Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

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Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby superkart » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:44 am

Hi people, I just upgraded my Athlon X2 3800+ with a Phenom II 945 @ 3.0 GHz in my asus m2npv-vm.
It's the fastest quad core Phenom the board will support so it's end of the line as far as cpu is concerned.
I noticed in cpuz it gives an HT speed of 1000MHz and an NB speed of 1600.
The board has an Nvidia chip.
These numbers don't sound right but I can't find anything in the limited BIOS options to help.
Is my system indeed running slower than it should be?

And a second question for you overclockers, I like to overclock my cpus "mildly" meaning I never buy any hardware specific for that purpose or cooler, do not increase the voltages etc.
My memory is holding my overclock back to a 212FSB.
I have DDR 667 memory.
I underclocked the memory to 400 at first and 533 later and despite the timings getting lower as well ( I suppose) it was stable at 220MHz at least.
At 667 it's not so I loosened the memory timings and it would not boot.
I spent 3 hours trying to rejuvenate my system and in the end I had to take out the Graphic card to get it to post again, just clearing cmos and experimenting with the memory modules one at a time wouldn't do it.
So I'm now obviously very wary about changing the memory timings again but it's the only way I can get a decent 10%+ overclock without slowing down my DDR frequency which I won't do.
Any ideas on how to go about the memory timings in a more safe manner because this is something I had never touched upon in the past.
I went into the BIOS and just gave each value the biggest number it would support, well, that didn't work.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Sauron_Daz » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:07 am

That is an older mobo. You would do better by placing that CPU into a new AM3+ socket mobo.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:11 am

I noticed in cpuz it gives an HT speed of 1000MHz and an NB speed of 1600.
The board has an Nvidia chip.
These numbers don't sound right but I can't find anything in the limited BIOS options to help.
Is my system indeed running slower than it should be?

While I don´t recall exactly what it should run at, those numbers seems normal.


I have DDR 667 memory.

Well, here is one of your problems at least. I assume you are talking about DDR2? 667 is on the slow side. Myself, i´m using 800 at 4-4-4 timings(the RAM was supposed to be 1066 5-5-5, but Kingston seems to be a bit incompetent, or perhaps wildly optimistic about their stuff and it wont run at 1066 no matter what, but runs just fine at faster than stock timings with 800).
Worst case, if you have slow 667, this alone can loose you >25% of total performance.

My memory is holding my overclock back to a 212FSB.

First, your motherboard does not have an FSB. Replacing that with the much more flexible and better HT link was the big change from the K7 to the K8.
2nd, many motherboards, especially with integrated graphics like yours, dislike running with the HT overclocked more than marginally.
If possible, it´s better to change the CPU multiplier if you want to OC.

I went into the BIOS and just gave each value the biggest number it would support, well, that didn't work.

If you do not know what the numbers you change mean, then DO NOT randomly change them! With bad luck, you could have burned out your whole system with the above.
Overclocking is not a safe or simple thing to do. As noted recently when longtime OC veteran moderator here, HammerTime, had a card die miserably from a year with a very conservative OC.


Anyway, the Ph2 945 cpu is still a quite decent cpu and unless you need highend performance it should easily keep you running ok for years.

Your RAM could certainly use upgrading to 800. Your motherboard supports up to this. If you can get good quality RAM, you can run it at CAS 4 timing.

How much RAM do you have? If less than 2GB you should get more regardless of anything else. If running Win Vista, 7 or 8, you should probably have 4GB to avoid noticeable slowdowns.

Do you have the RAM running in dual channel mode? (if you have two suitable RAM modules properly placed in the slots, this should be automatic, but some motherboards also have settings to disable this for stability, and resetting BIOS could mess with this).

