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