“TWKR” CPU-Z Glitch

I was messing around tonight with my 555 X2 unlocked to an X4, and I opened CPU-Z to find this:

That is the oddest CPU-Z glitch I have experienced so far. Unlocking CPU’s does weird things to your software :P

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Craziest Things I’ve Done With PC’s

Here is my post taken from this hilarious OCN Thread

-I’ve baked 3 graphics cards

-Killed a x1300 hard modding it

-Lots of pencil modding. Did my 5870 tonight:

-I have delidded around 3 Phenom II’s, one was an ES, 3 were 740 X3′s. I killed all except for one 740 either by crushing the core after delidding, or killing the chips in the delidding process:

-Put my finger in a fan today and sustained a large cut

-Spilled my melted slushbox cooling water (which had salt for lower tempertures) on my internet modem. I heard a sizzling and it would not power on. Salt water is super conductive. But eventually I dried the thing out and it still works fine to this day.

-I cooled my beers down with dry ice.

-I flip over cans of dust off and spray the super cold liquid (-50C) to cool down my cpu or graphics a bit during air benching

-I put my PC fully out my window fully exposed and caseless in -25C weather regularily. I did tonight for some 3D runs. One particular time there was a blizzard and I killed 2 790FXT-UD5P’s within 24 hours.

-Overclocking and benching with DICE while inebriated

-Plugging and unplugging harddrives and fans while the system is running

-Taken a pellet gun to a lidless 6000+ X2

-Slicing my finger open with an exacto knife while delidding a processor.

-Taking voltage measurements from the wrong spots on my 5870 and nearly killing the card.

-Sometimes for fun, I run 1.9 volts through my chips (555 X2, 955 X4, 1090T X6) on air cooling. I have yet to kill a CPU from voltage.

Slappa’s YouTube Channel Breaks 50,000 Views!

Hey everyone,

My youtube channel is making some ground. After only 9 videos, I have totalled 50,000 views on my youtube videos. The bulk of the views are on my original dry ice overclocking video, The Phenomenal Dry Ice Experiment.

That video started out with a friend and I getting our hands on a Phenom II X4 955 chip and a Phenom II X4 ES. We really intended nothing big with the video, only a simple documentary of our first dry ice run ever. The community loved it, even though it is nothing close to the best overclocking out there (considering most 955′s hit over 5GHz on dry ice). We were noobs, enough said.

Backtracking to my very first video, we go back in time to my first Phenom II chip, the 940 X4. This was the original DDR2 revision of Phenom II, and was the first time we saw the architecture of Phenom IIdo amazing things. My first video involved me, messing around with cold air coming in through my bedroom window, cascading over my TRUE 120 and Phenom II X 940. I displayed the simplicity of overclocking the 940. I did not do any stability testing, however at the time, this was a good suicide overclock for the chip on air cooling. This video netted me nearly 15,000 views to date.

My next video was a tried, but rarely seen cooling method for overclocking. I dubbed this cooling “the slushbox“. This involved me using the H50 Corsair water cooler, and keeping the radiator fully submerged in a cooler filled with ice. The resulting cold got me down to around 10C temps on the CPU (even though the video shows 1C in coretemp, it is inaccurate). I clocked up my Phenom II X6 1090T 4900MHz on 1 core on the chip.

“|Second Frost|” Was one of my proudest moments. The Phenom II X6 1090T under dry ice coolingwas the feature presentation. I also showed clips of my DICE benching methodology (crushing DICE to powder form). I achieved some very good clocks and benchmark speeds. The reason i’m proud of this video, is that it landed on the front page of hwbot.org, and won me Contribution of the Month for November on overclock.net.

I’m looking to keep expanding my subscriber/viewer base. So please link your friends, or whoever will find my stuff interesting. Thanks for checking out my blog and all my videos.


My YouTube

Canadian Winter – Winter Air Overclocking W/ Phenom II X4 955 C2

My two part series about overclocking with subzero winter air. I will be adding on to this next winter.

