Official GIGABYTE Forum

Overclocking, Benching, Events, Tweaking & Modding => Overclocking motherboards with AMD processors => Topic started by: absic on November 29, 2010, 02:01:50 pm

Title: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: absic on November 29, 2010, 02:01:50 pm
If you have read my build review (click here if not:,3619.0.html ) you will know that I recently took delivery of this motherboard. Now, I have to admit that I'm not much of an overclocker. The need for speed isn't that important to me but, I know that other forum members are interested in this aspect of computing so, I have started this thread to show my progress and what I can actually get out of this new PC.

When overclocking remember that you can damage components through excessive over voltage and heat. Whilst companies such as Gigabyte provide Over-clocking functions and utilities these should be used with caution. You should bear in mind that if you do cause damage to your motherboard or other components whilst overclocking they might not be covered by the warranty.

Things to check before you start overclocking:

It is important that you make sure you have a good cooling system in place. When you overclock you generate much more heat and it is important that you can keep your temperatures as low as possible. Make sure you have a good CPU cooler, I am using a Noctua NH-D14 which is a really good Air cooler or, if you prefer water cooling is also a good choice. Whichever cooling route you go down make sure it is working properly before you start any tweaking.

Know how your PC runs at default settings as this will give you a good baseline to work from. I run my PC's for several weeks BEFORE I start making any major adjustments. It is no good tweaking away and encountering problems if your system isn't perfectly stable at default settings.

Make sure you know and understand how to clear CMOS properly and also how to return your PC to it's defaults as you will probably have to do this quite a bit until you get things running stably.

Keep a record of what changes you make in BIOS. It is very easy to get carried away and actually forget what you have altered, especially if something goes wrong.

Find out the maximum voltages that your components can handle. It is all to easy to up them too much in an effort to stabilize things.

Remember, settings and voltages that work on one PC might not work on yours, even if you have the same basic components. USe such information as a guide and be prepared to make adjustments as required to stabalize your PC.

With the AM3 CPU's you have to keep a a very close eye on the RAM speed. When you adjust the HT Link Frequency in BIOS this will alter your RAM speed so if you increase it you may well have to decrease the RAM frequency to keep it below 1333MHz.

Ready for the first steps

I have been running this PC at default settings for a couple of weeks and I feel that I am now ready to start pushing things a little. With the AMD Phenom ii 1090T BE CPU the first steps for overclocking the CPU are relatively easy.  

Under the MIT Section of BIOS, the first thing to do is disable the Core Performance Boost item. Disabling this automatically locks off the CPB Ratio and Turbo CPB items too. Then all you need to do is up the CPU Clock Ratio. Don't increase this too much in one go, for the 1090T CPU X16 is the default setting which gives a core speed of 3200MHz. increasing the multiplier to x17 gives a core speed of 3400. Make the adjustment save to BIOS and then reboot the PC. If everyting is OK the system will boot properly and load your OS. You now have a CPU running at 3400MHz.

Now, hardcore overclockers will tell you that you have to stress test everything too make sure your systems is stable. Me, well I'm more pragmatic and I tend to follow the suck it and see route which means I don't stress test anything. If the PC is going to fall over it's going to do it no matter what I do and if it falls over then I will go back and make some adjustment and then see what happens. I'm overclocking not working on something really important so I expect to see a few BSOD's along the way. But, if you are happier testing things out at every stage the by all means run some stress tests.

Once you are happy with this slight increase in speed then go back into BIOS and up the CPU Clock Ratio another step and go through the whole thing again. Eventually you will come to a point where your PC won't BOOT and you will have to clear CMOS or it will BOOT but your OS will BSOD whilst loading or once you are actually up and running. If this happens, pull the multiplier back to the setting that it was working at previously. On my PC I can set the CPU Clock Ratio to x19 (3800MHz) without a problem as soon as I try setting X20 (4000MHz) Windows BSOD's at the welcome screen. I now know that I will have to make other adjustments to get the CPU above the 3800MHz..........

( (     ( (

( (

( (

( (

to be continued.......
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: absic on November 30, 2010, 04:13:02 pm
Another day another slight increase to the speed of the CPU. It is now running, quite happily at 4.0GHz.

To achieve this I had to raise the CPU Clock Ratio to X20. At default settings the system booted but windows crashed as it was loading.

I had to then go into BIOS and under the M.I.T. Heading change the System Voltage Control from AUTO to Manual. I have left all other settings to AUTO. I then increased the CPU Voltage Control by +0.25V to see what happened. When I booted the PC it seemed to be OK but Windows once again gave a BSOD during the initial stages of loading.
I went back into BIOS and upped the voltage by +0.50V and tried again.
Now with the CPU Voltage at 1.35V I was able to get into Windows but as soon as I tried to open a web browser the system crashed.

