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990xa-ud3 with AMD Bulldozer FX-8120 various hints

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990xa-ud3 with AMD Bulldozer FX-8120 various hints
« on: April 23, 2012, 01:21:43 pm »
Hi! I`m the new guy.  ;)

Since a few weeks I´m a proud owner of a new PC with a GA-990XA-UD3 MB. I`ve spent some hours in adjusting and optimizing.
I`ve learned a lot and I`d like to share the info to everybody who has got the same problems I`ve experienced.

This is my system:
GA-990XA-UD3 (updated BIOS from F9 to F10e)
AMD FX-8120 processor
8Gb of Ram @1600MHz (2x4Gb)
Radeon HD6970
1x SSD, 2x HDD
Windows 7 64bit


1. Weird RAM clock

Although my RAM is a Kingston 1600MHz I had to set the multiplier manually to 8x(200). When leaving the BIOS setting on
"auto" it ran with 1333MHz plus giving a warning after reboot that something is wrong/overclocked. Even more weird: after
each reboot the BIOS setting has reseted the multiplier to 6,66x. In addition I had to manually set the RAM values. With
that the 8x multiplier have been properly saved. I used a stable "9-9-9-29" setting.


« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 01:25:49 pm by Fratze »
Gigabyte XA990-UD3 , BIOS v. F10g
AMD FX-8120  w. Scythe Mugen 3 cooler
Corsair DDR-3 1600 2x4GB
Radeon HD6970 2GB
Kingston SSD 64GB
HDD1 1Tb 7800, HDD2 500Gb 7800
LG Blu-Ray combi drive
Windows 7 64b

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Re: 990xa-ud3 with AMD Bulldozer FX-8120 various hints
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 01:22:21 pm »
2. Overclocking the CPU

Since I do some gaming and it is said that the "Bulldozer" CPUs are great to be overclocked I wanted to do so from the
beginning. I do not advice anybody to overclock, though.

I`ve never tried to change the frequency of the FSB (leads to raising the clock of other parts like RAM) the but I`ve always
changed only the multiplier.
I ended up setting the multiplier of the CPU core to 19x (=3,8GHz) in the BIOS, disabling the turbo core boost, disabling
the APM energy saving mode (not supported with F9 BIOS version but with F10e what I`ve updated it to) but leaving Cool&Quiet
on Auto. With that the CPU clocks down to 1.3GHz if not used much (e.g. surfing the internet, writing in Word documents).
You can even use a higher multiplier. I tried 21x (=4,2GHz) and it worked.

I´ve tried a lot of things though. You can leave the turbo enabled while overclocking the various CPU p-states (for the
FX-8120 usually a 3.1GHz base clock, a 3.4GHz p-state 1 (that you can`t change in the BIOS) and a 4.0GHz p-state 0 turbo not
working with all cores at a time.
I`ve also tried "Amd Overdrive" (=AOD) to set the turbo settings higher. You can change each p-state level clock here. It
works quite well. But it lead to a conflict with Gigabyte`s "EasyTunes" program (blue screens while defragmentation or
running "Prime95"). So I decided to delete "AOD" although a patch for "EasyTunes" provided in the download file may allow
running both programs at a time but I did not try.
The great thing with "AOD" is that you can change the CPU clock inside windows. That`s no problem if you leave the turbo
core boost function enabled. But if you set a fixed CPU clock via BIOS like I did and than change that with "AOD" you cannot
play music or video files without errors/stuttering. Don`t know why but it is like that.
Never found out what to do with C1E and C6 settings. It doesn`t seem to make any difference but I might be wrong.
Turnig of Cool and Quite might also be done by disabling the Windows energy saving profile (not sure of that either).
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 01:24:23 pm by Fratze »
Gigabyte XA990-UD3 , BIOS v. F10g
AMD FX-8120  w. Scythe Mugen 3 cooler
Corsair DDR-3 1600 2x4GB
Radeon HD6970 2GB
Kingston SSD 64GB
HDD1 1Tb 7800, HDD2 500Gb 7800
LG Blu-Ray combi drive
Windows 7 64b

