Checking A8-3850 overclocking capability 7 times

Subject: Processors | August 30, 2011 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: a8-3850, amd, llano, overclocking, APU

Legit Reviews decide that they really wanted to be able to show the overclocking results you can expect from the AMD A8-3850, so they picked up eight of the chips to test each for overclocking ability.  There have been examples in the past of chips with a wide variety of overclocking limits which was often decided by the chip revision but not in all cases.  The test results show that all but two of the chips hit a stability issue when being pushed beyond 3679.5MHz, so you can take that as the most likely result that your chip will provide.  The two outlying chips will be exceptional, in one case in a bad way which you can see in the full review.

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"When AMD released the 'Lynx' desktop platform back in June 2011, our motherboard reviewer ran into some bad luck when overclocking the processor. When you get a new platform setup for the very first time you really don't know what to expect and it does take some time to learn all the quirks and nuances of a new processor and motherboard. We recently ordered in six more processors and then overclocked all seven of them to see what the best one would be for our test system!"

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Mod a dial that goes to 11 onto your AMD graphics card

Subject: General Tech | August 26, 2011 - 10:31 AM |
Tagged: DIY, overclocking

One of the favourite features on the high powered graphics cards that Ryan has been reviewing this week is the ability to manually overclock the card while running it.  Instead of having to use the built in software tools of the driver to first modify the speed and then running a test cycle it is possible to raise the frequency manually using controls on the card.  The changes occur on the fly, without the software first testing to ensure stability which necessitates the presence of a reset button to take you back to stock frequencies.  Thanks to Hack a Day you can now see how it is now possible to build your own paddle switch to do the same thing as the high end cards without having to spend the money or reach inside your case.  Check out this project which will give you a paddle that not only upclocks your cards memory and GPU separately, it can also reset you back to default speeds if you go too far.

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"[Fred] likes to squeeze every cycle possible out of his graphics card. But sometimes pushing the clock speed too high causes corruption. He figured out a way to turn a knob to adjust the clock speed while your applications are still running.

The actuator seen above is a Griffin Powermate 3.0. It’s a USB peripheral which is meant to be used for anything you can imagine. [Fred] uses an AutoHotKey script that he wrote to capture the input from the spinner, process that information, then adjust GPU clock speed in the background. Since the clock on his ATi Radeon 5800 can be adjusted using the AMD GPU clock tool, it’s an easy choice for this application. Now better graphics are at the tips of his fingers. See for yourself in the video after the break."

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Source: Hack a Day

Overclockers Achieve Impressive Llano Overclocking Results, Come Close to 5GHz

Subject: Processors | July 18, 2011 - 11:15 PM |
Tagged: superpi, overclocking, LN2, llano, APU, amd, a8-3850

In a feat of overclocking prowess, the crew over at Akiba have managed to push the AMD Llano A8-3850 to its limits to achieve a Super PI 32M score of 14 minutes and 17.5 seconds at an impressive 4.75GHz. Using a retail A8-3850 APU, a Gigabyte GA-A75-UD4H motherboard, and a spine chilling amount of Liquid Nitrogen, the Japanese overclocking team came very close to breaking the 5GHz barrier.

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Just how close did they come? 4.906.1GHz with a base clock of 169.2MHz to be exact, which is mighty impressive. Unfortunately, the APU had to undergo some sever electroshock therapy at 1.792 Volts! Further, the 4.9GHz clock speed was not stable enough for a valid Super PI 32M result; therefore, the necessity to run the benchmark at 4.75GHz.

The extreme cooling ended up causing issues with the motherboard once the team tried to switch out the A8-3850 for the A6-3650; therefore, they swapped in an Asus F1A75-V PRO motherboard. With the A6-3650, they achieved an overclock of 4.186GHz with a base clock of 161MHz and a voltage of 1.428V. The overclockers stated that they regretted having to swap out the Asus board as they believed the Gigabyte board would have allowed them to overclock the A6-3650 APU higher due to that particular motherboard’s ability to adjust voltage higher.

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Although they did not break the 5GHz barrier, they were still able to achieve an impressive 69% overclock on the A8-3850 and a 61% overclock on the A6-3650 APU. For comparison, here are PC Perspective’s not-APU-frying overclocking results. At a default clock speed of 2.9 and 2.6 respectively, the A8-3850 and A6-3650 seem to have a good deal of headroom when it comes to bumping up the CPU performance. If you have a good aftermarket cooler, Llano starts to make a bit more sense as 3.2GHz on air and 3.6GHz on water are within reach.  How do you feel about Llano?

