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Asus M2NVP-VM Unlock Phenom II X2

Discussion in 'AMD Overclocking' started by Bill Hillman, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Bill Hillman

    Bill Hillman Guest

    First let me say it's been a very very long time since I've walked
    these grounds. Hoping there are still some experts floating around
    that can answer my questions....

    I've ordered a Phenom II X2 555 to put into an Asus M2NVP-VM (5005
    BIOS). I've done some reading about how to unlock the this CPU to an
    X3/X4 but not sure this BIOS is going to have the options to do so.
    Will have to wait and see but wanted to get some ideas before hand...

    1 - Has anyone used this mobo to unlock an X2 to an X3/X4?

    2 - Does anyone know if it is possible to use a pin-mod to unlock the
    cores? (like years ago when you could select different voltages on
    celerons by jumpering pins on the CPU)

    3 - Anyone know where to find a pinout of the AM3 CPUs yet? Looks
    like AMD is not releasing this info to the general public from what
    I've read.

    Thanks for any help you can toss out!
    Bill Hillman
    Bill Hillman, Feb 7, 2011
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  2. Bill Hillman

    Paul Guest

    The information available on the mechanism, is pretty sketchy.
    The memo here, indicates a set of GPIO pins on the Southbridge,
    are used to tune something on the processor. This makes it sound
    like the scheme is more complicated than some static signal levels
    (such as you'd get with a pin mod). Nvidia claimed to be adding
    the function to a couple of their chipsets, in the form of a
    JTAG serial bus. Which would account for four of seven pins. So
    perhaps four of the signals, are programmed in BIOS code, to
    emulate JTAG protocol (serial clock and data) ?


    In terms of the BIOS release notes for your M2NPV-VM motherboard
    go, there is a two year gap, between 1401 release and 5005 release.
    The 5005 release covers AM3 processors, so you might need that installed,
    before you try your new processor. But once that is done, I suspect
    your motherboard is of a generation before that tuning interface
    was in usage. It's probably not even hooked up. You're looking for
    a motherboard with SB710/SB750/MCP72/MCP78 as a Southbridge, or
    looking for one of the newer motherboards that claim to feature
    a "core unlocker" switch or BIOS module.

    Paul, Feb 7, 2011
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  3. Bill Hillman

    Bill Hillman Guest

    Paul, Thanks for the info.

    Yeah, I'm beginning to see now that this board is just not going to
    have what it takes to get the job done. I bought the CPU as a future
    upgrade path so when I did replace this mobo I'd get one that could
    unlock the additional cores and possibly have a cheap X4. Even at an
    X2 this will probably meet my needs since I almost never do any gaming
    anymore. I was just hoping there was an easy way to jump to 4 cores
    now just to try it out. I'm still happy that AMD was able to allow
    the use of older boards running an AM3 CPU.

    I've updated the BIOS to 5005 and it's running fine with the old
    Athlon 64 3200+. UPS shows my package was delivered today, so might
    get a chance to drop in the new big block and test drive it later

    Thanks again!
    Bill Hillman, Feb 8, 2011
  4. Bill Hillman

    Bill Hillman Guest

    New CPU installed and running this morning. Did a little playing
    around with overclocking the CPU. Was able to hit 4Ghz pretty
    easily! Stock retail cooler. I could not find a way to adjust the
    CPU voltage on this board, settings are really limited. Was
    pleasantly surprised. The odd thing is I could not change the
    multiplier to more than 19x, probably a BIOS glitch since it would
    jump to 5x when I selected 19.5x. So I bumped the FSB after that. It
    would actually post at 4200Mhz but lock right after BIOS screen.
    4050Mhz got into windows boot but locked before reaching desktop. I'm
    sure with some fancy cooling and more voltage it could probably go a
    little higher. Maybe dig out the old water cooler thats been sitting
    in a box for the past 6 yrs. =)

    Someday when I need the extra power and more programs take better
    advantage of multicore CPUs I'll replace the mobo with something a
    little more OC friendly and unlock the extra cores.

    Bill Hillman, Feb 9, 2011
  5. Bill Hillman

    Paul Guest

    I don't see an option listed in the BIOS for that.

