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AMD FX CPUs overclock well if you know the right settings, and the CrossHair V Formula motherboard is ROG’s 5th Gen AMD hardware, so the team behind it has plenty of experience under their belts. As supplementary reading, we strongly recommend you reading a very good article titled the CrossHair V Formula Oveclocking BIOS Guide, written by Raja.
With that in mind, I am not going to go into too much depth about those aspects here, instead I’ll be aiming at getting you directly up, running and overclocked by providing clear steps to follow in order to achieve a solid all round overclock with your new AMD FX processor. From here, and with Raja’s guide, you experiment to fine tune your system and learn more.
The AMD FX Processor: AMD FX-8150 Specifications
- Native Frequency: 3.7GHz
- Turbo Frequency: up to 4.2GHz
- Manufacturing process: 32nm
- Number of cores: Eight physical
- Memory controller: Dual-channel DDR3
- Cache: 8 x 16KB L1 data, 4 x 64KB L1 instruction, 4 x 2MB L2, 4 x 2MB L3
- Socket: AM3+
- Thermal Design Power (TDP): 125W
- Features: SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, 256-bit AVX, AESNI, PCLMULQDQ, AMD64, Cool’n’Quiet 3.0, AMD-V, MMX, FMA4, XOP
The Motherboard: ASUS CrossHair V Formula
- Chipset: AMD 990FX
- CPU Socket: AM3 and AM3+ processors including Sempron, Athlon II, Phenom II and FX
- Memory support: 4 slots, max 32GB DDR3
- Expansion slots: four 16x PCI-E 2.0 slots (two 16x or one 16x, two 8x and one 4x), one PCI, one 1x PCI-E
- Sound: 8-channel HD Audio via Creative SupremeFX X-Fi 2
- Networking: Intel 82583V Gigabit Ethernet
- HTT frequency overclocking range: 100 – 600MHz; max voltages, CPU 2.1V, CPU NB 1.875V, Chipset 2V, HT 2V, RAM 1.8V, Southbridge 1.8V
- Ports: 7x SATA 6Gbps, 1x PS/2, 14x USB 2, 6x USB 3, 2x FireWire, LAN, 4x surround audio out, line in, mic, optical S/PDIF out, eSATA 6Gbps
- Dimensions (mm): 305 x 244 (ATX)
And The Rest:
- CPU Cooling: Mainstream performance air cooler
- DDR3 Memory: Geil 2GB x 2 DDR1600MHz
- Graphics Card: ASUS Radeon HD 5870 2GB
- Power Supply: Corsair HX850
It is up to the individual to select the CPU/Memory stress test tool of choice. But please be aware of the following, previously on AMD platforms Prime95 was the most stressful tool, and it historically stressed the northbridge and memory more than Linpack, however the gap has narrowed between the two. The difference between the two outcomes for maximum Overclock using Linpack and Prime95 was less than 100MHz at the same settings. Remember a stability tests is an artificial exercise and the proof of the pudding is in the eating if you never crash your system.
Using a windows based overclocking utility makes the whole overclocking process so much simpler and saves time if you are in a hurry to play with your new toys. You can also use ROG Connect if you have a spare rig, or a Bluetooth device such as a smart phone or tablet. Personally I really like the ROG Connect utility and can recommend it to anyone. The only problem that I noticed is the temperature reading can differ between the board and the ROG Connect by a margin of difference of nearly 10C, now that could just be because the motherboard OS based utility and the ROG software is not yet optimized for the AMD FX. Not critical, but worth noting.
A easy work round to changing multiplier in OS is to simply use k10stat, the update will be available soon.
Monitoring utilities are a must and the reviewer pack I have linked too is very handy as a all-in-one download for AMD FX.
Cinebench and Hyper Pi are the 2 main applications that I use for a rough and ready test just to find the upper limits of the system and get a ballpark figure for voltages needed. Plus they help me get an idea on how to approach the higher clocks. It’s always handy to run benchmarks like this throughout testing to make sure your performance is going in the right direction. Think of it as a auto-regulation feedback loop.
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