Part 1

Back for my most recent blog post after a prolonged break from the OC scene, I bring to you some fun winter air testing. I used the same setup as previously. This mainly consists of my trusty Phenom II 955 X4 BE, Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P, and Ballistix D9GTS 2GB DDR3 set.

Ahh, the familiar feeling of Canadian winter. A dreaded feeling for most, but hey, I’m an overclocker……and I like cold weather for one purpose….

As some of you may know, I had been struggling to break the SuperPi 1M 16 second barrier using the Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P (Least efficient board in 1m testing)  configured in an air setup. However, this is no typical air setup…..but it finally got the job done.  The air ambient was around -8C to -10C.

There are chips that are capable of doing this without such cold ambient air temperatures. Mine is obviously not one of them as seen in this test. The Gigabyte board requires at least around 4.3GHz core speed to break 16 seconds whereas many other board are capable of this at 4.26-4.28GHz.

After that, I decided to do a little CineBench run. This was an untuned run. Also note it is in 32-bit windows.

Last but not least, I saved a validation of a 4.452GHz suicide. However, being away from all the updates, I neglected the fact that my CPU-Z was not up to date. This resulted in my beloved 4.452GHz dump to go to waste. Ah well.

Part 2

After enjoying opening gifts and the atmosphere of the holidays I had almost forgotten about publishing a second blog. Back for the second part, here is Canadian Winter. To see the first part, click here.

So at last, here is my second winter air blog. This time, I focused more on clocking my ram up to see how cold affects that. I used the same setup as previously. This mainly consists of my trusty Phenom II 955 X4 BE, Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P, and Ballistix D9GTS 2GB DDR3 set.

Real quick I just want to share what it looks like right outside my house on these chilly winter days, and a few images of my setup and how I utilize the cold air.

As can be seen, I am simply placing my rig in my window sill, and letting it pull the freezing air through the heatsink.

Last blog I displayed how the cold allowed me to break the SuperPi 1M barrier of 16 seconds through a large gain in cpu speed. This time, I decided to see how I could keep the CPU speed slightly lower, while taking advantage of gains in memory, and northbridge clocks. This time my ambient temperature was only just around -5C to -8C.

First, here is the memory speed I reached through testing. I kept timings the same, as I have them set perfectly to my liking. So I ramped up the frequency. I ended with a bootable NB of 3080MHz, and Ram frequency of 1760MHz.

I got lucky and it just so happened that this Ram/NB clock was stable enough for 1M runs. Note that I have lowered the cpu speed since last blog’s run and still attained below 16 seconds.

I also attempted for 4.452GHz again as I failed last time. I didn’t get a validation, but I did get a snap shot.

Shortly after this was the fate of attempting a validation.

Another thing I played around with, on the past knowledge from Chew* was the voltage tolerance of my chip. He claimed that there has never been a quad to boot past 1.6-1.65V. It seems he is right. Even with freezing temperatures, I could not boot at above that threshold.

I also tried attempting some overclocking using the same method on a day that struck with -20C weather. However, I was having issues. The colder the system got, the higher my CPU temperature went. I couldn’t exactly figure it out. With some advice from Chew* and Aaron Schradin I have found it may be due to either freezing of fluid/material within the heatpipes on my TRUE 120 which stops heat dissipation dead in it’s tracks, or attributed to VRM’s getting too cold due to the ambient temps which causes fluctuation in voltages. To combat this issue I tried even insulating my board with putty! (Yes, a first for an air system, I will have pictures of this for my next blog). However this even failed to curb the issue. I finally attempted to build a cardboard “ventilation system”, which would be used to vent cold air only to the CPU. However once again failing to work. This leads me to believe that the problem lies in fact in the heatpipes of my cooler.

This concludes my second winter air blog. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it. I will be back to post more in the future.

What Is Phenom II TWKR?


I wish I knew. Don’t we all?

What we know so far:

TWKR = “Tweaker”
-We can assume that this means this chip is a special performer for enthusiast overclockers

Special Packaging
-This chip comes in a very mysterious, but irresistible black box

Cherry Picked/Best Binned 955
-Sources state that these chips are some of the best 955 X4′s chosen from the binning process. This could mean that they have a high rate of Electron Migration, or capability for very high clock speeds acquired on low voltage. Rumors are saying that these chips are suited for exotic means of cooling only (ie. LN2, DICE, Water etc.)

