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It’s been a year since our FX-8150 and Crosshair V Formula overclocking guide, so we’ve updated it for our AMD fans to cover ROG’s Crosshair V Formula-Z and the new FX-8350 CPU, overclocked to 4.8GHz. As ever, overclocking is never guaranteed. Your mileage will vary depending on the components, such as level of cooling, quality of power and memory and environment (humidity and ambient temperature etc) and of course, the CPU you use as despite having the same FX-8350 name, not all silicon is made equal.
Installing the CPU
- Release the CPU socket arm, and lift it into an upright position
- Install the CPU. No force is required, just drop it into the socket in the correct orientation, and the CPU’s pins will sink all the way in. Match the golden triangle on the corner of the CPU to the marker on the CPU socket. Don’t force the CPU; breaking any of the pins will kill it!
- Lower the socket arm and lock the CPU in place
- Add thermal paste in a thin layer across the top (as necessary). Use a flat edged item such as an old credit or debit card to smooth the thermal paste flat and even.
- Fit your CPU cooler of choice – Overclocking an FX-8350 to 4.8GHz WILL require a high end cooler. We’ve used a Corsair H80i here, but any similar liquid cooler will work too. You’ll notice we’ve dropped in a pair of memory DIMMs as well.
A word on power
The Crosshair V Formula-Z is equipped with an additional 4-pin CPU power connector. While fitting it isn’t necessary, it can help the stability of high-level overclocks such as the one we’re attempting here. If your PSU doesn’t have one spare, don’t worry!
Before we start
Be sure to download the latest version of the board’s BIOS and extract it to the root directory of a flash drive. You can then use the EZ Flash utilty in the BIOS Tool menu to easily update the latest version.
You should also download (or install from your driver disk) Asus’ AI Suite II. The thermal sensor on the FX-8350 is not read by some thermal monitoring programs. We’ll be using AI Suite II to monitor temperatures and voltages, CPU-Z to monitor CPU status/frequencies and Prime95 to check the stability of the overclock.
Make sure everything works
As always, before you start overclocking, you should Install/boot windows and make sure everything works first.
- Start the system and enter BIOS (image BIOS welcome)
- Press F5 to load optimized BIOS defaults (image reset to defaults)
- Hit F10 to save the BIOS and restart
- Boot Windows
- Open CPU-Z and AI Suite II
- Run Prime95 and select the CPU intensive Small FFT test – the CPU should clock up to 4.0GHz, the maximum clock speed of this chip.
- As you can see, at its default clock speeds the FX-8350 runs quite happily at a temperature of 49°c. This was performed in a room with an ambient temperature of 24°C, so a 25°C delta-T is great.
Over on page 2 it’s time to tweak!
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