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Old April 11, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Default Undervolting AMD laptops (Turion + Athlon X2) & overclocking w/ CnQ

UPDATE: Seemingly, this program also supports the latest AMD mobile Phenoms, II series, V series and Fusion (E2, A2, A4, A6 and A8 series) series.

This is a simple guide to explain how undervolt griffin platform AMD notebooks with the application k10stat found here: Software (K10stat)
Another useful guide can found here, which covers pretty much the same stuff: Aspire Gemstone: K10STAT AMD Griffin Processor UnderVolting Guide
Intel notebooks have RMClock and Notebook Hardware Control and for a while I thought AMD owners got the shaft with a mediocre performing AMD laptop that runs hotter than it should.

I know this is an enthusiast oriented forum, but I'm sure most of you have used or maybe owned such laptops for work/everyday purposes because although they aren't super hot (actually...), they were affordable and ubiquitous. So maybe one you use is on the toastier side... This program also works with desktop cpu's, and in reading this guide you will figure out quite quickly how it could be used to overclock.

This program works with Turion X2 (ZM/RM), Athlon X2 (QL) and Sempron SL's. Anything older, I believe works with RM Clock, though don't quote me. I had thought I've read about newer Turion II's working with this but again.. don't quote me. This program also works with XP, Vista and 7, and their 32/64 bit varieties, supposedly (can only test Vista and XP 32).

You will need 3 other simple apps to affirm the undervolting works: CPUZ, HW Monitor (or other program to monitor CPU Temps) and a stress test program of your choice.
For this case I used Orthos, it was simplist for me.

Firstly, if your laptop runs particularly hot I recommend cleaning the heatsink and fan, or possibly applying high performance thermal compound. That being said I must also say:
This guide is for entertainment and information only. I am not responsible for any damage done to your notebook.

The benefits are straight forward. Lower temperatures, means quieter fan, means better battery life. Presumably less ware on hardware. I wont be testing battery because frankly, I'm too lazy.
First things first, I recommend getting an idea of what your temps are first- See what they are after 5 mins of idling and 5mins of load. For the sake of this guide mine are:
Idle: 45 C. Load: 80 C. The test actually stopped because it got too hot. Yes, my fan is clean. It is a 13" hp... This is why I undervolt LOL. For more depth, you could test the temps of each P-state.

This is the main page of the program which displays information about your processor. Some of it is straightforward, and some of it is way beyond me. I have noticed it to be a bit delayed when things change, so I trust cpuz to be quicker.

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This is the tab that counts. Here we can edit P-states (meaning "Power states."). NOTE: Turions have 3 P-states, others have 2.
NOTE: Even though CPUz shows the frequency of the processor increasing/decreasing when you change the FID, it will not actually change. How do I know this? 5 GHZ stable on stock volts... or even at all...C'mon! Why CPUZ thinks its changing, I don't know, maybe newer versions wont display this, but mine does. Might make for some funny screenshots.

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Alright, so to identify your processor's lowest possible voltage of each P-state, we'll start with the lowest. Select the lowest P-state and lock each core to said state as shown. Be sure to hit APPLY or it will not change.
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Confirm with CPUz the cores are locked. Run your stress testing program. Begin lowering the voltage one notch at a time, waiting a min or 2 to test. If you select an unstable voltage the computer will simply crash and you will likely have to do a hard shutdown. See if the next lowest voltage is stable. At this low P-state you might hit the minimum 0.75 and remain stable. Let the stress test go for as long as you like until you feel it is stable. If crashing occurs during normal use, you likely need to increase the voltage. Continue working your way up the P-states until you find stable voltages for them all. I went from
P-0: 1.1v to 0.9875v
P-1: 0.95v to 0.75v
P-2: 0.8v to 0.75v
The highest clocked state gave me the most trouble, as lower voltages were stable for most simple tasks but it would still crash every 30mins or so. Consequently I increased the voltage.

So my temps on Idle and Load became: 40 C and 71 C. The load test was able to complete itself this time, with 9 C better. Though I don't believe laptops should be stressed excessively due to their poor cooling, as well most things don't put the cpu at 100% load, hence the 5min stress test. Something more real world like WoW averages 60% load of the cpu and hangs around 65 C, where the fan usually wont ramp up thanks to undervolting. Because 1ghz and 500mhz run at the same electrical espense, I blocked out 500mhz by setting the transitory 'up%' to '1' and the 'down%' to '0'. This seems to keep it at 1ghz when idle.

To run K10Stat automatically, just use windows task sheduler to run it as a startup item. This will create a k10stat.dat in the 'system32' folder to reference preferences. This will also load k10stat with default preferences until otherwise is saved. ALSO NOTE: If the computer crashes while K10Stat is running, it will not load it again on startup (at least not in XP). It must be started manually.

Inserting the following command line at the end of the target line will have the following effects:
-lp:# (Loads profiles 1,2,3,4, or 5).
-StayOnTray (Keeps k10stat taskbar item)
-nw (Loads without dialogue window)
-ClkCtrl:# (Loads Clock control settings 0, 1, 2, 3, 4)
0: No control
1: Clock control enabled: unganged mode- cores function independantly.
2: Control both cores based on the highest loaded core.
3: Control both cores based on the average load of both cores.
4: Control both cores based on the lowest loaded core.
You will need to select some form of clock control or the laptop changes the P-states as it decides, not your preferences.
So for example ("C:\Documents and Settings\User\Desktop\K10STAT\K10STAT.exe" -StayOnTray -nw -ClkCtrl:1 -lp:1) would load k10stat on startup with a tray item, no dialogue window, on profile one with unganged core control.

So, you can see how this would allow you to run overclocked with cool and quiet inside windows.

There's my little tutorial, hope it helps someone. Remember, different cpu's overclock (and thus undervolt) differently. I only found one other guide to this program which was thorough but just...longer and missed a few small things, so I thought I'd try and help propogate it.

Last edited by clone63; April 8, 2012 at 09:28 PM. Reason: updated
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