Source: Akiba

The MSI N580GTX Lightning Once Again Breaks Three Graphics Card World Records

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 15, 2011 - 02:20 PM |
Tagged: overclocking, N580GTX Lightning XE 3GB, msi, LN2

CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA – July 15, 2010 – Since releasing its Lightning series graphics cards, world-renowned mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI has received universal praise from media and gamers alike for their outstanding design, rich use of components, powerful performance, and infinite overclocking potential. With the release of the N580GTX Lightning that follows in the footsteps of previous generation Lightnings, graphics card world records were sure to fall. Overclocking enthusiasts from all over have been running the N580 GTX Lightning with LN2 for some extreme overclocking and once again broke 3DMark 11, 3DMark Vantage, and Unigine Heaven (DX11) single-card, single-core world record scores. These considerable achievements demonstrate once again that only a Lightning can outshine a Lightning!

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The triple world record king-N580GTX Lightning
At the beginning of June, US overclocker Splave put the N580GTX Lightning under LN2 cooling and effortlessly set a Unigine Heaven (DX11) single-card, single-core world record with a high score of 2501.6. Then, he topped that score this week with a new world record score of 2562.51! Russia's overclocking ace Smoke also paired a N580GTX Lightning with LN2 for some extreme overclocking as well. In the past few days, with scores of 11,390 and 46,546 respectively, he broke both 3DMark 11 and 3DMark Vantage single card single core world records! This proves the superlative performance of the Lightning series is its best spokesman.

Most advanced design and Military Class II components create a king amongst record-breakers
The N580GTX Lightning, whether in terms of specifications or design, belongs in the highest class of products. The exclusive Power4 power supply architecture and triple overvoltage function strengthens overclocking stability and potential. Additionally, the Extreme OC Function, specifically designed for overclocking, ensures the graphics card can still function normally under extreme overclocking conditions. Adoption of materials has also undergone careful consideration. High quality, second generation Military Class components provide the most stable user experience and optimum durability. In all aspects, MSI Lightning graphics cards demonstrate design and development capability and infinite overclocking potential.

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Source: MSI

Video Perspective: AMD A-series APU Overclocking and Gaming Performance

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Processors | July 6, 2011 - 08:15 PM |
Tagged: amd, llano, APU, a-series, a8, a8-3850, overclocking

We have spent quite a bit of time with AMD's latest processor, the A-series of APUs previously known as Llano, but something we didn't cover in the initial review was how overclocking the A8-3850 APU affected gaming performance for the budget-minded gamer.  Wonder no more!

In this short video we took the A8-3850 and pushed the base clock frequency from 100 MHz to 133 MHz and overclocked the CPU clock rate from 2.9 GHz to 3.6 GHz while also pushing the GPU frequency from 600 MHz up to 798 MHz.  All of the clock rates (including CPU, GPU, memory and north bridge) are based on that base frequency so overclocking on the AMD A-series can be pretty simple provided the motherboard vendors provide the multiplier options to go with it.  We tested a system based on a Gigabyte and an ASRock motherboard both with very good results to say the least.  

We tested 3DMark11, Bad Company 2, Lost Planet 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dirt 3 to give us a quick overall view of performance increases.  We ran the games at 1680x1050 resolutions and "Medium"-ish quality settings to find a base frame rate on the APU of about 30 FPS.  Then we applied our overclocked settings to see what gains we got.  Honestly, I was surprised by the results.

While overclocking a Llano-based gaming rig won't make it compete against $200 graphics cards, getting a nice 30% boost in performance for a budget minded gamer is basically a no-brainer if you are any kind of self respecting PC enthusiast. 

Source: AMD

Asus Invites You to Attend The Republic of Gamers Formula X Event

Subject: General Tech | June 23, 2011 - 12:14 AM |
Tagged: ROG, Republic of Gamers, overclocking, gaming, Formula X

This weekend Asus is holding an event open to the public for all computer enthusiasts interested in overclocking, gaming, case modding, and benchmarking. Sponsored by Asus, Intel, NVIDIA, and NVIDIA, Antec, Kingston, Patriot,CoolerMaster, CPU Magazine, Corsair, and Razer, 20 of North America’s top overclockers have been invited to push the latest Asus Republic of Gamers motherboards and graphics cards to the limit with the help of some LN2. In addition to the prize of respect, during the competition the participants will be awarded with over $50,000 USD worth of hardware from the sponsors.

Asus is gearing up for Formula X with lots of awesome ROG hardware

In addition to the overclocking and case modding showcases, various new Republic of Gamers hardware will be making its North American debut including the z68 Maximus IV Extreme-Z and Maximus IV Gene-Z motherboards, Matrix GTX 580 Platinum GPU, and the ROG G74SX gaming laptop.

According to Asus, the two day event is open to the public and no admission fee is required. With 2300 liters of liquid nitrogen on hand, Asus is confident that the overclocking event will be a great experience for everyone involved. The Formula X event will take place this weekend on the 25th and 26th of June 2011 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturday and 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday, and is located at Fry’s Electronics 1077 E. Arques Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085. A phone number is also provided at (408)-617-1300.

If you are local or are going to be in the area this weekend, we encourage you to stop by and check out the enthusiast event. For those who can not make it stay tune to PC Perspective for the latest happenings on Formula X.

