Safe OC Settings?

Discussion in 'Die-hard Overclocking & Case Modifications' started by MrNorthCoast, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. MrNorthCoast

    MrNorthCoast New Member

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    GPU:
    HD7870 2Gb & HD4870 1Gb
    Ok so this is my first post in these forums, and I know the title is a tad ambiguous as 'safe' and 'overclocking' can be oxymoronical if you don't have the means to get it right. I've tried my best to get a decent setup going for gaming and all that it entails but I am a bit concerned about appropriate cooling when it comes to getting it ramped up for hours of gaming.

    Specifically I'll be playing Skyrim and Guild Wars 2 most of the time, and even though my rig is supposedly OC-safe (it's got Republic of Gamers stamped all over the motherboard), I wanted to know where to start with overclocking. My concern first came about when I had Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 Beta Clients both running for about 3 hours (I forgot I had the original Guild Wars still going) and there was a tiny message come up on my screen in the background that said the CPU temp had gone over 65°C. Now I know from reading previous posts that this isn't good.

    So, a bit more on my rig at this point... the original CPU cooler was a generic heatsink & fan deal that squealed it's tits off at normal speeds (~6300rpm) which was not only way too high compared to other coolers but it was also extremely irritable like listening to a dentist drill. I ditched this cooler and went for a ThermalTake SpinQ VT cooler. Here's some pics of the setup as it is currently...

    Insides 1
    Insides 2
    Insides 3
    Insides 4
    New Components (Minus the CPU cooler)

    Anyway, because of my hesitance due to overclocking based on my old PC from maybe 10 years ago and the endless jumper combinations it had onboard, one could say I'm not that confident in overclocking PC's. I know times have changed a lot, and in particular my motherboard is made for overclocking duties so it kind of wants the punishment, but I'm still quite the noob when it comes to stuff like this. Most of all I want my system to run safe, even though I have some of the best quality goods from maybe 6 months ago, I don't want to stress anything out too much because I like my systems to last a while.

    I'd like the graphics on Guild Wars 2 to be pretty but not at the cost of generating too much heat and making the components unreliable after just one year of use. I'll turn down the settings on the game if need be, but I want something that can run fast with everything else and not be in danger of frying. I thought I had enough fans to go around; the case has two 120mm intake fans, one 140mm exhaust fan at the rear, one 200mm top exhaust fan (all can be speed adjusted), and I had to scrap the side fan on the case window because the CPU fan is a big bugger and space-wise it wouldn't play nice with it. The CPU fan is puttering along at 1300rpm right now but can be manually adjusted from a pot (potentiometer, dial) attached to wires on the outside of the unit.

    So based on this info can someone give me a nudge in the right direction as to where to start my overclocking adventure?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MrNorthCoast

    MrNorthCoast New Member

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    GPU:
    HD7870 2Gb & HD4870 1Gb
    Can SOMEONE please help me out? There's a whole world full of info on overclocking and it's mind-boggling for a complete newbie to even grasp where to begin.

    Lots of views but no replies... what's going on? Where's the people that give advice?
     
  3. Uncle Dude

    Uncle Dude Ancient Guru

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    A very small percentage of members here run a Bulldozer setup. You may have better luck in the AMD section.
     
  4. MrNorthCoast

    MrNorthCoast New Member

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    GPU:
    HD7870 2Gb & HD4870 1Gb
    Bulldozer setup... ? You've lost me, never heard of the term.

    Ok upon further searching I found out that the FX-8150 is known as either Bulldozer or Zambezi, mine being the latter. Given the lack of replies I've gotten here so far I'm not sure I'll be taking my queries to the AMD section.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

  5. Uncle Dude

    Uncle Dude Ancient Guru

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    Your choice, of course. Not trying to be rude, and I'm not here to slam your choice of hardware, but this is an enthusiast forum and the platform of choice in that realm is Intel, and has been for a good few years. Therefore, it's likely that very few who've read your thread have a similar setup and can offer advice.

    I'm fairly sure your processor has an unlocked multiplier, and that's likely where you'll want to focus your efforts. It's simply a matter of finding the lowest core voltage your cpu will run a given frequency reliably, while keeping temperatures under the recommended threshold (Check the AMD site for maximum).

    Some invaluable software for the task (all available on this site):

    CPU-Z - For monitoring actual core voltage under load
    CPUID Hardware Monitor - Extensive voltage and temperature monitoring
    Prime 95 - stress test for determining overclock stability (run "blend" for several hours)
    Coretemp - another cpu temp utility

    There is also an extensive AMD Phenom overclocking guide written by our own Psychlone at the top of the AMD section. I don't know if the newer Bulldozer platform deviates in any way from this.

