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Overclocking

In conclusion we would like to check out yet another promising aspect of the new Vishera processor family, because AMD had promised us not only higher performance, but also higher overclocking potential. This could make the new AMD processor even more appealing for computer enthusiasts. All FX processors, both old and new ones, belong to the Black Edition series, i.e. have unlocked clock frequency multipliers. And since the junior Intel processor with the same feature is Core i5-3570K, it turns out that AMD FX is an excellent choice for enthusiasts on a budget. All we need now is the frequency potential.

However, AMD processors on Piledriver microarchitecture have nothing to worry about. Even the previous generation Zambezi processors could be easily overclocked to 4.6 GHz with just air cooling. The new Vishera design promises even higher maximum frequencies. And our practical experiments confirmed that fully. We managed to overclock our AMD FX-8350 with our irreplaceable NZXT Havik 140 cooler to 4.7 GHz without any stability losses.

To ensure that the system will work stably at this frequency we had to push the processor core voltage to 1.54 V and enabled Load Line Calibration. However, despite these extra measures the temperature remained within an acceptable range. According to the processor thermal sensor, the hottest core didn’t exceed 70°C and the overall CPU temperature stayed below 80°C, according to the mainboard thermal sensor under the processor socket.

I have to say that during our LinX 0.6.4 stability tests the system power consumption jumped to 350 W, however, this is quite logical.

In fact, this particular test unit proved to be very sensitive to the Vcore increase. However, it only makes sense for short-term experiments to raise its core voltage significantly. Long-term operation at high core voltage settings may eventually cause serious CPU degradation and failure. Therefore, we consider our obtained result to be the optimal one for long-term problem-free use.

So, FX-8350 processor allowed us to increase its clock speed by 18% during overclocking. Of course, this isn’t bad at all, but Intel processors can be overclocked just as well. Therefore, even taking into account the potential overclocking, the comparison between FX-8350 and Core i5-3750K will still end up the same way.

However, in AMD’s official press materials they claim that eight-core Vishera processors can be overclocked to 5.0 GHz. At this frequency FX-8350 can definitely make a much better entrance. Therefore, we will do our best to find and test a unit capable of such overclocking, because they claim that maximum overclocking frequency of different processors may vary within 200-300 MHz range. So, maybe we simply weren’t that lucky yet.

 
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