It has not yet been announced and early images show it is not for sale
-You cannot get these anywhere, nor do we have any confirmation that they will be for sale in the retail channel

-This number gets me. There has been speculation as to what it could be, however, IMO I believe it is some sort of number indicating what chip it is as far as manufacturing. So maybe this could be #42 out of a limited amount.

TWKR, not BE or FX
-As far as the new naming scheme, some people have been speculating that AMD wanted to use TWKR for their best binned BE’s, while leaving the “FX” brandname for chips that are on top of the market (ahead of Intel’s best offerings)

How It Performs
-The answer is no one knows. MainGear is probably putting it to the test as we speak.

Phenom II AM3 Overclocking Essentials Guide

Phenom II AM3 Overclocking Essentials
-A guide I wrote on essentials when OCing those Phenom II’s




Ever wondered why you can’t get past 3.6GHz on that new Phenom II? Some may claim it is a bad chip, but I for one, can guarantee you that is almost always not the case.

I have been overclocking this chip for weeks and studying how it acts while doing so. I may not be an AMD engineer, or an electrical engineer, but here is what I have found:

1) Voltage


People always repeat the same/similar phrases about these chips “Up the voltage, AMD chips are tanks and can take it!” In fact, I have found with the new AM3 Phenom II’s that it is not always practical to up the voltage past 1.5Vcore if you are just looking for a 24/7 overclock. Before upping Vcore, take into account what else may be causing stability. It could be an unstable NB (IMC) or Ram. I suggest finding the max stable ram and NB clock before OCing the CPU cores.

Also, you may run into your system not booting with more than ~1.475vcore. This is because these new Phenom II’s actually dislike and do not tolerate high voltages a lot of the time. You are lucky to gain a chip with high leakage, so that you can sustain stability with 1.55V+

A common misconception is that these 45nm Phenom II’s are using dangerous amounts of voltage for anything past 1.4Vcore. Comon people, these aren’t 45nm Core 2′s or Core i7 CPUs. AMD’s 45nm process is completely different, and can maintain higher voltages without any traces of degradation. However, I do not suggest going over 1.55Vcore for a 24/7 air OC.

Last but not least, remember that voltage adds heat to these chips, of which they do not like under high clockspeeds.

2) Heat


The max heat these chips can tolerate without risking damage is 62C. However, instability and crashes can be caused all the way back into the 50-55C range.

Through experience, I, and many others have noticed that these chips LOVE cold. In fact, they scale way better with cold temperatures than adding more voltage to the mix. A great example of this can be seen with some Dry Ice results on these chips:

Heres another example of the scaling with cold. This was done with only -8C temperatures and chilled water (Corsair H50):

Take a good hard look at those overclocks. 4.6GHz with only 1.408vcore, and 5GHz+ on chilled water?. Simply amazing. Now do you see why temperatures play such an important role? (Note the second result did use a higher voltage, but it had the temperature to compensate. On air cooling, temperature is still more important than voltages).

If you plan on air cooling, pick up some nice high CFM fans (as long as you can stand the sound) and a nice heatsink cooler such as the Xigmatek S1283 or a Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120. Other recommendations: Thermalright Venomous X-RT w/ pushpull config, corsair H60,80. If your chip is a six core (1090T or 1100T) the latter is a better recommendation.

IMPORTANT: When using programs such as Core Temp with a Phenom II X6 (Thuban) CPU, the temperatures are reported 10-13C below what they are in actuality. Make sure to set a delta if this is the case! Other programs report correctly, but this is my experience with Core Temp.

3) Multiplier Overclocking


If you are like me, and have a Black Edition cpu, you have probably figured out that overclocking is a piece of cake by just flicking up the multiplier and being done with it. This is not always the case.

