Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you will might be able to get.
With stock BIOS settings, the AMD Phenom X4 9950 processor runs with a 200MHz bus speed and has a 13.0 multiplier that are used to reach the final core clock of 2.60GHz. As you can see above, the MSI K9A2 v1.0 motherboard runs at 200.0MHz, so the clock frequency is spot on. Let’s start off by overclocking without adjusting any voltages to see what the Phenom X4 9950 quad-core processor can do out of the box. Just for fun we downloaded the latest AMD OverDrive utility and tried out the auto clock feature.
After a good 45 minutes AMD OverDrive was still increasing the processor frequency and has it set to 213MHz x 13.0 when the above screen shot was taken. This put the final frequency of the processor was 2.76GHz, which is 168MHz increase over the stock fquency of 2.60GHz. Since it seemed like using OverDrive was going to take all day we hit cancel and finished the overclocking through the BIOS. The MSI K9A2 v1.0 motherboard BIOS is very simple to use with the ‘CPU FSB’, ‘HT Ratio’ and ‘CPU Ratio’ all ready to be set. For this test we adjusted just the CPU FSB to find the highest frequency we could hit and then tried changing the CPU Ratio (divider).
By not touching anything in the BIOS other than the bus speed we were able to read 3054MHz! The core voltage was still under the nominal rating of 1.3 Volts, so not bad for leaving everything in the BIOS on ‘Auto’ other than just one setting. This is a 454MHz increase in the core clock frequency!
The AMD Phenom X4 9350e also topped out at 235MHz on the bus speed, which points to the motherboard as being the limiting factor. We reduced the HT link all the way down to 1x and couldn’t get an extra MHz on the bus speed. We also dropped the memory down to the lowest divider and had no luck there either. When we tried 236MHz on the bus speed the system would blue screen on the Windows Vista splash screen. We cranked up the Voltages on the chipset and the HyperTransport without success. The screen shot above was taken at the maximum CPU Voltage allowed on the AMD Phenom X4 9350e in the BIOS, which