Since the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition processor was unveiled by AMD, budget overclockers worldwide let out a long sigh of relief that the once enthusiast-friendly vendor has come back to its roots and embraced one of main audiences that helped the company get to where it is today. A few years back, AMD had a similar following when they released their Barton cores and we seem to be seeing the same trends with the X3 720.
So, what’s a hardware reviewer to do when he gets a Black Edition CPU with an unlocked multiplier? Ramp it up as far as we can of course! We’ve seen reports that this CPU can reach 3.4 to 3.8GHz pretty easy depending on a variety of voltage, HTT speed, HTT multiplier, memory multiplier, and northbridge speed tweaks, so that speed range will be our overclocking goal.
For those just learning about overclocking the new Phenom II cores, the architecture is an entirely different animal than any previous AMD core. We suggest that our readers bone up on this new technology by reading our initial review of the X3 720 we wrote back in February.
Without any modifications to voltage, HTT, or memory, we were able to hit a stable 3.567GHz on air cooling alone. We increased the CPU clock to 17.5 and FSB frequency to 204MHz, but wasn’t able to hit 18 without noticing stability issues. The temps were consistently around 35c during load testing, which means we could have pushed it farther than that if we implemented some voltage adjustments and other modifications.
Overall, a 3.567GHz overclock equates to a 767MHz (21.5 percent) increase in performance over the X3 720’s stock speed of 2.8GHz. See our results below for more details:
|CPU Speed||CPU Multiplier||HyperTransport Clock||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage||Temp (Idle)||Temp (Load)|
|3.567GHz||17.5||204MHz||804 MHz||6-6-6-18 1T||1.325v||22c||35c|