Overclock your Phenom CPU and Save Power Simultaneously
Who said you can’t overclock your CPU while being a greenie? If you think you can’t, the “answer” is the other way around.
You would have heard that you must disable Cool & Quiet (for AMD) when overclocking for stability. UDABC4YQNPWH Those who overclock do so to improve system performance at the expense of power consumption. But I’m going to show you how to conserve power even while overclocking.
An Automatic Overclock for your AMD Phenom CPU
Before continuing, I must give credit to this poster from whom I’ve taken the idea of using Phenommsrtweaker to run the CPU in different P-States.
What is needed for this:
1. You must have an AMD Phenom Black Edition CPU.
2. And an AMD/ATI 790GX/FX or 785GX motherboard.
As you might know, a Black Edition CPU from AMD has its CPU multiplier unlocked so that you can simply increase it to overclock the processor but while doing so, you mostly have to disable C&Q for stability.
There is a nifty utility with which you can overclock the CPU easily, called Phenommsrtweaker. It doesn’t only let you OC your Phenom BE but also set customized P-states. If you know how to exploit this, you can set the CPU run at power saving mode when it’s not used much and OC it (to the max, the CPU allows of course) automatically when it has to work hard.
To automatically overclock the CPU only when needed, do the following;
I’m not showing here how to find out the max CPU OC (Update: Refer to know how to overclock your Phenom CPU). Since I already know my CPU runs stable at 3.6GHz with 1.376v, I’m going to use this. You must find out the max OC your CPU allows.
- CPU-z – To check the CPU clock
- HWMonitor – to monitor the CPU tempertaur
- Prime95 for stress testing
1. Keep everything at stock in BIOS including the CPU clock and voltage.
2. Enable Cool & Quiet in BIOS (It’s already selected by default).
3. Select “Balanced” in Power Options. (Under Windows)
4. Open CPU-z and see if the CPU runs at 800MHZ. Note down the Core Voltage.
5. Reboot the system and disable Cool & Quiet in BIOS.
6. Under Windows, set “High Performance” in Power options.
7. Open Phenommsrtweaker. Under P – state 1 set 4.0 in all the four or three or two boxes (depending on the CPU if it’s X4, X3 or X2 respectively) next to “Core multis” and the voltage you found in step 4. You may have to use “CPU VID” or “NB VID” depending on your board (I had to adjust the NB VID to increase the CPU voltage). Click Activate and Apply.
Tip: Keep CPU-z open while doing this so that you can see if the voltage you noted down is reflected in CPU-z.
4*200=800. Now your CPU runs at 800MHz. Fire-up Prime95, select the first option (Small FFT) and run it for 20 minutes. If you did everything correctly, you won’t see a BSOD.
8. In Phenommsrtweaker under P – state 0, set your CPU milti and the voltage (you might have to use “ND VID” for reasons explained in step 8 ) at which the CPU OC is stable. Click Activate and Apply.
9. Now Select Services Button in Phenommsrtweaker.
10. Select the check boxes next to “Select custom P-state settings permanent” and “Enable custom “Cool & Quiet”.
11. Don’t change anything in the last 4 boxes and select Apply.
To see if the changes took effect, reboot the system, open CPU-z and check the CPU speed. It should be 800 MHz when you do normal tasks such as browsing and using MS Word etc. When you convert video, audio, play games or anything strenuous to the CPU, it will automatically overclock to what you set it to (in my case it’s 3.6GHz).
The image below shows the CPU is automatically overclocked when needed.
Overclocking is not for everyone. If you don’t know how to overclock, don’t try it. Chances of damaging your hardware when overclocking is substantial and I won’t be responsible if you fry your hardware.
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