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
Introduction and Features
Courtesy of ASUS
ASUS continues to optimize their hardware for the overclocking and PC gaming crowds, but they are also catering to a niche audience looking for ultra stable and durable PC components. ASUS's Sabertooth X79 motherboard is their one of their latest products to bear the TUF series label and sport customized hardware and thermal components as well as a desert camo color scheme to complete the military look. This $329 motherboard comes with a five-year warranty, digital power management system, rugged chokes, solid capacitors, and MOSFETs that have been certified through third party, military-grade testing.
Courtesy of ASUS
The Sabertooth X79 also comes with a host of other features to improve SSD caching and give users quad GPU support for CrossfireX and SLI graphics card configurations. This board also includes a unique UEFI BIOS and natively supports 2TB hard drives with 64-bit operating systems. The USB BIOS "Flashback" feature also helps new users update their motherboard BIOS without entering the BIOS. ASUS states that users can use any USB storage device with the latest BIOS, push the BIOS button located on the back I/O panel for three seconds, and the board will automatically update the BIOS using standby power. Very cool!
Courtesy of ASUS
The back I/O panel on the Sabertooth X79 is no slouch either as it gives users a healthy amount of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and eSATA 6GB/s ports for greater performance and expandability options. They also added a small fan over the back I/O panel as part of their "TUF Thermal Armor" feature that will help cool and exhaust heat from ther motherboard out the back of the chassis. Let's move on to the rest of the Saberbooth X79's features where we will get our first out-of-the-box look at this motherboard.
Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2012 - 04:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: overclocking, overclock, msi, hicookie, gigabyte, G.Skill, evga, computex 2012, asus
G.Skill will host an overclocking event at Computex 2012 with seven overclockers in an attempt to break world overclocking records. The company is teaming up with ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI for the event, which will be held in Taipei, Taiwan from June 5th to June 9th 2012.
Enthusiast RAM manufacturer G.Skill has announced that they will be hosting an overclocking event at Computex 2012 in Taiwan. The company is partnering up with motherboard manufacturers ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI who will provide several high end motherboards for the overclocking invitational.
G.Skill has further invited seven professional overclockers to attend the event and try to break world records for processors and DDR3 memory using LN2 and a combination of high end motherboards, graphics cards, and G.Skill’s DDR3 RAM. The overclockers in question are Elmor, Fred Yama, Hiwa, Young Pro, Kingpin, HiCookie, and Dinos22. HiCookie was covered by us recently when he pushed a Core i7 3770K to 7.03 GHz and DDR3 memory to an impressive 3.28 GHz. The G.Skill event will push for even higher overlcocks.
The overclocking event will run from June 5th, 2012 to June 9th, 2012 from 11am to 5pm. It will be located at Computex 2012 in the Nangang Exhibition Hall at booth L0118. The event schedule will be as follows:
|Date||Motherboard Brand||Platform||G.Skill Overclockers||Motherboard Overclockers|
|June 5th||MSI||Z77 & X79||
Young Pro (Australia)
Young Pro (Australia)
|Fred Yama (Japan)|
|June 7th||EVGA||Z77 & X79||
Young Pro (Australia)
Young Pro (Australia)
As G.Skill's first overclocking invitational, they will need to push hard for success, and they made sure to have the best record-breaking chance possible by inviting some of the world's best overclockers. As a personal fan of G.Skill, I'm rooting for them to break the RAM overclocking record!
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | June 1, 2012 - 01:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, maximus v gene, p8z77-V deluxe, overclocking, smackdown
Earlier this week, we and several other sites reported that a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H motherboard managed to take the Ivy Bridge i7-3770 with a single core enabled all the way to 7.03GHz and ASUS would like to know what all the fuss is about. It seems that on January the 5th, ASUS took the i7-3770 to 7.06GHz on a P8Z77-V Deluxe which not only beats Gigabyte's overclock but did so long enough ago we needed to be reminded of it.
That was not even the best overclock that ASUS managed, the tiny Maximus V Gene could support a speed of 7.07GHz. That speed was hit yesterday by Andre Yang and seems to demonstrate that for extreme overclockers it is ASUS' Z77 boards which you should be counting on.
Hopefully this little correction will start an overclocking war between the two manufacturers, as both host events for overclockers as does MSI who have not chimed in to this contest yet. LN cooling is not for the faint of heart but it is what you need to practice in order to compete at this level. Gigabyte does seem to have one record which does still stand, DDR3-3280 MHz is quite spectacular.
ASUS master overclocker Andre Yang has managed another benchmarking world record, once more using the Intel Z77-based ROG Maximus V GENE mATX. Utilizing a quad-core/eight threaded Intel i7-3770 Ivy Bridge processor, Andre was able to overclock the CPU to an impressive milestone frequency of 7074.7MHz, again breaking the fabled 7GHz processor threshold and overtaking the previous record of 7.06GHz ( which was previously set and held by ASUS with the P8Z77-V Deluxe ). The CPU multiplier and BCLK were set to 112.69 x 63. The Maximus V GENE had 4GB of G.Skill DDR3 RAM, clocked to 1197.8MHz. The graphics card used was an ASUS GeForce GTX 680, set to 705MHz/3004MHz. Keep in mind quad-core and eight-threaded overclocking presents a much tougher challenge than more traditional single-core and double-threaded tuning in terms of stability and consistency, making the feat even more impressive.
Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2012 - 11:48 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hyperthreading, Intel, overclocking, fud
In the past there have been two arguments against using Intel's HyperThreading to create two threads per core. The first is specific to overclockers who found that previous generations of Pentium and Core architecture chips could remain stable when pushed to higher frequencies when they disabled HyperThreading. There is still a lot of testing to be done on Ivy Bridge overclocking before a definitive answer is found for this generation of chips, which may fall victim to power issues before HyperThreading becomes a major limiter.
The second issue is more serious and deals with the fact that in some cases enabling HyperThreading reduces the total performance of the chip on certain, usually single threaded, applications and by disabling it you will see performance improvements from your processor. SemiAccurate felt that this needed to be revisited in light of the release of Ivy Bridge and so took an i7-3770K through a battery of 7 tests once with HyperThreading enabled and once without, including a run through CineBench with multithreaded processing disabled. Drop by to see if there is any noticeable benefit to disabling HyperThreading on this generation of Intel processor.
Yes, that was 11 years ago
"We decided to explore the effects of Hyper-Threading on the performance of the Ivy Bridge based Core i7-3770K by running our CPU benchmarking suite on it twice. Once with Hyper-Threading enabled, and once with Hyper-Threading disabled. As such we set-up our results table to look for applications that perform better with Hyper-Threading disabled, rather than enabled."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Quantum cruncher beats today's computers by 10^80 @ The Register
- SSH firm aims to untangle crypto key hairball @ The Register
- TSMC profits fall by 8.4 per cent to $1.1bn @ The Inquirer
- Ivy Bridge overclocking performance is limited by current leakage @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2012 - 09:54 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tDCS, overclocking, DIY, brain, augmentation
The new Extreme Tech (RIP ET Classic) recently ran an article that talks about turbo boosting, overclocking goodness, but with a twist. Instead of the typical CPU or GPU hardware, the article talks about overclocking some wetware in the form of the human brain. More specifically, a DIY kit called the GoFlow is in the works to enable affordable tDCS, or transcranial direct-current stimulation, to stimulate the brain into a "state of flow" enabling quicker learning and faster response times.
The GoFlow β1 will be a $99 do it yourself tDCS kit that will direct you in placing electrodes on the appropriate areas of your scalp and then pumping some direct current from a 9V battery at 2 milliamps through your brain, enticing the neurons into a state of flow. This makes them more malleable to creating new pathways and increasing learning speed as well as allowing them to fire more rapidly, bolstering thought processes. The kit, which is not available for purchase yet, will not require any knowledge of soldering, and will be housed a plastic case along with wires, schematics, and a potentiometer to dial in the right amount of power.
The company behind the GoFlow β1 has further referenced cases of successful tDCS short term testing including tests of UAV Drone pilots and professional gamers all learning their respective trades more quickly than the average. Extremetech also mentions that tDCS can have therapeutic effects for people effected by Parkinson’s or post stoke motor dysfunction.
Right now, the kit is still in the works, but interested users can sign up to be notified when it becomes available on their website. At $99, is this something work a shot, or do you prefer not to void the warranty on your brain? (heh) Personally, statements such as "our tDCS kit is the shit" and "get one of the first β1's and will help us develop β2" on the webstie are not exactly instilling confidence to me, but if you're big into the early adopter adventure, GoFlow may have something for you to test.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 28, 2012 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: quad crossfire, hd7970, amd, overclocking
It would be quite the feat to find a case to contain the system below, with four HD7970s powered by two 1200W PSUs plus other assorted components, not to mention the heat this system will produce. Not even the ASUS MARS 2 in SLI can keep up with this monstrosity and the scaling from a pair of HD7970s is rather impressive as in the past adding the third and fourth card did not lead to large gains. The Core i7-3960X @ 4.8GHz simply can't keep up with the GPUs, implying that this system could actually be more impressive. If you want to see $2200+ of GPUs in action then head to OC3D.
"In combination with ASUS we're rerunning our Quadfire HD7970 test with the benefit of overclocking. Roll up, roll up."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB OC Video Cards in CrossFire @ Tweaktown
- XFX Radeon HD 7770 Black Edition S Super Overclocked 1GB @ Tweaktown
- XFX HD7770 Black Edition S Crossfire & HD7750 DD @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3072MB @ Techspot
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Cards in CrossFire Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 OC WindForce @ Guru of 3D
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC @ [H]ard|OCP
- XFX Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition Review @ Neoseeker
- Quiet Hit: HIS Radeon HD 6930 IceQ X 1 GB @ X-bit Labs
- XFX Radeon HD 7770 Black Super Overclocked Edition DD Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors, Shows and Expos | January 22, 2012 - 01:09 AM | Steve Grever
Tagged: overclocking, hardocp, ati, amd, 7970
More than 500 people made the trip to Eddie Deen’s Ranch in Dallas, Texas to attend AMD and HardOCP’s FX Game Experience event today. Many of the tech industry’s heavy hitters were on hand with interactive booths to showcase their latest PC hardware and provide people with around $50,000 in giveaways and prizes.
Check out our video coverage of the AMD [H]ardOCP FX GamExperience 2012 event!
ASUS, MSI, and Sapphire each brought their latest respective AMD-based motherboards and performance graphics cards to showcase at the event, including their HD Radeon 7950 and 7970 offerings. ASUS also gave the audience a closer look at some of their other PC gaming peripherals, wireless routers, and Blu ray burners.
HardOCP founder Kyle Bennett put on a show for the crowd with numerous raffle drawings and crazy contests for people to win new AMD processors and other hardware from MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, Corsair, Ergotech, Antec, Maingear, Optoma, Patriot Memory, Astro, Sapphire, Western Digital, ArcSoft, ASRock, vReveal, Diamond Multimedia, and Zotac.