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Πέμπτη, 1 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

AMD Phenom II X4 965 125W Black Edition Extreme Overclocking

Hello everyone, this is Solid Snake, and we've been busy for a long time preparing this new review about my latest CPU Upgrade. we're talking about my brand new AMD Phenom II X4 965 125W Black Edition. This beast was definitely worth its money and proved to be an extreme overclocker.. and by saying it, we really mean it. 

First of all let's take a look at it's manufacturer specifications :

CPU Type : AMD Phenom II X4 Quad-Core
Model : Phenom II 965
Code Name : Deneb
Core Speed : 4 x 3400 MHz
Revision : C3
Manufacturer Number : HDZ965FBGMBOX
TDP : 125W
Vcore : 0.825 - 1.4
Maximum Operating Temperature : 55-62
System Bus : 4000HT/S
L1 Cache : 512KB (4 x 128KB)
L2 Cache : 2048 (4 x 512KB)
L3 Cache : 6144KB
Socket : AM3
Processor Achitecture : 45nm SOI
Operating Mode : 32/64 bit

Plus don't forget that this is a Black Edition CPU which means it has an unlocked multiplier which far extends the oveclockability possibilities. Now let's get down to the process.

As this CPU was an upgrade to my previous one we had to compare these two in order to check the performance difference and upgrade value. So before getting my beloved AMD Athlon 5200+ , which has been serving me well for 3 years now, off my mainboard, we decided to overclock it as far as possible for one last time using extreme conditions, make a lot of benchmarks and then do the same to my new AMD Phenom II 965 one..

For extreme overclocking we've used Air Condition Cooling which gave us perfect temperature values down to 17-24 degrees during the whole process (I almost got a cold that day :-) ).

As for my system specifications you can check our previous post here :
My System Specifications.

As for the tools We've used, the following list includes them all : 

Frequency - Temperature Monitoring :

CPUID CPU-Z 1.57.1
CoreTemp 0.99.8
GPUTool 0.0.0

Compression - Conversion Tools :

Cyberlink PowerDirector 9.0

Benchmarking Tools :

3D-Mark 2005
3D-Mark 2006
3D-Mark Vantage

Games :

Crysis 2
Red Faction Armageddon
Test Drive Unlimited 2
Mass Effect 2

using Fraps V.3.2.3 Build 11796 to collect the FPS values.

Also lets state that we used Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and that VGA was upgraded to its latest drivers:
AMD VISION Engine Control Center V.11.6

So after days of benchmarking my old AMD Athlon 5200+ it was time to switch to the new AMD Phenom II 965. So we downloaded and flashed my mainboard to the latest BIOS available, entered safe mode, uninstalled the previous processor from the device manager and turned off the whole system. We got the Xigmatek HDT-S963 cooler out, then the old CPU. Cleaned the cooler surface, inserted the AMD Phenom II 965 in the socket, applied some fresh XILENCE ZUB-XPTP .X5 X5 thermal grease, and installed the cooler back in. After everything was set up correctly, we powered on the system and entered bios to check if the readings were correct. Then we entered Windows 7 and re-did the benchmarks using the default settings with no overclock applied.

Then once more we got in to BIOS in order to check the maximum overclock levels of the specific processor. After hours of playing around with the frequencies and multipliers we managed to reach the limit of 4491.76 MHz and validated it with CPU-Z. Check the validation here : CPU-Z Validation. This was terrifying at first, keeping in mind that the default frequency of the processor was 3400 MHz. This means almost 1100MHz or 32% overclock on the default frequency. Now as for the stability testing the system performed nicely but was not totally stable under huge load. So we decided to keep the frequency of 4363 MHz as the stable frequency for benchmarking. Here are some more details on the BIOS setup as shown on CPU-Z: 

FSB : 256
Core Multiplier : x 17.0
Core Frequency : 4363.4 MHz (Effective -> x 4)
Core Voltage : 1.456 V (+150mV on default)
Ram Frequency : 1024 MHz (overclocked from 800MHz)
HT Link : 1283.4 MHz (we let that one down in order to keep the system fully stable)
CPU Temperatures : 24 - 41 degrees (A/C cooling + Xigmatek HDT-S963)

So this is the time for the final comparison :


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