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I have just finished a new build and have everything up and running fine. I thought I got lucky with my AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto processor in that I have successfully unlocked both cores. The computer runs fine with all cores operating doing light computing.

In preparation to overclocking the system, I ran Prime95 on my new system before unlocking the other 2 cores. Everything preformed perfectly. (after 8 hours no failures of any kind)

So far, so good, right? WRONG!

When I unlocked the 3rd core, the computer shut down after Prime95 ran less than a minute.

Same thing when I unlocked the 4th core. (running it with core 3 locked)

I know that Prime95 stresses the cores by running them at 100%. My question is; Is there some way to determine at what percentage that cores 3 and 4 fail?... Also, I think I read somewhere that you can increase cpu voltage and get the cores to run stable. If so, how much increase is safe?

The most demanding use for this computer will be running 3D Home Design and Landscaping software. I am wondering if maybe I can run this software and still not stress the 3rd and 4th cores to the point of shutting down the computer.

Any information or advice dealing with getting unlocked cores stable would be a big help.. My System:

1. Windows 7 Home Premium

2. Mother Board: MSI 870A-G54 Newegg.com - MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

3. Memory: 2 X 2 Gb DDR3 1600 G.Skill Newegg.com - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

4. Power Supply: 3 rail 600W Newegg.com - hec XPOWER780 600W(780W Peak) ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI NVIDIA HYBRID-SLI Certified CrossFire Certified Active PFC Power Supply

5. Future upgrading my HD 4670 to a HD 4850 video card.

One final question... Given the above consideration, in terms of performance, would I be better off forgetting about unlocking the cores and just overclock the computer as much as possible and still have a stable machine...

Thank you in advance for considering this problem.
 

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I concur with speedster123's assessment of your PSU.

Unfortunately, it would seem your CPU wasn't one of the ones that were shipped to meet demand, and was one of the ones with defective cores locked.

As for OC'ing your computer, I wouldn't even think about it with that PSU.

If you do OC, keep in mind that you void hardware warranties and will stress your system. Do not skimp on cooling, case airflow properties and PSU. Also, MSI has had quality control issues (my personal experience) and it is hit-or-miss with a stable overclock.
 

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OK... thanks for the information. (I think. lol). Want to ask about PSU later, but for now, here is the rest of my system...

1. Everything is enclosed in a Cool Master HAF 912 case with 2 120mm fans in the front (intake) and 1 120mm fan in rear (exhaust). In time, the 2 120mm fans will be replaced by a Cool Master 200mm fan and will add a 140mm to the side (intake)

2. At the moment, I am running 1 DVD drive, 1 DVD burner, 1 500 GB and 2 160 GB hard drives. (All are 7200 RPM SATA) The 160 GB drives are in RAID 0 configuration. Another 500 GB HD will be added as soon as Hitachi returns the one I had to RMA.

3. My CPU cooler is an Arctic 64 Freezer Pro. It seems to be doing a much better job of keeping the CPU cool than the stock cooler (of course) Using Core Temp .99.7 while running Prime95 with stock cooling, my CPU temp. got up as high as 116 F. (idle was 89-92) Those high temps could be because I used too much Arctic Silver Paste when I first installed the stock cooler. With the Arctic 64, top temp. only reached 95 F. (idle is 78-80 F, 27-28 C)

Which brings up the first question of this post. I ran both Core Temp AND MSI's Control Panel while testing with Prime95. Core Temp indicated a CPU temp of 95 F while MSI Control Panel listed the CPU temp at 107 F. Anyone know why the difference and which one is closest to the real cpu temp?

I spent a lot of time researching components in preparation for this build... Using reviews, I bought the best rated components I could afford.. I don't know about quality control on other MSI boards, but the reviews I read (Tom's Hardware for one) gave this MB pretty good reviews. That is why I bought it. Also, the buyers reviews at Newegg had little bad to say about the board. I though I got a good quality board for the money. (but who knows, time will tell.)

What I really want to question is why the thumbs down on the hec PSU for this computer. I have read the sticky on Power Supply Information and selection more than once. I have looked up the specs. on the power supply units you recommend and I have used the suggested Wattage calculator to figure the power needs for my system.

Even if I add the HD 4850 GPU, the calculator recommends 450 watts. Add the 30% that is recommended and that brings the total up to 585 Watts. I know that the hec is NOT a 780 watt psu; but it is 600w constant which should be enough. The hec has 3 12v rails rated at 24 amps each. That is 1 rail and -2 to +8 amps per rail better than some of the 550w to 650w range psu's you do recommend. The hec is rated at <87% efficiency. Again, some of the psu's you recommended are rated @ 80% or better. The only difference here is the ones you recommend carry a 80 bronze certification. (maybe that is an important point, I don't know)

I didn't buy this psu blindly. I did comparisons and chose this unit because of the above specs. I know it isn't a super premium unit (after all is was less that $100), but I believed I was getting good value when I bought it..

Please understand, I am not arguing with you for the sake of arguing. I guess I am really trying to find out WHY this unit won't work for me. The specs. seem to be good judging by the things pointed out in the sticky concerning choosing psu's.

By the way. I am only seeking to overclock this system by 10 to 15%. Maybe 3.5 to 3.7 gig. I really don't care about finding about how far I can push the system for bragging rights. Just want a little more performance. And then, only when running Home Design Software. I don't game with anything more demanding that WOW, so don't need to overclock for games.

Regarding the unlocked core issue, I guess what you are telling me is; I am just going to have to live with having only 2 usable cores, right... Oh well, that's really all I paid for.

Sorry for being so long winded in this post.

Thanks again.

PS. I would really appreciate more discussion ref. the psu issure.
 
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