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Thread: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

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    Default AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    You probably know this by now, since it seems pretty much everyone has read our initial review of AMD's FX-8150 processors, but the "Bulldozer" architecture on which the FX chips are based is a "speed demon"—a CPU designed to run naturally at high clock frequencies. The concept is to do relatively less work per clock cycle and to enable higher speeds to make up the difference. You may also know that the FX-8150's performance hasn't entirely lived up to the "FX" product name—or to the expectations of many AMD fans. The reasons for that fact are many, but one of them seems to be fairly clear: Bulldozer-based chips probably haven't reached the clock speeds AMD's engineers originally intended. We attempted to rectify that fact during our first round of FX CPU testing by cranking up the clock speeds, an effort made easier because all FX-series processors have unlocked multipliers. We were a bit frustrated to find out that we couldn't nudge our chip past 4.4GHz without it turning flaky and crashing on us. However, we also had quite a bit of trepidation about pushing our brand-new, pre-release, 32-nm processor beyond about 1.46V.
    Yeah, we were basically being wusses.
    We were using a pretty formidable tower cooler at the time, but pumping that much voltage into a chip means it will be thinking deep thoughts about its own mortality before dropping off into C1E sleep. If you're going to push that hard, it's a good idea to have really effective cooling—maybe not just a biggish air cooler, but a truly large water cooling unit, with a radiator the size of Charlie Sheen's liver and a pair of fans to match.


    Fortunately, AMD seems to have been thinking along those same lines, because it has been making arrangements to include a beefy FX-branded water cooling unit (originally made by Asetek) in the box with certain FX processors. AMD says it will begin by bundling this cooler "with the AMD FX CPUs in select regions," starting with Japan and "then rolling out into other regions." We don't yet have final word on exactly when this cooler might make it into North America, but we expect the bundle to add about $100 to the price of an FX processor alone.


    The cooler is completely self-contained and pre-filled with coolant, so users won't have to mess with filling or maintaining the fluid in the unit. Installing it is as simple as twisting in the four thumbscrews around the CPU socket, making a fan-sandwich out of the radiator, and plugging in a couple of headers on the motherboard. One of those headers powers the pump and fans, and the other is a USB connection for control and monitoring of the cooler. AMD supplies a software CD with a relatively simple utility that monitors the liquid temperature and fan speeds, along with allowing the user to choose one of the pre-existing fan control policies or to define his own.




    Our mission was to see how far this fancy bit of kit would allow us to push an FX-8150 processor. At AMD's recommendation, we chose the "Extreme" fan speed preset. Fluid and fan temperatures plummeted as Damage Labs was filled with a loud, Dyson-esque whine...


    The results

    We took our prior plateau of 4.4GHz at 1.465V as a starting point for our renewed overclocking attempts. We were soon able to reach 4.5GHz and then 4.6GHz at 1.525V, which was encouraging. However, getting the chip stable at 4.7GHz required more voltage, forcing us to ratchet things up to 1.55V, the peak value exposed in AMD's Overdrive utility—and a heckuva lotta juice for a 32-nm processor. Once at that voltage limit, we tried for 4.8GHz, but we quickly saw errors in Overdrive's stability test.
    So, 4.7GHz was it. That's 1.1GHz above the FX-8150's base clock, but only 500MHz beyond its peak Turbo Core frequency. Still, it's not far from the projection in AMD's press literature, which says AMD's internal attempts with water cooling topped out at 4.9GHz (presumably with more than one chip on hand). 4.7GHz is also a couple of hundred megahertz higher than what we've seen from Intel's Sandy Bridge and Gulftown, in our limited, air-cooled overclocking exploits with those chips.
    Even at 1.55V, we weren't pushing the FX cooler past it limits. During stability testing, CPU temperatures topped out at around 54.5° C, with an ambient room temperature of about 74° F/23° C. Yeah, the thing was incredibly loud—I'd give you a decibel number, but we're currently having the roof replaced, and I don't want to harm the workers' ears. Er, I mean, all of the hammering would throw off the measurements. Still, the cooler itself could have taken more heat, had we needed it.
    At those overclocked settings, our FX-8150's power draw rose considerably from its stock levels. We did a quick measurement, in fact, and it came back like so:


    That, my friends, is why AMD didn't push any higher than it did on FX clock speeds. Cranking up the CPU voltage does bad things for power consumption. Although our motherboard, PSU, and cooler could apparently handle it reasonably well, an FX processor at these speeds goes well beyond the top established PC power envelope of 125W. Even resurrecting the old 140W power window probably wouldn't have bought AMD much more in terms of frequency. There is headroom in this chip, but you pay for it dearly in wattage.










