Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2013 - 01:46 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: vsync, vertex 3.20, podcast, pcper, overclocking, ocz, haswell, gtx 780, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, gigabyte brix, frame rating
PC Perspective Podcast #247 - 04/18/2013
Join us this week as we discuss Frame Rating and Vsync, the future of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the OCZ Vertex 3.20 and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:07:41
0:01:08 Win the Roccat ISKU Keyboard
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Jeremy: support Full Control not just because they're nordic
Allyn: (portable headsets that don't suck)
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: Processors | April 17, 2013 - 09:48 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: overclocking, intel ivr, intel hd graphics, Intel, haswell, cpu
During the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China the X86 chip giant revealed details about how overclocking will work on its upcoming Haswell processors. Enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the new chips do not appear to be any more restrictive than the existing Ivy Bridge processors as far as overclocking. Intel has even opened up the overclocking capabilities slightly by allowing additional BCLK tiers without putting aspects such as the PCI-E bus out of spec.
The new Haswell chips have an integrated voltage regulator, which allows programmable voltage to both the CPU, Memory, and GPU portions of the chip. As far as overclocking the CPU itself, Intel has opened up the Turbo Boost and is allowing enthusiasts to set an overclocked Turbo Boost clockspeed. Additionally, Intel is specifying available BCLK values of 100, 125, and 167MHz without putting other systems out of spec (they use different ratios to counterbalance the increased BCLK, which is important for keeping the PCI-E bus within ~100Mhz). The chips will also feature unlocked core ratios all the way up to 80 in 100MHz increments. That would allow enthusiasts with a cherry-picked chip and outrageous cooling to clock the chip up to 8GHz without overclocking the BCLK value (though no chip is likely to reach that clockspeed, especially for everyday usage!).
Remember that the CPU clockspeed is determined by the BCLK value times a pre-set multiplier. Unlocked processors will allow enthusiasts to adjust the multiplier up or down as they please, while non-K edition chips will likely only permit lower multipliers with higher-than-default multipliers locked out. Further, Intel will allow the adventurous to overclock the BLCK value above the pre-defined 100, 125, and 167MHz options, but the chip maker expects most chips will max out at anywhere between five-to-seven percent higher than normal. PC Perspective’s Morry Teitelman speculates that slightly higher BCLK overclocks may be possible if you have a good chip and adequate cooling, however.
Similar to current-generation Ivy Bridge (and Sandy Bridge before that) processors, Intel will pack Haswell processors with its own HD Graphics pGPU. The new HD Graphics will be unlocked and the graphics ratio will be able to scale up to a maximum of 60 in 50MHz steps for a potential maximum of 3GHz. The new processor graphics cards will also benefit from Intel’s IVR (programmable voltage) circuitry. The HD Graphics and CPU are fed voltage from the integrated voltage regulator (IVR), and is controlled by adjusting the Vccin value. The default is 1.8V, but it supports a recommended range of 1.8V to 2.3V with a maximum of 3V.
Finally, Intel is opening up the memory controller to further overclocking. Intel will allow enthusiasts to overclock the memory in either 200MHz or 266MHz increments, which allows for a maximum of either 2,000MHz or 2,666MHz respectively. The default voltage will depend on the particular RAM DIMMs you use, but can be controlled via the Vddq IVR setting.
It remains to be seen how Intel will lock down the various processor SKUs, especially the non-K edition chips, but at least now we have an idea of how a fully-unlocked Haswell processor will overclock. On a positive note, it is similar to what we have become used to with Ivy Bridge, so similar overclocking strategies for getting the most out of processors should still apply with a bit of tweaking. I’m interested to see how the integration of the voltage regulation hardware will affect overclocking though. Hopefully it will live up to the promises of increased efficiency!
Are you gearing up for a Haswell overhaul of your system, and do you plan to overclock?