    I'd also recommend checking Youtube for step-by-step instructional videos. Just do a search for "overclocking AMD FX8150 Bulldozer" and that should steer you in the right direction. You may even luck out with help specific to your motherboard if you include it in the search terms. Newegg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IR1l9nGe4o ) and Linus Tech Tips ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u7MIwphuoE ) may have something worthwhile in that regard.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Added links
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  6. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R Ancient Guru

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    I can't really offer too much advice either. I haven't run AMD since my trusty old Opteron 170.
    Uncle Dude has given you some great links to get you started. But bottom line it's all about "baby steps" adjust a little, check for stability and temps, then adjust a little more until you find a clock that's stable and you feel is "overclocked enough" for your satisfaction(Tho stability and temps are usually the "dictators" in the end)

    I have to ask WHY you still have the 4870 plugged in? You certainly can't Crossfire it. So I wonder why you have it in there, sucking up PCI-E bandwidth(tho the board is capable of 2x16),sucking up power(okay you have 1000W) and really just adding heat to your case. If anything it would be causing driver conflicts as the 4870 is Legacy now and isn't gonna work at all with the latest drivers you want for your 7870.
     
  7. ---TK---

    ---TK--- Ancient Guru

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    Opty 170 last time I used amd. ram a 40% oc for years
     
  8. bioCor3

    bioCor3 Active Member

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    GPU:
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    Cooling looks alright. Just start cranking it up maybe 100MHz at a time until it crashes then give it a little more Vcore and crank it again. Do a search on FX8150 overclocking and see what others are hitting on air. Read what a safe Vcore voltage is and once your OC crashes under load at that voltage back it back 100MHz and it should be fine.

    If you aren't hitting what others are and you want higher OC, invest in something like a Noctua NH-D14, those coolers are hell rad.
     
  9. Basquedude

    Basquedude Member Guru

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    GPU:
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    Black editions are easy to OC thx to unlocked multiplier. Just go into bios and crank it up little by little and boot into windows. Run OCCT cpu test for a while then go back and crank it up more till you run into instabilitys, OCCT will tell you if there is an error, it is much more reliable then prime 95 for example which is OLD.
    Once you do that and start getting errors crank up voltage a bit, if your on stock cooling I wouldnt go more then 0.75mv above default. If you have good cooling then you can go higher.
    Then once you have found the sweet spot I recommend leaving OCCT test running for at least 8 hours to ensure stability. Then you should be good to go.
     
  10. MrNorthCoast

    MrNorthCoast New Member

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    GPU:
    HD7870 2Gb & HD4870 1Gb
    The HD4870 I don't use unless I want to run my visualisations through Winamp on my 40" LCD TV, which I have connected through a custom DVI-HDMI setup. I don't have the need to use Crossfire anymore on this setup but my prior rig had 2x4870's Crossfired which worked sweet. The fan is turned down to it's lowest possible setting (20%) so as to minimise the heat. I had to rollback my drivers from v12.6 to v12.4 in order to keep control of both video card fans. ATi's Catalyst v12.6 doesn't have this functionality but I'm hoping v12.8 does, maybe someone here can confirm.

    Thanks for the replies so far, I've put in an order for a Corsair H80 CPU cooler so that should sort out the heat issues. Now to figure out the rest like why my ASUS AI Suite II comes back with random error messages like VDDA, NB/SB, 3.3v all over/under voltage albeit momentarily. When I ran CPU-Z it started having those random errors come up. Now they're less frequent but still there, like a hiccup every now and then, but I still don't understand why.
     

  11. Belz

    Belz Master Guru

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    Your logics completely lost me...

    - You want a performant computer, yet you got a Bulldozer
    - You still have that 4870 and make up an illogical reason why you wont remove it
    - You lower the fan speed to minimize heat??

    WTF have you been smoking?
     
  12. MrNorthCoast

    MrNorthCoast New Member

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    GPU:
    HD7870 2Gb & HD4870 1Gb
    I'll admit I didn't think things through properly when I went for this new setup. Brand loyalty kept me with AMD because their instruction sets were designed more for gaming than Intel chips were (back in the day) and Intel is powering most stuff from Apples to the stuff you guys seem to worship. I left Intel behind maybe 12 years ago and didn't look back. Maybe this time I should have. Are you happy now?

    The old card isn't being used, I said this before. It's running idle and I see no reason to make more noise than necessary (I use Ventrilo a bit and background noise is an issue), thus I want a reasonably quiet rig.

    I make a PC to last 4-5 years and I don't go researching new stuff until it's time for an upgrade, or I'd be upgrading at least twice every 6 months just to "keep up with the Jones's"

    If you want to go around insulting people then you've chosen the wrong guy to do it to. I see this isn't the place to get help, rather abuse. I'll be leaving now and I'd encourage you to check your tone.
     

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