If you run an OS later than Win XP, an alternative to speed up the system is to reinstall the OS on an SSD drive.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Sauron_Daz » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:30 am

HT speed on newer boards should be 2 GHz. OP refers to this as NB speed. But that alone won't yield any performance that can be noticed.
Instead of faster DDR2 memory, why not get a decent AM3+ board with fast (and very cheap nowadays!) DDR3 memory? 8 GB in 2 modules makes your system quite futureproof!
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby clone » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:40 am

Any ideas on how to go about the memory timings in a more safe manner because this is something I had never touched upon in the past.
I went into the BIOS and just gave each value the biggest number it would support, well, that didn't work.
those old AMD mobo's needed USB legacy support disabled in the BIOS in order to overclock decently.

you may want to look there first, you did the right thing in lowering your ram speed, also lower your HT bus ratio as they tended to get finicky even with mild overclocking, once you get to a level you are happy with try lowering your CPU voltage, the manufacturing process used to build your cpu is well beyond mature and your cpu's frequency limits are likely more a result of heat buildup than architectural shortcomings meaning you can probably drop the voltage and still get a stable overclock.
Instead of faster DDR2 memory, why not get a decent AM3+ board with fast (and very cheap nowadays!) DDR3 memory? 8 GB in 2 modules makes your system quite futureproof!
Sauron Daz if he was going to replace the CPU and mobo he may as well have gone Intel and a new at the limit of usefulness AMD quad isn't what I'd consider future proofing.

your recommending replace CPU, motherboard and RAM..... it's a new system, well beyond budget and not really anywhere near the budget he was working in.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Sauron_Daz » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:45 am

Didn't say to replace CPU, nor does he mention any budget.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby superkart » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:36 am

Sauron_Daz wrote:That is an older mobo. You would do better by placing that CPU into a new AM3+ socket mobo.


No doubt it is.
It's served me well for 3 years and has seen numerous upgrades so far.
It can take more still, like Windows 7 64 bit and SSD which is the next upgrade path since I'm heavily bottlenecked by storage speed.
I have an AM3 board running on the client PC at my store and it shows what I believe to be the correct speeds of 2000MHz for both NB and HT on the Athlon x3 435 it has.
I don't mind the work to migrate but I will need to get extra memory.
It currently has just 1GB of DDR installed and it only has two modules.
This defeats the purpose of getting adequate speed on a sensible budget.
One could say I'm being cheap but truth be told even my old Athlon x2 3800+ didn't slow me down, mostly because I'm not using any antivirus program.
I got the Phenom because if I didn't get it now it would be even harder to source in a few months time.
I don't like buying used cpus or anything.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby superkart » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:18 pm

OK guys, first I have to say I appreciate each and everyone's input here.
I'm just happy to be among hardware enthusiasts :D
Now please bare with me a little longer because it just got a bit more interesting.
Like I said, my previous cpu wasn't stable at an FSB past 212.
I was convinced (and sort of still am) that it was the memory that couldn't keep up, for two reasons:
1)It was stable with the memory frequency set at 533 instead of 667 at 220 at least (didn't try more then)
2)Bumping up the cpu voltage didn't change things.
Make that three reasons, surely a 6%+ overclock should be piece of cake for that cpu.

For that reason I didn't even bother to test my new Phenom at those frequencies.
I decided to try clone's suggestion and disabled USB legacy support.
To my surprise my Phenom was stable at 220.
I wasn't surprised when it was again stable with USB legacy support turned back on, I felt like it was something else.
It was also stable at 225.
To maintain some sanity here I came to the conclusion that the reason I posted here in the first place (nb frequency of 1600 instead of 2000) just might be the reason I got this headroom.
For whatever reason my Phenom II is now clocked at 3.375 Ghz (stock 3.0) and ripping through the IntelBurnTest.
I will not try to max it out, would rather give a shot to a lower voltage to see if it can take it and how much.
Of course I cannot trust myself not trying higher speed but that's the game plan right now.
I have to say that from my first cpu till today I always got very modest overclocks in the 5-8% range since I always paired them with cheap mobo's and memory.
It's the first time I got something better and it's quite surprising.
Apart from my mobo being hopeless in terms of overclocking options (and with the cpu multiplier locked) I have 4 memory modules from two different manufacturers installed (a result of an upgrade).
Now time for Win 7 and SSD, maybe not right now but soon as possible because I want to unlock my processor's speed.
What may seem old and outdated to most people is my new baby :lol:
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby clone » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:22 pm

