Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gaming Rigs, V


Windows 7 RC Build 7100.
AMD Phenom X4 955 Black Edition.
Gigabyte MAXT970-UD4P (F4G BIOS) AM3 socket.

You need to update to the latest BIOS to get this chip to run properly. There are instructions on a previous post.

Quick synopsis: Just download the latest bios from Create a small (25meg) FAT partition on your disk, unzip download, get the files and stick them in the partition. Reboot, and hit 'f9' at boot screen, to enter QFlash. Select load, find it, wait, and boom, you're done. DO NOT SWITCH OFF during this process. I recommend reading the previous post for full details, though. Flashing BIOS can cause problems if you're not prepared. It's not scary, just important to read the instructions.

Note that Windows 7 has some nice disk management tools, so you can easily create a FAT partition to hold a BIOS for flashing. It just lets you shrink an active partition. This may be in Vista too, but I never used it.

Also, Gigabyte makes it really really hard to get wrong - they have a dual bios feature that lets you roll back if something goes wrong.

The fan had fallen off in transit, as I may have mentioned. This meant I needed to clean the old crap off chip and fan and put some new thermal paste on it. This is really easy. There are plenty of guides on the internet. Here's a video from a nerdy teenager.

The chip's stable at 3700. VCore 1.425.
Everything else stock.
I'm playing with the idea of increasing the northbridge to 2400 or so, to see if I can take chip up 3800. Right now, it crashes even with the voltage up to 1.525, and I'm loathe to take it any further.
Over at, a couple of really helpful guys have suggested the following settings:

3.8,HTT 200,NB frequency 2600mhz,HT link speed 2400mhz,vcore 1.45v,CPU/NB voltage 1.30v,NB voltage 1.28-1.30v,SB 1.20v.

If you can decode that ; )

The GTX 295 is overclocked to 684/1119/1380.
It runs 3dbenchmark at ~P22k, which is good, although with PhysX on. I need to re-run with it not on.

Drivers, 186.08, just come out (2 days ago, beta).
Overclocked, for Crysis, I get some pretty good benches - 1900x1200, 8xAA, VeryHigh -> 33FPS.
Empire Total War runs with max settings with no problems at all.

Crysis, though (that actual game, not the benchmark) crashes out with the card overclocked.

I've been leaving Speedfan and HWMonitor running in the background. These are both awesome tools. GPU-Z and CPU-Z are also very helpful, so you should grab them too.

Anyway, it seems to be running pretty hot.
I've just ordered a PCI fan cooler, so I'll see if that drops the speed any.

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