Subject: Processors | January 25, 2013 - 06:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: haswell, Intel, overclocking, speculation, BCLK
hardCOREware is engaging in a bit of informed speculation on how overclocking the upcoming Haswell chips will be accomplished. Now that Intel has relaxed the draconian lock down of frequencies and multipliers that they enforced for a few generations of chips, overclockers are once again getting excited about their new chips. They talk about the departure of the Front Side Bus and the four frequencies which overclockers have been using in modern generations and then share their research on why the inclusion of a GPU on the CPU might just make overclockers very happy.
"This is an overclocking preview of Intel’s upcoming Haswell platform. We have noticed that they have made an architectural change that may be a great benefit to overclockers. Check out our thoughts on the potential return of BCLK overclocking!"
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel Core i7-3960x vs. i7-3970x@Bjorn3D
- Intel Core i3-3220 v. Intel Core i3-3225 Review @ MissingRemote
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Testing Memory Speeds on AMD's A10-5800K Trinity APU @ Legit Reviews
- AMD A10 5700K APU @ Guru of 3D
The AMD Closed Loop System
Closed loop water cooling is not new, but it certainly is a pretty hot topic now. Some of the first units out there had some interesting issues (like internal corrosion clogging everything up), but once those teething problems were solved the closed loop systems turned out to be pretty effective and easy to install. Initially these units had the performance of a top end air cooler, but with a lot lower noise. The latest generation of liquid cooling systems (LCS) is now further improved and provides performance approaching that of larger, more complex cooling systems. These products will not replace exotic systems like phase change, but they provide a lot of cooling in a fairly decent sized package.
Clean lines and graphics give this box a striking look without being tacky.
Last year with the introduction of the AMD FX-8150, AMD decided to create a SKU which not only included the CPU, but also a fairly robust LCS. This unit is based on an Asetek design which features a double wide cooler/reservoir with the push-me/pull-ya fan combination. Other manufacturers offer this particular product under a variety of names, but this is simply an AMD FX branded unit with some small cosmetic changes to differentiate it from other units.
AMD will eventually offer this cooler with the new Vishera based FX-8350 CPU (or at least we assume they will), and we wanted to take this combination out for a spin. In our FX-8350 review we did not hit the overclocking targets that AMD had set. In most literature that we were provided AMD stated that most FX-8350 parts would be able to hit around 5 GHz with some aggressive cooling. In our review I was able to get to around 4.6 GHz max and around 4.5 GHz stable with better than average cooling. The results were not as impressive as we had hoped, but we again did not have a top end cooling solution such as what AMD provides with this particular LCS.
With a brand new LCS in hand, I retested the FX-8350 to see how hard it could be pushed. I also wanted to see how this particular unit performance in terms of thermal properties. The results were quite surprising for me, as this is my first real experience with a LCS.
Subject: General Tech | December 23, 2012 - 09:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: overclocking, motherboard, gigabyte, contest
Gigabyte and Cooler Master have teamed up to host the Winter OC Whiteout overclocking competition. Enthusiasts are encouraged to push their systems as far as possible to achieve the highest 3D benchmark scores. Cooling methods like LN2 and liquid helium are encouraged to break existing records and grab the top spots, with certian hardware restrictions put in place over three classes to reportedly level the playing field.
The overclocking stages are as follows:
- Stage One: 3DMark11 DX11 “No X79” single GPU only
- Stage Two: 3DMark Vantange Dual Core, single GPU only
- Stage Three: Heaven DX11 “Full Out” Any CPU, single GPU only
The stages are fairly self-explanatory. For stage one, users are not allowed to use any Intel X79 hardware (motherboards or processors). In stage two, the limits are that users can only use single or dual core processors. Stage three opens up the system such that you can use any processor and graphics card combination. Further, all three stages are limited to a single graphics card per system.
The contest is being run by HWBot, and overclock submissions need to follow the site’s validation rules. You will need to use a specific HWBot desktop background and submit screenshots of the overclock that include the benchmark score as well as screenshots of CPU-Z’s CPU, Memory, and Mainboard tabs. Also, you will need to include a photo of your computer hardware.
