Clocking for Efficiency in a P2X6

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Clocking for Efficiency in a P2X6

Postposted on Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:52 pm

I recently got a Phenom II X6 processor, which is nice because it's faster than what I had previously (Q9450), but it's also quite a bit hotter. The processor is liquid cooled, so I am not worried about it overheating, but I would like to avoid drawing 125W+ at all times while my computer is on. I currently have the CPU overclocked to 3.6 GHz, which is good for games, but unnecessary for music listening and web surfing, which makes up a good bit of my computer use during the school year.

How can I use AMD Overdrive to automatically adjust CPU performance to workload? I currently have it set to decrease to 800 MHz when the system is idle, but even an application like iTunes will cause the frequency to bounce between 800 and 3600 MHz. I would like the CPU to have the following two power profiles:

1.) Normal Use - Cores 3-6 go as slow as they can and aren't used, Cores 1-2 run at 2.4 GHz (or maybe less)
2.) Stressful Use (read gaming) - All cores go to 3.6 GHz

How can this be accomplished?
"TORTURIS EXUVIAS EUNT"
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Re: Clocking for Efficiency in a P2X6

Postposted on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:13 pm

Hello, OP. Welcome to Phenom II ownership. PhenomMsrTweaker (http://phenommsrtweake.sourceforge.net/) could be useful in your case. I've successfully used it to both run my 720BE (quad-unlocked) at a lower speed when not at full load, and at an OC'ed speed (3.2GHz) when processing muscle is needed.

Here's a tutorial, with the same processor as yours: http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=183403

I imagine you can use the core multiplier controls in MsrTweaker to set lower clock speeds for the other cores when they're not needed. 8)

EDIT: typo
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Re: Clocking for Efficiency in a P2X6

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:59 am

I doubt you're really going to see a difference in power usage if you force lower clocks when non-gaming. The quick bounces to 3.6 GHz and back to 800 MHz really don't use much power.

You could use your power profile to control this to put a cap on clock speeds but you'd have to remember to change it every time you go into games...
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Re: Clocking for Efficiency in a P2X6

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:00 pm

Many thanks Kook. That little program that you pointed me to, does exactly what I wanted it to do.
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Re: Clocking for Efficiency in a P2X6

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:52 pm

Bumping the voltage down will have a more pronounced effect on power consumption than clock frequency will.

Using PhenomMsrTweaker on my laptop Athlon II P320 (25 watt) lowered it to 17 watt at default 2.1 GHz.
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Re: Clocking for Efficiency in a P2X6

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:48 pm

Heh, you're welcome. :) Many times I've considered jumping platforms myself (to Penryn, Westmere, and now Sandy Bridge), but man, AMD's relative cheapness and friendliness to enthusiasts, and socket longevity still win me over. 8) Hard to beat that, I guess: My 720BE has been with me for more than 2 years now, and the board I use it in is (hopefully) really BD ready. Just waiting for them to arrive, and then I can decide whether to snatch an outgoing Thuban or a new BD processor. I'll probably go the Thuban route myself and wait for FM2, instead of the near-future AM3+/FM1, if BD ends up being too pricey for the performance. :)
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