Monday, February 27, 2012

4.0Ghz Part two- 960T BE Overclocking With a Huge Heatsink :D

Disclaimer: Overclocking often puts stress to many components such as the motherboard, the Processor,  power supply and other related parts, Overclocking is often seen as a form of wavering away your warranty, the information and successful  guide lines described here come from many sources and personal experience, be smart and follow the advices, venture at your own risk. 
Welcome back :D, after last times introduction its time we dig right in to overclocking here is what we will need:

AMD 960BE - 6 core processor - 2 cores = 4.0 Ghz
With the Release of AMD's X6 core processor line of models 1055T @ 2.8ghz and 1095T @ 3.4ghz
there has been a steady adoption for the 6 core parts, but as the market still demands Quad processors, AMD cant take a "step back" and produce a whole new batch of 4 cores, instead they can over produce 6 cores, and should 1 or 2 core fail to function, they can easily sell them as a 4 core part, here is where this little gem comes,  Originally crafted as a 6 Core 1095T part, the renamed 960T has 2 cores disabled and the multiplier unlocked, sold as a Black edition for the joy of enthusiasts. (125$ in at time of writing)

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 - 36ºC at 4.0Ghz wow!
With a nominal working temperature of 40-65ºC, this limits us in how far we can overclock a processor, having to add voltage to keep things stable, we go beyond thermal limits easily with the stock heat sink, but this huge hunk of metal comes to save the day, A direct contact copper heat pipe system, and at a cost of around 25-35$ in retail stores, this baby can easily dissipate up to 25 degrees oh heat, giving us an ample headroom for us to add voltage as needed, beware that there are still limits on to how far you can raise it, even with something as extreme as Liquid nitrogen, but lowering your temps down to 36ºC at 4.0 ghz is nothing short of a wonder! (20$ in at the time of writing)

AMD Chipset Motherboard with 125watt CPU support - Using AMD overdrive!
There are many brands and manufacturers, out there, but when it comes to AMD chipset, there are certain regulations that have to be followed, ensuring that whichever brand we buy, we are sure to get a great product backed by AMD, still, sometimes to save costs, some companies only support 95watt processors, which is perfectly fine, but we want to have some more wattage to use, Also the use of an AMD chipset Motherboard will let us overclock right from within windows, switching multipliers, voltage and other variables as needed on the fly! go grab a board with 4 slots of ddr3 ram, USB 3.0 and a Maximum CPU TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 125Watt, even a cheap board as the Biostar A880G+ will do the trick, (58$ in at the moment of writing)

Setting up Ground Rules in Bios - Cool & Quiet, C1E, TurboCores are bad mmkay?
Amd's Cool and quiet is a technology that lowers the clock multiplier and voltage in order to save energy and generate less heat, this works allright, but when overclocking, the sudden changes in voltages can take us out of a steady balance and force us to crash.
C1E is also a power saving feature that goes even further by halting the cores and utilizing a mere fraction of voltages, this is also detrimental to anyone that wants to overclock.
 Turbo Cores is a feature that allows 1 or 2 cores to be automatically overclocked when certain conditions are met, such as lower temperature and an un-threaded (1 core) application, this also messes up with the voltages, so its also bad for our overclock, not ot mention we woudl go over out limit easily!
So in short you need to head into the bios and DISABLE Cool and quiet, DISABLE C1E, and DISABLE TurboCores,  after that head into Windows :D

Checking our Temperatures First - Speed Fan
Before we fiddle with voltages and speed, we got to make sure our Heat Pipe heat sink is in working condition, fire it up and check your temperatures, normal temperatures for stock heat sinks are of around 50-65ºC, as you can see in this picture i am idling at around 26ºC the  cool is on!

Amd Overdrive -  Rev up those voltages
Amd Overdrive is a program created for the sole purpose of overclocking, you can download it from the official website above, install and run (as administrator if needed).

 Lets head over  CLOCK/VOLTAGE tab, there is a list of current speed and target speed,  for now we have to first disable the TurboCore config by clicking the Green "Turbo Core Control" Button....
Inside we have to Un-tick the "Enable Turbo Core", do not mess with anything here, click ok to start the magic!
Having our cooling solution as back up you can proceed to Increase the Voltage, i recommend testing first with 1.4750v or 1.480v, with a limit of 1.500v beyond that you risk burning your CPU even with such a radical cooling solution, as most guides recommend once you find the max speed of your processor is good to lower the voltages just to keep within a safe limit, there are some people that have achieve 4.0 ghz with around 1.390v, for me anything lower than 1.4750 will crash me, but at 36ºC full load, i can manage to stay safe for the next few years.

And now, you have to take the plunge, move the slider all the way up to 20X, you can check the TARGET values, click Apply and cross your fingers, if you lock up, there chances your cpu  will never hit 4.0 no matter how much voltage you use (3.8 or 3.9 is still awesome overclock!), but if youre still alive....

Testing Stability - Superpi and Prime95 :D
I have been able to move the slider up to 4.3Ghz, but as soon as i open a program everything locks up, that is because even if you see 4.0ghz  the processor is not doing anything with the speed, so you need a program to CRUNCH heavy data and test the stability , fans of overclocking rely on these programs, first of all we have:

SUPER PI - check if the overclock is working!

"In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo"  ....."In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with Pentium 90MHz"
Super Pi is a program that will our overclocked processor to the test as it calculates PI with a given set of decimals, the cool thing about this is that it tells you how many seconds it takes to calculate the value, and this is important to verify that our overclock is sucesfull,  first try to calculate pi with 1M or 2M, write down your result and test again with out the overclock, if there is a 3-6 second difference in results, congratulations your Overclock is makign you crunch data faster! if the resutls are the same, chances are your voltage is not enough to keep up and the processor is having a lot of "missfires", you could also lock up during this process, which usually means you need more voltage and or your cpu can handle the speed, configure as needed and try again :D
24 seconds@3.0 ghz down to 18 seconds@4.0 ghz - 6seconds.. a solid 33% performance increase!

PRIME95 - Testing your Overclock for hours!
"Written by George Woltman this Windows based application  is used by GIMPS, a distributed computing project dedicated to finding new Mersenne prime numbers"

Im not sure about what a prime number is but the thing is that this program stresses the cpu like nothing else in the world, running prime95 for a few hours without any problem will almost guarantee you a 99.99% of stability, many people claim to have left it running for 8 to 12 hours with no problem, and still get a lockup or blue screen of death a few times on the next months. ive run it with no problems for about 3 consecutive hours, and have yet not faced any problem related to the overclock.

Overclocking to 4.0 By default - Making your Overclock permanent!
Amd overdrive has a feature that lets you set up your current Overclock as the default system setting, but its better to just write it down in the Bios to have an increase in boot speed as well, take note of your CPU Voltage Values and get into your Bios, move over to the overclock Section and look for an entry labeled  "CPU FID/VID control" and or "Custom P-States"
Rev up the Core VID or Voltage up to your desired one, take the multiplier up to what was your limit and you should be ready to go!

Head into windows and check your speed with AMD overdrive, check the current speed  values to verify your permanent overclock.


(I will be refining the guide in the next few days )


  1. These are really good resources and comments. I just recently upgraded my chipset to an 1100T amd and went through the process of overclocking everything. It takes a lot of trial and error sometimes but having other resources who can help guide the process makes it significantly smoother and safer on your equipment :)