I assumed a budget when the op mentioned already having bought just the X4 cpu and mentioned that it's the last upgrade that could be managed.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Hammer_Time » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:41 pm

superkart wrote:For whatever reason my Phenom II is now clocked at 3.375 Ghz (stock 3.0) and ripping through the IntelBurnTest.
I will not try to max it out, would rather give a shot to a lower voltage to see if it can take it and how much.
Of course I cannot trust myself not trying higher speed but that's the game plan right now.


Ha ha ha!! :lol: I am the same way...welcome to the forums Superkart!! :D

I assume you have the lastest version BIOS installed for your mobo? ( you must or it would not even recognize your Phenom ii cpu at all ) :

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/28070 ... lon-phenom

Still it never hurts to make sure you have the latest version BIOS for best compatibility and overclocking potential.

This board is so old and not many people have bothered to upgrade the cpu to the max one supported with latest bios ( the Phenom II 945 you are using as it happens ), so googling your mobo and cpu did not reveal any overclocking results to ponder...yes people talk about installing it and having it work fine at stock speed with latest bios, but nobody seems to have bothered to try to overclock it ( a shame!! ) :twisted: :wink:

At least you have it stable at 3.375 Ghz, nice! Try to manually keep the memory speed as close to its rated 667 Mhz as possible in bios and you should be fine...sorry can't be of more help here, but this is an older board and I think you are lucky to get any kind of overclock out this cpu on it...so far so good, mebbe you can squeeze a bit more out of it, enjoy!! :D
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Sauron_Daz » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:01 pm

I can't even remember when I had a PC with just 1 GB installed..
Upgrading to at least 4 GB won't break your bank, would it?
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:24 pm

It currently has just 1GB of DDR installed and it only has two modules.


Just replace those with a decent 2*2GB DDR2 800 set. That alone will give you a nice boost.

Make that three reasons, surely a 6%+ overclock should be piece of cake for that cpu.

Just one thing to remember.
Cpu:s are not automatically made equal. Even though on average, that OC is small for that model of cpu, that does not mean that your specific cpu of that model can go faster reliably.

I have to say that from my first cpu till today I always got very modest overclocks in the 5-8% range since I always paired them with cheap mobo's and memory.

That´s like putting the wheels from a toy car on a 500hp racing car. Nowadays, there isn´t much difference to be had from different motherboards, but cheap RAM compared to even just halfdecent RAM can make a 10-30% difference.

What may seem old and outdated to most people is my new baby

Nah, a 3Ghz Phenom II can last you a long time yet. Just make sure you get decent RAM(DDR2 800 with CAS 5 will do nicely and isn´t even all that expensive), and 4-8GB of it when you start running the Win7.
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby superkart » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:47 am

Thanks guys, but I think you misread.
I have 4 DDR2 sticks installed for a total of 4 gigs, it's my home PC.
I have only 1 gig installed in my AM3 board that I have in my store.
I could migrate this cpu there but the cost of extra memory would offset the benefits.
However, after this proc overclocked well I'm happy.
I have 3 PCs running, I've built them all, a server and client in my store and the home PC.
They are all running AMD's chips and I've stayed with them through good and bad.
Since I only play games rarely nowadays (been having a computer of some sorts and playing games for 26 years now) and I have a PS3 I'm OK.
I just woke up and am going to go back on my promise to not push this chip further.
Gonna get me some coffee and start pushing things.
With any luck my PC is gonna blow up and I'll be forced to build a new one for I won't do it otherwise :lol:
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Sauron_Daz » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:17 am

superkart wrote:I just woke up and am going to go back on my promise to not push this chip further.
Gonna get me some coffee and start pushing things.
With any luck my PC is gonna blow up and I'll be forced to build a new one for I won't do it otherwise :lol:


:lol: Good luck!
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:02 am

superkart wrote:Thanks guys, but I think you misread.
I have 4 DDR2 sticks installed for a total of 4 gigs, it's my home PC.
I have only 1 gig installed in my AM3 board that I have in my store.
I could migrate this cpu there but the cost of extra memory would offset the benefits.
However, after this proc overclocked well I'm happy.
I have 3 PCs running, I've built them all, a server and client in my store and the home PC.
They are all running AMD's chips and I've stayed with them through good and bad.
Since I only play games rarely nowadays (been having a computer of some sorts and playing games for 26 years now) and I have a PS3 I'm OK.
I just woke up and am going to go back on my promise to not push this chip further.
Gonna get me some coffee and start pushing things.

With any luck my PC is gonna blow up and I'll be forced to build a new one for I won't do it otherwise :lol:


Outstanding!! :wink: :twisted: :lol: 8)

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Just don't do this!! :

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We await your final o/c results... if you don't post back here in the next 24 hours we will know you have fried your system! :wink: :twisted: :mrgreen:
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:16 pm

We await your final o/c results... if you don't post back here in the next 24 hours we will know you have fried your system!

Making it the truly FINAL results... :twisted:
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby superkart » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:34 pm

Final result?
Nope.
Final thoughts?
Read on...
I read about the IntelBurnTest being the new Holy Grail of cpu stress testing.
Quick and trusted results vs Prime95.
And FurMark for stress testing the GC.
They both checked out at an FSB of 230, processor already at 3.45GHz, everything stock.
I run the first for 30 cycles and it run fine, temps 65 at the most.
The second for 15 mins no prob.
I then went back to the old, trusted and dreaded from my Athlon Palomino days.
Prime95 and 3dMark, this time 3dMark 2006.
The latter failed me at 230, 225 and again at 220.
Run fine at stock speed.
I then run Prime95 and quit after the cpu temps hit the seventies, stock voltage of course but stock heatsink and fan also.
So I cannot conclude my cpu stress tests with this configuration and in any case the connection speed to the graphic card seems to be out of bounds anyway.
Conclusion?
This cpu has a lot of headroom for overclocking.
But I will have to take it to a board it deserves.
I do not know about the locked multi though.
Can someone keep the PCI-E speed in check with a better BIOS?
And am I talking out of my a**?
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:33 pm

heh heh... well if you can keep it stable at 3.4 Ghz ( or thereabouts ) with the stock hsf, then I would say you are doing okay, especially on that particular mobo...as you said, if you want to push your 945 to the "Wall" so to speak for overclocking ( at or near 4.0 Ghz for the majority of that model of cpu ) you need a more modern oc-friendly mobo, and of course a decent aftermarket hsf...lots out there for $20 to $40 that work much better than stock hsf as you know... but hey, at least you got some kind of oc out of your new cpu! kudos! 8) :D
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby Sauron_Daz » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:37 am

Not many OC their CPU using the stock cooler..
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Re: Phenom running slower? Also any help with memory timings?

Postby superkart » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:00 am

Hammer_Time wrote:heh heh... well if you can keep it stable at 3.4 Ghz ( or thereabouts ) with the stock hsf, then I would say you are doing okay, especially on that particular mobo...as you said, if you want to push your 945 to the "Wall" so to speak for overclocking ( at or near 4.0 Ghz for the majority of that model of cpu ) you need a more modern oc-friendly mobo, and of course a decent aftermarket hsf...lots out there for $20 to $40 that work much better than stock hsf as you know... but hey, at least you got some kind of oc out of your new cpu! kudos! 8) :D


Thanks :D
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