The photos of your computer hardware will also be used for a bonus contest where Gigabyte and Cooler Master will pick ten of the most festive submission photos on January 10th. Those ten photos will be placed on the Gigabyte Tech Column facebook page. The photo from that page receives the most Facebook likes by January 20th will win a bonus prize.
The prizes for the three main overclocking stages include a Gigabyte Z77X-UD4H motherboard and a Cooler Master Seidon 120mm CPU cooler. On the other hand, the bonus prize is a Gigabyte Z77-UD4 motherboard and a Cooler Master Sirus S-5.1 gaming headset.
The contest will run from December 21st to January 20th, 2013. You can find more information over at the HWBot contest page.
Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2012 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: contest, overclocking, prizes, facebook, gigabyte, G.Skill, Kingpin
Running from December 13th to 27th 2012, the ‘Ultimate OverClockers Dream Xmas Giveaway’ is a prize draw open to all Facebook users. Participation couldn’t be easier; simply ‘Like’ the GIGABYTE, KINGPIN and G.SKILL Facebook fanpages, share the event with your friends, and you could win a range of prizes including a GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H motherboard.
The Ultimate Overclockers Dream Giveaway - Prizes:
- Intel® Core™ i7 3770K Processor
- GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H Motherboard
- G.SKILL Trident 2600MHz Cl10 8GB Memory Kit
- KINGPIN Memory Cooler
- GIGABYTE Key Chain and G.SKILL Lanyards
- GIGABYTE Z77-HD4 Motherboard
- G.SKILL RipjawsX 2133MHz CL9 8GB Memory Kit
- KINGPIN Memory Cooler
- GIGABYTE Key Chain and G.SKILL Lanyards
3rd, 4th and 5th Places
- KINGPIN Memory Cooler
- GIGABYTE Key Chain and G.SKILL Lanyards
How to Enter
To take part in the ‘Ultimate OverClockers Dream Xmas Giveaway’ follow these two simple steps:
1. Show that You ‘Like’ Us
Make sure that you ‘Like’ the GIGABYTE Motherboard, KINGPIN Cooling and G.SKILL Facebook fanpages. See the links below.
2. Invite your friends.
There are three simple ways to invite your friends to take part. Simply select invite, publish on your Facebook wall or send a recommendation message.
For more details, and full Terms and Conditions, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/kingpincooling?v=app_154581087931912
Z77X_UD4HGIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H Motherboard – World Class Memory Performance
The new Z77X-UD4H motherboard features a broad range of exclusive GIGABYTE features including GIGABYTE All Digital Power Engine, GIGABYTE 3D BIOS, UEFI DualBIOS™ and Ultra Durable™4 technology, which includes a range of exclusive technologies that guarantee DIY PC builders the absolute best protection for their PC.
The GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H is a world class performer when it comes to high speed memory, with a record submission pushing past the 4GHz barrier using a G.SKILL TridentX CL11 8GB kit.
Subject: Processors | December 4, 2012 - 01:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, APU, A10 5800K, overclocking, LN2
It is worth remembering the AMD A10 5800K for a number of reasons, a mere $120 gets you not only a relatively decent CPU, the onboard 7660D will function quite effectively for streaming HD video or light gaming. As well it is unlocked which means you can overclock both processors; MadShrimps hit 1186MHz on the 7660D from the 800MHz base clock and could easily reach 4.5GHz on the CPU cores. Make sure to pick up memory of 1600MHz or more to feed that GPU and don't expect to see these overclocks on air, but perhaps a good liquid cooler might get you close to some of these scores. If you know someone who needs a new multipurpose PC and looks at you blankly when you ask if it needs to be able to play Crysis, you could do worse than AMD's A10 5800K.
