Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday bench day: 5.16Ghz FX 6350 Cinebench Rampage

This is the secondary computer I have at my grandma's house. Based around an FX 6350 8GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM and a ASUS Sabertooth 990FX motherboard. And since it finally started to snow a little I decided it was the ideal time to do some benching on low ambient temperatures.

So after a few hours of having both windows in my small tower(seriously it's a tower) room open the temperature reached around 8C° at the intake of my Phanteks heatsink.
Cinebench was the first benchmark I ever used and since it's the only benchmark I have installed on this computer that doesn't greatly benefit from a clean install of windows I did Cinebench 15 and Cinebench R11.5. In R15 I got 624points at  5.16Ghz. That's a nice 3rd place on the FX6350 leader board. 
I'll be honest I'm proud of my efficiency on this run because I was running on my Corsair Vengeance sh*t sticks.

I managed to get another 0.2 points in Cinebench R11.5 over my 5Ghz score. Unfortunately the cold got to me and I forgot to do a second run and so the score is ever so slightly lower than it could be.
I'll be doing another session soon on my 2333 9-11-10-32 G.skill Pis. Also it looks like this CPU could run 5.16Ghz all day everyday if I just had a good cooler because all these runs were done on just 1.6V with High LLC settings.
Here's a challenge to all my readers who have an FX 6350. The first to beat my score in either Cinebench R15 or R11.5 by the 27th of January 2015 and I'll give you 10,000 DOGE. !NO LN2 and leave a link to a pic of your system and your dogecoin address in the comments!

BTW I updated the support this blog page to include sources of free dogecoin. If every time someone goes on this blog they went to this site and set the dogecoin to this blog I could get or buy a fan to review every month and it just takes a few clicks.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Posts might be delayed to Monday

I found out I forgot to pack some stuff for my stay at my grandma's house for X-mas and new years so I'll have to go get it and so the testing I wanted to do tomorrow is getting delayed.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ASUS now has it's own external VRM!

This is the new external VRM from ASUS. It's built for up to 500A on 8 phases and a maximum voltage of 2.5V.
You can follow all updates about it in this thread.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The RAM and FAN test bench overview

 Built on an IKEA pine wood wine rack. For low weight.
 With WiFi for easy screenshot uploading and maximum portability.  (Mounted with zipties)
 Based on the Gigabyte F2A88X-D3H I reviewed ages ago.
(Also mounted with zipties)
 Insulated for use with LN2.

and with a crocodile clip for reading CPU core voltage directly

Running an Athlon II X4 750K cooled by a cooler master Seidon 120V closed loop cooler.
(The rad really is just sitting there)

With video provided by my modified R7 260X
(The cooler is mounted with zipties)
(If I get a bigger PSU and another CPU cooler I will replace it with the water cooled GTX 590)

 The RAM currently in this beast is the G.skill ECO 2x2GB 1333 7-7-7-21 1.35V kit I previewed some time ago.

 The HDD is a 350GB WD blue.
(Mounted with even more zipties)
The PSU is an EVGA 430W 80+ unit.
(Held in place by zipties)
This is built from scrap parts from other projects(GPU MB and CPU Cooler) and my friends old PC(wifi and HDD). The reason why I built this is that my 3960X is never ever going to boot with RAM above 2500mhz so I can't use it for RAM reviews. This 750K already managed to boot 2520mhz on these G.skill sticks so it can do a better job with RAM than my main system. Ideally this would be a Z97 system but good Z97 boards cost about 1.5-3X what this board cost and an i5 4690K is about 3X the price of the 750K. Yes I know there is the Pentium G3258 but IMO pairing a 3000czk MB with a 1700czk CPU is stupid. Plus AMD CPUs are funner to OC.
The idea for using the wine rack from IKEA is that. It can hold as much stuff as a full tower, cost only 199czk(10$) and weighs less than any other case you can buy.
I used the cooler master Seidon for cooling because it allows me to easily swap fans for fan reviews.
If I had to change any things I would get a better PSU(750W Seasonic/EVGA) and a better MB(Crossblade Ranger).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hooray! 5K views

Today the blog reached 5,000 views so here is a quick tip as thanks.
If you have a low power laptop underclocking the monitor using Custom Resolution Utility can save a ton of battery life. I have my Lenovo's screen running at 30hz and it really boosts my battery life because the screen is one of the most power hungry parts of this laptop.

BTW I draw a really dark comic over at

Monday, December 1, 2014

R9 290/R9 290X Refrence PCB Overclocking Guide

The R9 290 and R9 290X are AMD's current flagship single core GPUs. I have 1 of each running in crossfire and have benched both of them extensively.
I expect that you know what is where in afterburner and you know how to configure custom fan profiles.

Software you will need
For daily use and aircooled benchmarking:
MSI afterburner
Sapphire Trixx
For benching on water or LN2
PT1/PT3 BIOS (link in useful links page)
GPU Tweak 2V (link in useful links page)
AtiWinFlash (link in useful links page)

Air 24/7
The Hawaii GPUs are pretty tanky so they can be overvolted for years without any negative effects. For 24/7 overclocking you will only need MSI Afterburner because going above +100mv on the core voltage generally doesn't help your frequency margin much and is about as high as you want to go for 24/7 overclock. There is no reason not to set the power limit to 150% so just set it to 150% and forget about it.

The Core
Most Hawaii GPUs do about 1100mhz without raising the core voltage. Once your card can't go any higher on stock volts start raising the voltage by 12mV. While voltage does increase frequency ranges AMD cards are really sensitive to temperatures and so the increased operating temperatures can counter act the increase in voltage. This is not an issue for people on water cooling but for people on air coolers I recommend tweaking the fan curve too avoid going above 85C° however if you can tolerate the noise of your cooler at 90% just set it to hit 90% at 70C° and you should be all good temp wise.
Afterburner has an AUX voltage setting for the Hawaii cards. Unfortunately no one really knows what the best setting for it is and I haven't fully test it yet so you will just have to test it at settings between -50mV and +100mV going by 50mV increments. I have mine at +100mv to get 1140/1550mhz on my Windforce R9 290X. I do suspect however that the AUX voltage somehow impacts the core voltage either in stability or how high it is.

The VRAM on Hawaii cards is very different from previous cards. ALL Hawaii cards have a golden ratio of
VRAM clock/core clock. This ratio varies from card to card but is generally between 1.25 and 1.4. Once you find this ratio it will generally allow you to run a much higher memory clock than try to incrementally raise VRAM frequency. For example my R9 290X has a ratio of 1.36 and 1140/1500 is not stable on it but 1140/1550 is even though they are at the same voltage.
While the Hawaii cards do not have memory voltage controls available in any software the memory clock does scale with core voltage so if you are trying to push a high memory clock you wil need to raise the core voltage regardless of your core frequency.

For some reason Hawaii cards don't always downclock  the memory when idling so when you are going above 1350mhz VRAM with an OCed monitor or on a multi monitor setup you will need to set Afterburner to constant voltage. This will not negatively impact the life span of you card because the idle core voltage will still be under 1V. I also recommend trying this if you crash when pressing apply because that happens for the same reason. Your VRAM OC kicks in but the voltage stays at idle levels and you get a crash.

Water 24/7
Do what you did for air 24/7 but use sapphire Trixx to get above +100mv core voltage.

Air Benching
Do what you did for the Air 24/7 but use Afterburner to set your AUX voltage then use Sapphire Trixx to get +200mv core. If you have an air cooler just max the fan speed since you're benching.

Water/LN2 Benching
!! COMING SOON !! NOT because my card does not like the available LN2 BIOSs sorry