In our last two motherboard reviews, we used the standard BIOS and AMD OverDrive overclocking utility to boost our Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition processor to 3.567GHz and 3.667GHz with moderate voltage and base clock tweaks. For this review, we went back to our usual OC modifications in the BIOS without using AMD OverDrive. Our main goal for overclocking the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P was to beat our previous two overclocking scores from our last two AM3 and AM2+ motherboard reviews. Any scores above 3.667GHz would be highly desirable and accomplish our OC mission.
Our initial OC efforts included increasing the base clock without modifing the voltage, HTT, or memory timings. Our first attempts only yielded a 185MHz base clock, which is terrible so we started increasing the CPU core voltage to 1.5v to increase stability while we adjusted the base clock further. These voltage changes helped us get the base clock to 206MHz, but unfortunately we weren’t able to keep those numbers stable for long. So, we backed it down to about 200MHz and then started to increase the CPU multiplier because our X3 720 processor is unlocked.
We tried to bump the CPU multiplier past 18, but we started to experience multiple reboots and shutdowns so we had to keep it around 18x. After a bit more tweaking and prodding, we were able to get a rock-solid 3.717GHz overclock which met our previous goal of beating our last OC score of 3.667GHz. Overall, a 3.717GHz overclock equates to a 917MHz increase in performance over the X3 720’s stock speed of 2.8GHz. See our overclocking results below for more details:
|CPU Speed||CPU Multiplier||HyperTransport Clock||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage||Temp (Idle)||Temp (Load)|
|3.717GHz||18||200MHz||1100 MHz||7-7-7-16 1T||1.5v||25c||32c|
For those just learning about overclocking the new Phenom II cores, the architecture is different than any previous AMD core. We suggest that our readers checkout our initial review of the X3 720 we wrote back in February so they can get a better understanding of the pros and cons of the newest AMD processors.