"Who hasn't heard about the following phrase? The Future is Fusion! Unless you have been living under a rock for the last years, this AMD marketing slogan was pretty much everywhere. AMD wanted to create a platform that was mainly very affordable, where a dedicated graphics card was not a must, while being power efficient, especially for the mobile market and up to the task to satisfy our multimedia, digital desires/needs. One option already existed in the form of an integrated graphic chips solutions on the motherboard. However the latter had non-conforming performance for todays standards. This all lead to the creation of the APU, Accelerated Processing Unit. The first steps to make Fusion a reality. The FM1 socket Llano CPUs was AMD's first succesful try in this new market. As usual the competition caught up, so time for a new revision of the AMD APU. Hello world this is platform Virgo calling... Time to have a look at AMD's latest Trinity socket FM2 APU."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Windows 8 vs Windows 7: CPU performance @ Hardware.info
- AMD FX-8350 @ SPCR
- AMD A10-5700 @ SPCR
- AMD A10-5800K (Trinity) and FX-8350 (Vishera) Joint CPU Review @ Tweaktown
- AMD A8-5600K Trinity APU Review @ TechwareLabs
- Workstation & Server CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Intel Core i7 3970X Extreme Edition @ Tweaktown
Subject: General Tech | September 20, 2012 - 11:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, overclocking, arm
The Raspberry Pi has proved a popular – if difficult to get a hold of – low-cost computer. The Pi is powered by a Broadcom BCM2835 ARM system on a chip that features a VideoCore IV GPU and ARM1176JZFS CPU core. By default, the processor runs at 700MHz, but enthusiasts put it through its paces and found there to be more than a bit of headroom. Unfortunately, if your particular chip required a bit of extra voltage to run at higher frequencies, it would mean voiding your warranty in order to get the extra performance – until now, that is.
In a bit of good news for overclockers, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that official overclocking will now be supported even when the processor has been over-volted. In the raspi-config file, you will be able to choose from one of five overclocking presets where the highest overclock will run the processor at 1GHz.
Interestingly, the overclocked frequency is managed by the cpufreq driver and can be dynamically adjusted. The processor will run at up to the frequency defined in your chosen preset as long as the temperature of the chip does not reach 85 °C. Also, the overclocked frequencies will only be applied when the SoC is under load. When idling, it will happily use less power by turning the clockspeed down. Further, when applying the higher clocks, you are also adjusting the GPU Core, SDRAM, and system bus speed.
When combined with other software fixes (below), the Raspberry Pi Foundation is claiming various performance improvements. According to the site, Linux benchmark nbench reports 52% better integer performance, 64% increased floating point performance, and a 55% improvement in memory.
Left: default clockspeeds, right: 1GHz overclock
Should your particular Raspberry Pi not boot after applying a higher overclocking preset, you can hold down the Shift key during boot to force the Raspberry Pi to revert to default clockspeeds. Then, you can back down to the next-highest preset to see if the Raspberry Pi is capable of running at that (though it would be a better idea to start at the lowest preset and work your way up). The Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends playing through a bit of Quake 3 as it is a good indicator of a stable overclock.
In addition to the new turbo mode, a fix has been applied to the USB driver to reduce the USB interrupt rate, which improves performance approximately 10%. Because even the LAN port is on the USB bus, reducing CPU load should help a lot in freeing up the limited resources of the ARM processor for other tasks. If you have Wi-Fi devices based on the RTL8188CUS chipset or is otherwise supported by Linux, it should now work with the Raspberry Pi out of the box.
In order to get all of the above improvements (among a couple of other minor tweaks), you can run the following command to update to the latest image:
“sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade”
It’s nice to see continued support for the Raspberry Pi, and the ‘free’ overclocking performance is always a plus!
Image of Raspberry Pi hardware courtesy Gijsbert Peijs via Flickr Creative Commons. Thank you.
Read more about the $35 Linux-powered Raspberry Pi computer at PC Perspective!
Subject: Motherboards | July 31, 2012 - 06:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Z77, ultra durable 5, power phase, overclocking, Gigabyte Z77X-UP7, gigabyte
Motherboard manufacturers are well-versed in marketing, and over-engineering. And when those two aspects combine, enthusiasts get some really cool feats of hardware overkill. Computex brought us two radical motherboard designs, for example. Gigabyte is at it again, and this time it is showing off the prowess of the company’s power phase design.
