|AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE CPU HDZ965FBGIBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Mathew Williams|
|Thursday, 13 August 2009|
Page 11 of 13
Phenom II X4 965 BE Overclock Results
Overclocking the Phenom II X4 965's core frequency was a breeze thanks to its unlocked Black Edition multiplier. As we've seen with the rest of the Phenom II family, this processor also benefits from overclocking the cpu-northbridge. Changing this frequency directly impacts the memory controller and L3 cache. To illustrate the point, I've run our benchmarks at four different settings. Up first are the stock results, which I simply copied over from the previous pages for reference. I then overclocked just the northbridge to 2.8 GHz to see what kind of effect it had. Following those benchmarks, I set the northbridge back to stock and overclocked just the core frequency to 3.9 GHz. Finally, I combined the two for a total of 3.9GHz core frequency and 2.8 GHz northbridge frequency. The results are below.
The memory benchmarks clearly demonstrate the importance of the northbridge frequency. As expected, the northbridge-only overclock and the northbridge+CPU overclock perform the best. The CPU-only overclock does show some improvement over stock, but not nearly as much as when combined with an overclocked northbridge.
Moving on to the CPU benchmarks, the results are reversed. The Everest AES and Queen tests, as well as PCMark05's CPU test, do an excellent job of isolating the CPU. In these benchmarks, overclocking the northbridge has a negligible effect. However, the Everest PhotoWorxx benchmark breaks the trend and confirms Everest's claim that this benchmark tests the CPU and memory subsystem. What's interesting is that overclocking the northbridge has a greater effect than overclocking the core frequency. As expected though, the combined overclock takes the lead and even appears to have a synergistic effect.
The gaming benchmarks tell a story similar to what we saw in the earlier sections of the review. At higher resolutions and quality settings, the video card is likely to hit a wall before the processor does. At lower resolutions though, we do see a significant effect from overclocking. Once again, the combined overclock is the performance leader, while the northbridge-only and cpu-only overclocks seem to vary depending on the game.