    MicroATX boards aren't always set up for overclocking. That tends to
    be a feature of full sized ATX motherboards. But even then, they can be
    missing the feature needed to adjust Vcore. I have a full sized ATX
    motherboard, which only cost $65, and it had no voltage adjustment.
    But the regulator chip on it, turned out to be quite nice anyway, and
    the regulator had an "offset" pin on it. By doing a single resistor
    change to the motherboard, I could get a 0.1V boost (that's all I tested).
    It wasn't enough to make the thing stable at a 33% overclock, but it was

    The Vcore regulator is power limited on your board, and that isn't
    one of the Asus 140W motherboards. Power dissipation in Vcore rises
    rapidly, if you're volt modding, and you want plenty of power head
    room if doing so. Power is proportional to V**2, so if you go from
    1.3V to 1.4V, the relative power change is 1.4*1.4/(1.3*1.3) or 1.16x.
    In some overclocking situations, by adjusting the voltage, you can
    easily draw 50% more than the rated TDP of the processor. The most
    famous case, was probably overclocking the Pentium D 805 to 4GHz,
    where some people laid their motherboard on a foam plastic support,
    and the motherboard melted the foam :) That was a power draw of over
    200 watts. So if the motherboard is kinda power limited on Vcore to
    begin with, you don't want to push it too far.

    If you want instant feedback as to what your changes are doing,
    try sticking a finger on the MOSFETs around the CPU socket.
    They'll give you some idea how stressful the operation is.
    On one of my boards, I had to stop, because the MOSFETs were
    beginning to heat up. MOSFETs do have a Safe Operating Area, and
    do have the option of going into thermal runaway (in the sense that,
    the channel resistance begins to go up, so the heating process of
    the MOSFET accelerates - the MOSFETS "go limp" when they get hot).
    It means near the end of the power limit, the MOSFET temperature
    curve gets steeper. MOSFETs have been known to get hot enough,
    to melt the solder underneath. That's for the ones that don't have
    a heatsink (because the designer wasn't counting on a 200W load).

    Your board has a three phase regulator, and no heatsinks.


    Based on that picture, your best option would be a CPU cooler that
    blows downwards. The "spill air" from the CPU cooler can be used to
    keep adjacent stuff cool.

    Paul, Feb 9, 2011
  6. Bill Hillman

    Bill Hillman Guest

    This board was actually purchased for a friend that is merely a 'user'
    and has no clue what a BIOS is. When I built her system I didn't
    think it would ever be used for this purpose. It's a long story but
    know I'll be using it for a little while until I buy a better one down
    the road.

    While researching info about the Phenom II, I had read some horror
    stories about boards being fried by overclocking or unlocking cores.
    I was just assuming this board could handle quite a bit of power draw
    simply because it shows it compatible with several higher power Athlon/
    Opteron CPU's up to 125W. I will definitely pay close attention
    though with the info you've provided should I try to do any further
    overclocking. Also good to know when I do buy another board which
    might just get OC'd a bit.

    The stock CPU cooler seems setup well to provide cooling for the
    surrounding components with air coming out all 4 sides. The funny
    thing I noticed was the heatsink for the Phenom II X2 555 (80W) wasn't
    as beefy as the one I removed for the Athlon 64 3200+ (45W) which had
    a lower power draw. Perhaps the heatsink design is more efficient.
    The CPU temp according to the BIOS hardware monitor and software in
    windows both showed a CPU temp around 45C at 4Ghz (idle) so it must be
    doing a decent job. I didn't really stress it that much, just ran
    Sandra a few times as a quick test. The case I will be eventually
    moving it to also has an 80mm fan blowing outside air directly over
    the CPU area from the side of the case.

    Thanks again for the info Paul! I had hoped some folks were still
    around the old newsgroups with the knowledge I needed and you
    certainly didn't let me down! These days with all the overclocking
    websites it's almost information overload at times. Back when
    overclocking first got really rocking with the 'new' Celeron and such,
    all we had was these newsgroups and the ACHO FAQ I hosted on my
    website. It's been nice getting those juices flowing again.... =)

    Bill Hillman, Feb 10, 2011
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