    Oddly enough, the benchmarks we selected months ago for our overclocking performance tests seem to be pretty well suited to the Bulldozer architecture. Thus, turning up the clock frequency allows the FX-8150 to put up some really nice numbers, tying or beating a Core i7-2600K overclocked to 4.5GHz in several cases. There are some pain points here, such as the difference in single-threaded Cinebench performance between the FX-8150 at 4.7GHz and the Core i5-2500K at stock (scores of 1.16 vs. 1.48, respectively). Still, had Bulldozer landed at frequencies north of 4.5GHz within conventional power envelopes, the competitive landscape might look rather different. Indeed, if GlobalFoundries can manage to refine its 32-nm fabrication process to allow such speeds in the coming months, who knows?
    For now, thanks to a formidable bundled cooler, those folks who bleed AMD green (or is it red now?) will have an option for achieving bragging-rights-type performance in some cases, so long as they're willing to pay for it in the form of added heat, noise, and power draw.
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/21848

  2. The following user thanks Lil' ½ Dead For this above post:

    fatty22 (21-10-2011)

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    who cares about power crank that babylol
    You Raise The Blade You Make The Change


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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    You would if your paying the electric bill lol

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Quote Originally Posted by smduff View Post
    You would if your paying the electric bill lol
    manitoba has the cheepest electicity in north america
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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Old news............. Everyone knows the chip will do 4.7GHz. Wow, ya need a nuclear plant to keep up with the power consumption

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    348W of power, omfg..

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Why are you guys always acting like a PC is breaking the bank with electric bills ? I have two 990X systems OCed to 4.8GHz and two GTX 590, while the other 990X system has two Matrix GTX 580s, one has a 1600watt PSU and the other 1500W the 2500K build is at 5GHz with two HD6870s a 1350W and my electric bills have never gone over $55. My 98yr old mom keeps all the lights on all day long, and runs my 55" HDTV from 9am until 9pm. Before I moved her in with me 5 months ago my bill was only $36-$38 so how are three high end systems and a regular build having a huge effect on my power bill ? My mother uses more electricity than all 4 computers lol

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Doc, you remember the old Ultra PSU reviews? They had like a 2000w PSU. The problem was not that the PSU couldn't deliver 2000 watts. The problem was that it could. The PSU was causing house fuses and circuit breakers to blow when it hit load. It drew more power than many homes could actually provide.

    You want to push Bulldozer to its limits? Fine. But you better divide the load between like six breakers.

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Death View Post
    Why are you guys always acting like a PC is breaking the bank with electric bills ? I have two 990X systems OCed to 4.8GHz and two GTX 590, while the other 990X system has two Matrix GTX 580s, one has a 1600watt PSU and the other 1500W the 2500K build is at 5GHz with two HD6870s a 1350W and my electric bills have never gone over $55. My 98yr old mom keeps all the lights on all day long, and runs my 55" HDTV from 9am until 9pm. Before I moved her in with me 5 months ago my bill was only $36-$38 so how are three high end systems and a regular build having a huge effect on my power bill ? My mother uses more electricity than all 4 computers lol
    they must be young want to go green lol
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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    your like 24 lmao

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    US is cheap then Stan our electric bill is around 250 monthly.

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    this is promising, but I want to see some reviews of the FX-6100 on water.

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Quote Originally Posted by smduff View Post
    your like 24 lmao
    1974 do the math
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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Quote Originally Posted by smduff View Post
    US is cheap then Stan our electric bill is around 250 monthly.
    yes it does seem cheeper funny they buy lots of power from us
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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Quote Originally Posted by Vexation View Post
    348W of power, omfg..
    OMG, too much power for FX chip,

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    Default Re: AMD's FX-8150 further overclocked

    Quote Originally Posted by smduff View Post
    US is cheap then Stan our electric bill is around 250 monthly.
    Must be your electric vibrator

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