I personally recommend against just using the multiplier. Many people have found that using a lower multiplier and a higher HT Ref. Clock can help increase your max overclock+stability slightly.

Not only that, but only using the multiplier will not always net you the best performance. Sure you can hit 4GHz with a 20X multiplier, and a bit more voltage. However, through benchmarking or game performance, you may find it is performing worse than someone else’s comparable 4GHz using a higher HT Ref Clock. This is because when you up the HT Ref Clock, it also increases ram speed, HT link speed, and NB (IMC) speed. Just remember to watch the stability on each of these.

4) Troubleshooting/Stability:


Here is a direct quote from our very own Chew*:

“Im sure some of you may have experienced a crash with cinebench………sometime you will blue screen, somtimes you will just black screen and sometimes the bench will just crash ( dissapear, etc just shut down ) and windows will still be up………..the blue screen is NB vid/IMC memory related, the black screen is core clocks/cpu voltage related and the just crash/dissapear from desktop is temp related………….”

Next time you experience a crash, take a good hard look at that for reference. Chew* has more experience than I with these chips, and honestly, he is right about the crashes. I checked myself.

The best method of finding stability on your overclocks is to use Prime 95. Now it is usually debatable for how long you should run a program like this. For the Phenom II’s however, you need to wait all the way until you can be sure the IMC (NB) is stable. The NB is stressed the most during 512K FFTs. This happens about 2-3 hours into Blend, so I suggest running for at least 3 hours.

Here are a few fixes to common problems:

4GHz stable is not easy with these chips (mostly the quadcore Phenom II’s). In order to achieve 4GHz 100% stable, you need 32-bit windows and you will have to back off memory and NB clocks (maybe even going below stock). However, it would net you greater performance with a 3.8GHz and 2600-2800MHz NB.

Post C3 Update: The above paragraph only applies to C2 / old revisions of Phenom II. Most Phenom II’s can hit 4GHz+ with good air/water cooling on 64-bit versions of windows as well. Also the IMC has changed in newer revisions so 3000MHz NB is attainable with around 1.3250 CPU_NB voltage. Keep this in mind if you purchased your Phenom II C3 after the release of the 1090T (April 2010). As well, it is easier to clock up ram on easier IMC’s (2000MHz is attainable on thuban’s IMC). Here is a list of changes I compiled when C3 released: http://slappablog.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/phenom-ii-c3-revision-changes/

If experiencing memory instability, try upping the NB voltage (not CPU-NB VID).

If experiencing overall instability, first check to make sure ram is in check at stock speeds. If that is not the case, try giving the CPU-NB VID +.100 or +.200v.

Remember instability does not always come from the cpu cores! It can be the NB or ram causing crashes!

As a last resort, make sure you have the newest BIOS!

5) Core Balance

Some people think that because one (or a select few) of their chip’s cores are holding them back, they can be downclocked while the others are overclocked. Please keep in mind that doing so will cause a load imbalance on multi-threaded programs and will actually slow down your performance as opposed to speeding it up. The only time when this is acceptable is suicide overclocking or running single threaded apps on the overclocked core in particular.

6) Motherboards & Power Phases

The release of the Phenom II X6 CPU’s (thuban) has added more variables into play when overclocking. Keep in mind that is strongly recommended that you have a motherboard with 8+2 Power Phases, with the VRM’s covered by a heatsink. This allows for better stability, and cleaner power delivery. You can still overclock the X6 on motherboards with 4+1 Phases, but I strongly recommend to avoid pushing these platforms too hard (mostly the mATX boards 880G, 870, 780, 890GX) boards. There have been a lot of dead boards/ chips from doing so.

Read more about it here.

7) Tweak!


Honestly, I mean it. Mess around with as many settings (even if you think they won’t change anything) as you can. Every setup is different so experimenting won’t hurt. There is still more to be discovered about these chips!

And this concludes my basic Phenom II AM3 Overclocking Essentials Guide. Hope this will prove a useful reference in the future!

For Phenom II Ram and Northbridge Overclocking, please check out my second guide here: http://slappablog.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/phenom-ii-imc-ram-overclocking-guide/