Source: Asus

Gigabyte X58A-OC Motherboard offers tons of features, removes others

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2011 - 05:13 AM |
Tagged: X58, overclocking, gigabyte, computex

Releasing a motherboard based on the X58 chipset at this point might seem odd, but when you can offer a unique take on the overclocking market you might just find a niche.  Gigabyte is hoping that is the case with the new X58A-OC model that is going to be priced very competively thanks in large part to the removal of many features.

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The orange and black color scheme on the board is actually pretty unique while the layout is setup in a way for quad-GPUs - you are going to need that to break those overclocking records. 

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In the top right hand corner there are a host of overclocking specific features.  The "4G" button will automatically overclock basically any Nehalem processor to something above 4.0 GHz while the Gear button will decrease the size of the increments available to the user on voltage to the processor.  The ratio and frequency +/- buttons are going to be of great use for overclocking a system on the fly without having to go through the trouble of entering a BIOS.  Don't forget you have your power and reset buttons and voltage monitoring leads here too.

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Where Gigabyte saves a bit of money is with the non-overclocking features; things like eSATA and high-end audio are left out so that the even the classic external connection space is pretty bare. 

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You will also notice near the SATA data connections some SATA-style power connectors as well.  These are used to supply extra voltage to the PCI Express connections for overclocking and pushing quad graphics cards.  

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: Gigabyte

ASUS GPUTweak Software for GPU Overclocking on Display

Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 08:58 AM |
Tagged: computex, asus, gputweak, overclocking, oc

While perusing the ASUS booth for notebooks and graphics cards and motherboards, we also spotted some new overclocking software that looked kind of interesting.

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ASUS GPUTweak will ship with ASUS graphics cards starting later this year but they did indicate that it will be available as free download for users of ANY brand of graphics card; which is a nice way to gain some street cred.  The software combines a monitoring application, overclocking application and custom version of GPU-Z in a single interface to allow users to really push their GPUs beyond stock settings.

Besides the semi-standard options of frequency (both GPU and memory), voltages and fan speeds, ASUS GPUTweak software will allow users of ASUS Matrix / ROG graphics cards to modify the timings on their GPU memory as well, something that is unique to its offerings.

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The software will also allow you "burn" settings into your Matrix cards BIOS so that they will boot at the overclocked settings regardless of the any installed software or operating system.  There is a Safety button on all Matrix cards to revert back to the original settings in case of an emergency...

It is nice to see ASUS jumping into the ring here with some competent software and I am curious to see how it will be welcomed after we have seen MSI's Afterburner application become such a hit with gamers.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: ASUS

Kingston's DDR3 2250 kit is faster than the speediest i7 920

Subject: Memory | May 13, 2011 - 11:55 AM |
Tagged: msi, MOA, overclocking, master overclocking event, kingston, ddr3, ddr3 2250, PC3 18000

PC Perspective was at MSI's Master Overclocking Event in Los Vegas during CES2011, but that was simply one stop along a long road for MSI and the overclockers.  At one MSI MOA event, the Benelux qualifier, Madshrimps spoted an interesting set of DIMMs from Kingston, a triplet of 2250MHz 2GB sticks at 9-11-9-27.  They quickly proved that anyone using an older Bloomfield CPU will never see the full speed of these DIMMs thought they will be able to tighten the timings nicely, you need a Gulftown before your CPUs uncore will be able to keep up with these DIMMs.

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"At the latest MSI MOA Benelux qualifier we were allowed to play with MSI's Xpower board, some 980X ES CPUs and some pretty high specced Kingston rams. The 2250Mhz CL9 triple channel kit seemed very interesting for a spin in the Madshrimps Lab. Could these blue beauties come close to the almighty Corsair Hyper IC based GTX2s ? What's the use for such a high MHz kit for a daily user ? Is this kit Bloomfield friendly ? A lot of questions warped through my brain. Time to open the box and find some answers."

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Source: Mad Shrimps

Bottles are good, bottlenecks are bad. How well does your GPU and CPU match up?

Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2011 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: overclocking, LN2, gpus, cpu, bottleneck

If you have heard the term "bottleneck" when you have been describing your dream PC on the forums and wonder why people are referring to your CPU as the weak link when your GPU is so powerful that the CPU shouldn't have to do anything?  Unfortunately it is not that simple and a powerful GPU can be held back by a CPU that can't keep up with it.  Drop by Funky Kit for a look at bottlenecking by a serious overclocker who is quite used to overpowering CPUs.

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"In the DIY computer world a lot of people are concerned about a video card (GPU) "bottlenecking" on a given CPU, or a given CPU bottlenecking a GPU. In this article I will explain what it is that they are talking about, as well as discussing whether or not it's worth being worried about. First off is the answer to the question "What is this bottlenecking you speak of?!"

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Source: Funky Kit