AMD Phenom II X6 1075T, X4 970BE and Athlon II X4 645 processor review

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Overclocking Phenom II

Overclocking Phenom II X4

If you decide to start an overclocking session with the Phenom II processors, typically you are much better off with the BE versions (CPU multiplier unlocked).

Due to massive time limitations (two processors arrived two days (and one less than 24 hrs) prior to review) we'll be focusing solely on the Phenom II X4 970 BE processor. The 1075T is not a BE processor and is much harder to overclock.

So the focus on the overclock is the Phenom II X4 970 BE. This processor has an unlocked multiplier. We now can overclock in several ways, modern motherboards often have automated overclock features... in the case of the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula motherboard we can flick a setting in the BIOS and after seconds it's already running at 3.7 GHz.

Alternatively you can use AMD's Windows compatible OverDrive interface that allows for very easy overclocking of the Phenom II processor. The latest revision is one of the best CPU tweak utilities out there.

For this review we used the latest version (3.2.3) which has some cool new options.

In AMD OverDrive you can simply max out the CPU voltage towards ~1.55V and increase the multiplier. Play around with it; don't be afraid of a crash. Now what you can do best with AMD OverDrive is determine how high you can overclock and then transfer the final stable settings into the bios to make it permanent (if you would to of course).

AMD Phenom II X6Regardless of the coolness that is AMD OverDrive, we however overclocked manually through the BIOS -- the results were really dandy as we took it to 4 GHz quite easily -- and again, this overclock was managed with a simple OCZ Vendetta air-cooler. You can click on the screenshot to the right for a large version.

Here's an overclock at 4.2 GHz 100% stable. We boosted Voltage towards 1.50v in the BIOS and simply applied a multiplier of 20. Temperatures are now higher, but really acceptable for an AMD Phenom II at roughly 50 Degrees C with the core peaking to 60 Degrees C. Again, and I can't stress this enough -- we are only using a 35 USD air based Vendetta cooler here, and nothing fancy.

So we finalized a stable overclock (on all four cores) at 4219 MHz with 1.5V.

CPU + R5870

IDLE (Balanced)

IDLE(High perf) 

100% CPU

OC 4.2 GHz

890FX + X4 970BE





One word of advice, AMD processors start to really consume a lot of power once you overclock them. At 4200 MHz (all cores stressed) we consumed 269 Watts (peak), that's an additional 82 Watts for an extra 700 MHz.

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