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.

3. Phenommsrtweaker.

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.

Necessary tools

  1. Phenommsrtweaker.
  2. CPU-z – To check the CPU clock
  3. HWMonitor – to monitor the CPU tempertaur
  4. Prime95 for stress testing

Steps:

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.

Phenom CPU when Idle

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.

Phenom Power saving state

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.

Phenom P0 state

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”.

Phenommsrtweaker services window

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 above image shows the CPU runs at 800MHz with reduced vcore when doing normal tasks.

The image below shows the CPU is automatically overclocked when needed.

Overclocked Phenom CPU under load

Warning:

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.

If you like this post, please use any of the following to share it with your friends. Thanks.

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    • Sid
    • March 21st, 2010

    So this is what you were working on eh ?
    Very interesting and useful.
    5/5

  1. How much of a power savings are we talking about ? Estimates ?

    • suraj
    • November 5th, 2010

    well,even athlon II cpus are k10 cpus right?so,is it possible to overclock-on-demand athlon 2 cpus using this software?or is it only for phenoms?any such similar software for doing this?

    • If Phenommsrtweaker is able to have control over the CPU multi and voltage, auto overclocking should be possible. But you will have to increase the HTT under BIOS and reduce the multi using the software (under windows) first. For EG: In Athlon II X2 250, 200*15=3000MHz. If you set HTT to 250 and multi to say 14 (with phenommsrtweaker), your CPU is going to run at 3.5GHz under load. But of course you will have to reduce the HT and NB multis under BIOS) to ensure CPU stability.

        • suraj
        • November 13th, 2010

        so,that involves some juggling.and needs a lot of time.thanks!

    • Orestes
    • July 30th, 2012

    I want to say that a slow pc is so frustrating and you have helped me greatly, thanks…

    • Laurens
    • March 11th, 2013

    Thanks this saves me about 30watt when idling. And keeps my system cooler, quieter and I guess it puts less strain on my cpu so it lives longer.

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