I went back into BIOS and upped the voltage by +0.75 and once again was able to get into Windows. This time I was able to open my web browser and do some other basic things but as soon as I tired to open an image in Photoshop I once again got the dreaded blue screen.

Going back into BIOS I upped the CPU Voltage to by +0.1V to 1.40V and everything is now running as it should do. I have even been able to play a couple of hours of Crysis without issue.

The CPU Temps are hovering around the 30°C mark which is also pretty good.

A quick telephone call to AMD UK confirmed that the recommended Voltages for the 1090T CPU are between 1.0V and 1.475V so I am safely within the maximum that they recommend. I have seen on various forums that the CPU can actually go to 1.55V but I would prefer to keep things within the specified parameters if I can.

( (     ( (
( (

Next stop 4.2GHz!
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: Dark Mantis on November 30, 2010, 05:23:36 pm
Looking good so far absic. Next get out the NO2 :o
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: absic on December 03, 2010, 11:40:12 am
After a little fun and games I finally managed to get the 1090T up to 4.2GHz
To achieve this I had to up the CPU VCore to 1.450V this is when I first noticed a little problem with, I think, the BIOS.
If you load Optimized Defaults for the motherboard the CPU VCore is set to 1.475V but once you unlock the CPU Core Frequency and start moving upwards the BIOS sets the CPU VCore down to 1.300V. This in its self is not a problem as you wouldn't normally leave things set to AUTO when you're Overclocking but it caught me out and gave me cause to think.

I was happy that my CPU voltage was within safe limits it was time to play!

The system took everything I threw at it and then I noticed another small glitch with the temperatures. Both CoreTemp and HW Monitor had stopped showing the temperatures of the CPU. However, EasyTune6 still reported it OK. The only way I could get CoreTemp and HW Monitor working again was to reset BIOS to Optimized Defaults but once again, when I went above 4.0GHz they stopped showing the temperatures. I'm not sure why this has happened and at the moment, can only put it down to a software glitch with these programmes. A little more testing may prove otherwise and if I find out something different I'll let you know. Still EasyTune6 showed that with all the testing the CPU never went above 31°C, no doubt a tribute to the might of the Noctua Cooler and the lower temperatures in my room because of the sub-zero temperatures outside!

( (
( (
( (

So there you have it a 1GHz Overclock just by making a few tweaks in BIOS and with reasonable temperatures to boot, not bad in my opinion. I'm sure I could get even more out of this combination but, as I said in the very beginning, I'm not really into overclocking and I am happy to stop there. In fact, as a result of my testing I have pulled my CPU back to a modest 3.8GHz at 1.400V with temperatures being reported in the mid 20's°C. Average room temperature is between 18°C - 22°C.

If I have one criticism with the F6 BIOS  on this motherboard it is that you can only adjust the CPU Clock Ratio in steps of X1 (X16, X17, X18 etc) rather than by X0.5 (X16, X16.5, X17 etc.) this means that your CPU speed jumps by 200Mhz each step which is really frustrating especially when you are fighting BSOD's and trying to find that sweet point.
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: Dark Mantis on December 03, 2010, 11:48:03 am
Nice overclock absic and without too much trouble either. I am impressed. That Noctua D14 is some beast isn't it? It certainly kept the temperatures low enough on your system even at that OC. There are plenty of watercooling entusiasts who would be happy to maintain that level of temperture stability.
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: absic on December 03, 2010, 12:15:42 pm
When I fired up my PC this morning the temps reported by CoreTemp were only 9°C and stayed below 20°C for nearly 30 minutes!  :o
Now if I could keep them there I would be really happy. :D
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: Dark Mantis on December 03, 2010, 12:22:19 pm
Hey no problem, but you would have to do like I have done and have an exterior cooling system. I could keep the tempertures down to not much above freezing at the moment  ;D
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: Smitty on December 04, 2010, 05:23:08 am
Nice write-up absic.  For someone eager to try their hand at some over-clocking, I found the step-by-step instructions tol be very useful.  It certainly doesn't hurt that we both have the same board and CPU.  Being new to the OC game, when I browse some of the over-clocking forums, I'm a little over my head with not understanding all the jargon.  Good advice about having a stable system for a while before you begin.  I just reinstalled my OS (again) after having a couple of bad drivers corrupt my system, so I can use the extra time to do a little more research before I jump in.
Title: Re: Overclocking on the GA-890FXA-UD5 with a Phenom ii X6 1090T
Post by: virtualcrowbar on December 09, 2010, 05:36:25 pm
Yes, much appreciated. It's nioce that someone cares enough to do these things and too help out other users. Nice one! ;)