some stability problems also. What you are doing and testing different voltages/settings is about all you can do.
I use a mix of testing tools, Prime, Intelburn as well as OCCT etc to make sure its stable.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I am going to try a few different settings to see what sort of improvement I can get with different tweeks, will only change 1 thing at a time and see what makes the biggest difference - although this might only help a few people due to the age of the CPU, it might help those running an older system and want to get a bit more performance out of their system if their GPU is being bottlenecked by the CPU at stock speeds.

Plan for testing - please note that I will be keeping the GPU at the same overclocked settings for all benchmarking runs - will be using the standard Firestrike:

Stock clock, Stock CPU/NB - ganged RAM
Stock clock, Stock CPU/NB - unganged RAM
Overclock to 4Ghz, stock CPU/NB
Overclocked to 4 Ghz, Overclocked CPU/NB

From here I will also then try and removing some RAM to see if that makes a difference.

Will try and run a couple of benchmark runs and average them together.

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are the initial back to back runs, 3 runs and then an average:

Stock clock, Stock CPU/NB - ganged RAM - 8722, 8705, 8650 = 8692.3
Stock clock, Stock CPU/NB - unganged RAM - 8711, 8716, 8705 = 8710.6

Small advantage goes to unganged setup - 4 cores with 4 sticks - but whats interesting is the unganged is more consistant, will be running unganged moving forward but might try a few different RAM setups.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Now its getting interesting:

Overclock to 4Ghz, stock CPU/NB - 9308, 9287, 9314 = 9303

So going from ganged to unganged RAM the average increase was 18.3 benchmark points, increasing to 4GHz (20x200) there is a whopping 592.4 point increase!

Looking at the results side by side between the stock clock and over clock, its the Physics test (CPU) and combined test which showed the greatest increase with the physics test increasing by 16.9% and the combined score increasing by 10.8% on a 17.6% overclock so it looks like it does scale quite well.

Onto the CPU/NB speed bump now I think!

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 10:48 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by m1tch View Post
Now its getting interesting:

Overclock to 4Ghz, stock CPU/NB - 9308, 9287, 9314 = 9303

So going from ganged to unganged RAM the average increase was 18.3 benchmark points, increasing to 4GHz (20x200) there is a whopping 592.4 point increase!

Looking at the results side by side between the stock clock and over clock, its the Physics test (CPU) and combined test which showed the greatest increase with the physics test increasing by 16.9% and the combined score increasing by 10.8% on a 17.6% overclock so it looks like it does scale quite well.

Onto the CPU/NB speed bump now I think!
Yes, every little bit helps. After that try and optimise your RAM timings and speed.

https://valid.x86.fr/cache/banner/4d8m5e-6.png
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Motherboard
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GSkill Snipers
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Hard Drive
WD Black 1TB SATA III
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