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Jun 28, 2013, 05:46 AM
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Phenom Overclocking


Extremely hot weather warranted another shot at frequency scaling.

After much troubleshooting, the answer was no. The Asus M4A79XTD did not support frequency scaling & overclocking. Linux was reporting a 3.2Ghz limit with frequency scaling enabled. It's disappointing that no-one ever wondered why overclocked frequency scaling wasn't supported.

The process ideally involves enabling quiet n' cool mode, then setting /sys/module/processor/parameters/ignore_ppc to 1, setting
/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq to 3600000.

The ignore_ppc parameter only unlocked it up to 3.2Ghz, not the overclocked speed of 3.6Ghz.


After 3 hours of useless Goog searches, it turned out the BIOS reported 3.6Ghz regardless of frequency scaling being enabled & Linux reported 3.2Ghz. Compile times with Linux reporting 3.2Ghz & BIOS reporting 3.6Ghz were identical to 3.6Ghz. Compile times with the BIOS reporting 3.2Ghz were exactly 11% slower, so Linux was improperly reporting the speed.

Seem to recall very rare cases years ago when Linux reported a bogus speed & none of the Goog searches showed it, so it wasn't on the radar.

That also means scaling_min_freq of 800Mhz is really 900Mhz & they don't accept any lower values, regardless of ignore_ppc. It's much cooler, anyway. It should reduce the electric bill & improve productivity.

It's still too noisy to leave on all night. A quieter CPU fan for overclocking was always a dream, but never affordable compared to buying a faster CPU.

3 years after that legendary upgrade, there are octocores but 4Ghz is still the limit. Kiwipedia says 7Ghz is possible, but the power consumption with current techniques is too high to be practical. 4Gz is the practical limit of the old silicon chip.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Jun 28, 2013 at 09:50 PM.
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