720 trouble?


Limp Gawd
Mar 14, 2007
My computer has been acting funny gaming lately, I can play great, but every 5-10seconds i get an fps strike. I downloaded prime 95 to run some stress testing and I have AMD OverDrive in the background. all cores are 100%, but the frequency(mhz) keeps jumping from 800 to 3200 every 2-5seconds...is this normal? each core is at 68.5 celc. CPU in general is 44C, board temp is 76C...does this all check out?

720 BE OC'ed to 3.2 on stock fan
sapphire 6870
4gb F3-10666CL8 ram
WDC WD6401AALS-00L3B2 ATA Device
If you lower the OC bit by bit, and as the temp comes down with it, is there a point where the MHz stop jumping? Might be temp related at almost 70C for a Phenom II. Stock fans usually aren't great for overclocking.
thing is, I've had it at that OC for 2-3years without trouble...does the jumping seem weird? and whats the difference between cpu temp and core temp? which should I be more concerned with?
It sounds like classic throttling. Perhaps too much dust, or a cooling fan is slowing down, or you turned up the room heater, or a case air vent got blocked, etc.
Sounds like youve got Cool n Quiet enabled in the BIOS. You want that and basically anything else in the BIOS disabled. Also 68C is WAY too high for a core temp.
So I went in and looked at the fan, took it off to clean it better and it almost appears the stock thermal paste disintegrated. Not sure if that's the main cause, but I'm ordering some new paste. I also moved recently so maybe that process rattled the heatsink and the remainder paste loose? Would I see temps like that with lack of paste? What temps should this cpu have? And could someone clarify the importance/difference of core vs cpu temp and where each should be? I really do appreciate the help here.
I'm sure someone will correct me, but I'd guess that core temp is the on-die temp that you should be concerned about, and the "cpu temp" is probably some on-motherboard-near-cpu measurement that doesn't really help anything. Yeah, cheap paste can dry up and fall out -- that'll ruin your day! Sounds like you probably found the culprit.
Your mobo temperature isn't normal either. It should be probably lower than 40C. Maybe you have VRMs overheating too?
I'm thinking once you reapply the paste, life will be good again. I would also not worry about disabling Cool-n-Quiet. I've always ran it and love how it throttles the CPU when I don't need the extra 'oomph'. Post back once you've reapplied the grease, I'm curious to see the results.
disassembled and cleaned the entire case & components, cleaned and reapplied thermal paste, nothing else (not even bios)

59.5C (down 8.5C) max on the cores, 38C(down 6C) "cpu" whatever that is, 67C(down 9C) mainboard.

I'm not sure those temps are even good still, but the best part is the cpu speed isn't jumping every 2-5 seconds as it was, staying steady at 3.2.

Any comments?
What voltage is being supplied to your processor? I once had an issue with a motherboard that by default wanted to feed my 955 1.4v. Caused my temps to go crazy. As soon as I fixed it the temps all came down.
It's auto and its 1.392...are you suggesting bring it down despite it being OC'ed to 3.2?
I have no patience, so I just tried it, it dropped me 5C by going to 1.344V (next lowest option would be 1.319, below stock)

according to the advice of the forum mod on that amd link above I'm safe to go to 62C? Makes me wan't to mess with this some more to see how much I can push it on stock cooling.
Definitely keep the voltage OFF auto... if it lowered you an additional 5c, would that put you about 32c idle on the CPU core? If so, that's about normal. I'd leave it there and roll with that.
if idle is starting the pc up, and letting it sit for an hour and then coming back and looking at the temp, then yes, 32C, this is after i bumped it up to 3.3ghz @1.344v

I've been experimenting and have been priming for about 25mins now at 3.4ghz @1.392v...max temp 65C, might not be worth the extra 100mhz at that temp.

If I decide to keep my mobo with my current rig, whats my current gaming bottleneck by just looking at specs?

Should I entertain the thought of getting 8gigs ram? a 965 processor? SSD? Keeping in mind not to do it just for shits and giggles, are they worth the cost or should I just save and wait for a next gen system?
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What voltage was your 3.4GHz attempt, and what voltage is your current 3.3GHz setting; is it 1.344, and what is giving that reading?

What is the revision of your motherboard, or does your motherboard have L.L.C.?
Maxius, I have thought about the cpu cooler, but I'm affraid with this board most aftermarkets block the 4th ram slot if I ever decide to get 2 more sticks.

L4d, 3.4 @1.392 65C max load...3.3@1.344 58C max load...both taken within 30mins of eachother... I am getting the voltage reading from bios, cpuid hardware monitor, cpuz --- Board is Rev 1.0
3.4GHz has a set default of 1.425 volts for the C2 965, so you might have stability at those settings?

65 is too high, so better cooling is warranted.
Stability seemed fine (didn't crash in the 25mins i ran prime), heat was the concern...more volts=more heat, right? keep note I'm on stock cooler also
Stability seemed fine (didn't crash in the 25mins i ran prime), heat was the concern...more volts=more heat, right? keep note I'm on stock cooler also

grab one of the cosair or antec self contained water coolers but seriously consider an am3+ board and 6300/4300/4170 with 8gb and an ssd :D but the best thing you can get the stuff in increments. look at my sig i just recently got all of it together note the ssd cache made a huge difference
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Just thought I'd share my experiences with adding more cooling. I have a CM590 case, didn't have any additional fans, it came with an intake by HDD cage and a exhaust in the top rear.

I bought 2 140mm fans for the top as exhaust: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233036

and I upgraded the 120mm intake fan with this:

With dirty math I increase exhaust by 127cfm and intake by 25cfm, I have yet to decide if I want to move the previous intake on the side as a gpu exhaust or cpu intake blowing right on it.

Here are the results, left numbers are 30mins of prime with stock setup, took 20mins to add fans and then right side is 30mins of prime with new fans: