Phenom II X4 Overclocking Master class

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The First LN©÷ session


The first LN² session

After cooling down the CPU to approx. -100 degrees, I started to boot up the system.

System booted up and I went into the bios. After changing the settings, the system was booting up with four cores at 5GHZ (22.5 x 222 MHz) with a voltage of 1,65 Volts. Memory speed was 1778Mhz Cl6-6-6-18-1T and the NB speed was around 3775 MHz.

Because the main focus was to bench 3D, I wanted to do the following benchmarks:

  • 3DMark03
  • 3DMark05
  • 3DMark06
  • (AquaMark) Optional
  • (3DMark01) Optional

And if there was time and of course LN², I also wanted to do some 2D benchmarks, like:

  • Wprime 32m
  • Superpi 1m
  • Pifast
  • (Superpi 32m) Optional
  • (Wprime 1024m) Optional

I already mentioned there is no guarantee that everything works the way you have planned. The first benchmark was fine and I was able to bench 3DMark05 and 3DMark06 with 5 GHz.

In Windows I started to overclock the system using the following programs:

  • CPU-Tweaker for display and changing the memory timings etc.
  • K10Stat for changing the multipliers for each core individually
  • CPU-Z for displaying the CPU overclock, memory speed etc.
  • MSI Afterburner for changing the core voltage and the speed of the graphics cards

For changing the FSB/Base clock/Bus speed, I always use Tweak-it (Hardware tool of the Asus mainboard).

I changed the CPU speed from 5Ghz to 5,6 GHz in steps of about 200Mhz and benched 3DMark05 and 3DMark06 at every step. But when I reached 5,6Ghz the system rebooted after I started 3DMark06.

The temperature at that moment was around -170 degrees C, so the system was starting to get really cold. From that moment, no matter what I did it was just not able to bench 3DMark06 beyond the 5,6GHz CPU speed.

Now my first guess was to disable one core. With three cores the system was running better, but there were still a lot of problems. At a certain point I also could not run 3DMark05 anymore at 5,6Ghz. A friend of mine even helped me through MSN, because he has the same CPU and mainboard, giving me his settings to boot with 5,8Ghz, but also with his settings it was a no-go. In the end the system was even not booting anymore @ 5,5Ghz into Windows.

It seemed that the colder the system became, the more problems we had to solve to make the system stable. The problem had something to do with this mainboard. My friend had read somewhere that the power management (the PWMs) are not able to work the way they should when they are extremely cold. Some people even use a heatgun to warm up the power management of the mainboard during these sessions.

It was now already half past two in the morning, so I stopped for the moment. The system just was not going to work the way I wanted. I knew that another friend of mine also had an Asus Crosshair III mainboard, so I asked him if I could borrow it from him. This was no problem, so for round two I will use a second Asus Crosshair III mainboard.

AMD Phenom II Overclock Masterclass

Some action pictures during the LN² session:

AMD Phenom II Overclock Masterclass

That's boiling cold!

AMD Phenom II Overclock Masterclass

Minus 196 degrees C, we are slowly getting there...

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