Using one of the company’s upcoming Z77 motherboards, Gigabyte was able to deliver 2,000 Watts of power through the LGA 1155 socket--did I mention overkill was the name of the game for this demonstration?
Specifically, Gigabyte paired its Z77X-UP7 motherboard with two Corsair 1200W power supplies and some laboratory gear to measure the power delivery. Using the 32 power phases in its “Ultra Durable 5” design, it was able to draw 300.6A, 300.7A, and 236.3A on three DC load testers. While drawing the total 837.6 amps, Gigabyte used a voltage meter to measure the current at 2.42 volts. Gigabyte then determined that the Z77 motherboard was able to deliver up to 2026.992 watts of power! The company claims that this would be enough power to support 25 Intel Core i7 3770K processors. It would also easily allow you to permanently destroy your processors, and really put that Intel overclocking warranty to the test (heh).
Needless to say, the board has some serious power phase and VRM hardware on board, and should easily handle the most extreme of overclocks. Granted, it is a marketing stunt, but it is a very cool one at that. As one area where motherboard companies heavily market, Gigabyte has quite the record for the others to beat. Here’s hoping that they attempt to break the record so that we can see more interesting tech demos. Maybe ASUS will bring out the Wolverine from the R&D lab, and see what its 40 power phases are really capable of!
What do you think about the Gigabyte claims? Below is the video that the company used to show off the Z77X-UP7 motherboard.
Subject: Systems | July 3, 2012 - 03:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, overclocking
If you've ever wondered if it was worth hitting that 'Report to Microsoft' button after you experienced a BSoD then perhaps this paper from Microsoft Research will enlighten you. After studying reports from 1 million machines that suffered CPU or memory problems, Microsoft broke down all of the data into both failure types and machine types so that they can contrast the results of overclocking laptops and desktops from both major CPU vendors as well as breaking the desktops into ones assembled by a major vendor and ones assembled either by the owner or by a small business.
The basic results are easy to sum up laptops are less likely to crash than desktops, CPU errors are more likely than memory errors and underclocking will indeed make your system less prone to crashes. You are also less likely to see crashes on machines purchased from a major vendor than one assembled yourself or by a small business. Of course the whitebox versus brand name ratings cannot differentiate between someone who just built a PC for the first time and one assembled by a veteran so it is possible that that rating is a little skewed.
As for overclocking, you can see that the results are split between Vendor A and Vendor B as opposed to being labelled Intel and AMD but most readers will be able to make an intelligent guess as to which is which. TACT represents Total Accumulated CPU Time, which does not have to be contiguous and could represent quite a few weeks of ownership if the computer in question is only run for a few hours a day and then shut off. Whether this time was accumulated quickly or spaced out, it shows that overclocking either vendors chips will have a significant impact on the stability of your system. Again, there is no division into experienced overclockers and neophytes nor between those who overclock manually or with software or hardware included with the motherboard they chose. Even still the impact on stability is very large regardless of vendor and if you crash once you can be almost guaranteed to crash a second and third time. The table only focuses on the first three crashes as by the time that third crash occurs it is obvious they will continue until something is changed. Check out the abstract here or just head straight to the bottom of that page for the full PDF of results.
"Researchers working at Microsoft have analyzed the crash data sent back to Redmond from over a million PCs. You might think that research data on PC component failure rates would be abundant given how long these devices have been in-market and the sophisticated data analytics applied to the server market — but you’d be wrong. According to the authors, this study is one of the first to focus on consumer systems rather than datacenter deployments."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Tech Report's Summer 2012 system guide
- CyberPower PC Gamer Xtreme 2000 SE @ Bjorn3D
- HP Phoenix h9-1120t System Review: HP's Gaming Desktop Round Two with Tahiti and Ivy Bridge @ AnandTech
- Building A 96-Core Ubuntu ARM Solar-Powered Cluster @ Phoronix
- Asus Republic Of Gamers Tytan CG8580 @ Kitguru
- Dell XPS One 2710 Review: The Premium All-in-One @ AnandTech