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Re: 990xa-ud3 with AMD Bulldozer FX-8120 various hints
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 01:23:33 pm »
3. Undervolting (in addition to OC)

I reduced CPU voltage/vcore by 0.25v. And the NB voltage also by 0.25v. Did it inside the BIOS. Everything works stable with
that. I´ve not tried the limits though.
I was confused with the CPUVid values first. Programs like "AOD" and "CoreTemp" always showed me the same CPUVid voltage no
matter how much I reduced the CPU voltage. If I reduced the CPUVid using "AOD" ... after a system shutdown and reboot the
changes have been canceled again.
Then I realized that the CPUVid is not the actual CPU voltage but a maximum value you cannot change. So no need to worry
about that. I later on installed "EasyTunes" to control the CPU fan speed is able to show you the actual CPU voltage and that
fits to what I had set inside the BIOS.  
Btw: the CPUVid is at 1.4125v with turbo mode enabled and 3.3375v if it`s disabled.


4. Fan speed control and additional case fans

I wanted to equip my case with two additional case/intake fans. On the GA-990XA-UD3 you have got 4 ports: "Sys fan 1", "Sys
fan 2" (already equiped with an exaust fan), "cpu fan" (already equiped with an cpu fan) and no.4 "power fan".
I`ve tried a lot e.g. using y-adapters on "cpu fan" as well as "Sys fan 2". Nothing has satisfied me. Sometimes the fans
work, sometimes only after a reboot, on the "Sys fan 1" port only with 200 rpm and so on and so on.

First of all: I`ve not managed to change the exaust fan speed connected to the "Sys fan 2" port. It always runs with
half-speed-? (1100rpm).
Via "Speedfan" I`ve managed to set a variable speed to my additional case fans wich in the end I connected to "Sys fan 1".

I´d have liked to use the "Speedfan" program with my CPU fan, too. But it starts to work with too much delay that way.
For the case fans a bit of delay is not so important, though.
Finally I`ve installed "EasyTunes6", there I changed the smart settings for the CPU fan speed a bit. And with that this fan
doesn`t do anything until it gets 27 degrees celsius warm and then starts with half speed and runs on full speed if the CPU
is at 45 degrees. With this setting I don`t get more than 45 degrees when gaming (up to 54 degrees in "Prim95s" blend test
@3.8GHz) and the fan even turns off while doing some office work.
It seems that the MB cannot let the CPU fan work at speeds below 50%. But maybe I`m able to change that via "Speedfan" in the future.
What I´ve read in forums about Gigabyte`s "EasyTunes" you should be very careful using it for overclocking.




Well, as you can see I`ve tried and learned a lot. Sometimes I came near to tears but in the end I`m satisfied with my
system. Hope this may aid other GA-990XA-UD3 users.  
Greeting from Germany!
Chris
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 01:27:33 pm by Fratze »
Gigabyte XA990-UD3 , BIOS v. F10g
AMD FX-8120  w. Scythe Mugen 3 cooler
Corsair DDR-3 1600 2x4GB
Radeon HD6970 2GB
Kingston SSD 64GB
HDD1 1Tb 7800, HDD2 500Gb 7800
LG Blu-Ray combi drive
Windows 7 64b

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Re: 990xa-ud3 with AMD Bulldozer FX-8120 various hints
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 02:34:04 pm »
Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing your learning of overclocking an AMD platform there. I am sure that there are many others who will learn something from it and also people who will have something to add to it too. 

+1 karma  ;)
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

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Re: 990xa-ud3 with AMD Bulldozer FX-8120 various hints
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 12:53:31 pm »
Thanks for the Karma!
I have to correct myself the actual BIOS version is 10g.
As for the RAM speed I´ve seen that there are already threads dealing with this topic.
Gigabyte XA990-UD3 , BIOS v. F10g
AMD FX-8120  w. Scythe Mugen 3 cooler
Corsair DDR-3 1600 2x4GB
Radeon HD6970 2GB
Kingston SSD 64GB
HDD1 1Tb 7800, HDD2 500Gb 7800
LG Blu-Ray combi drive
Windows 7 64b

Fratze

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Re: 990xa-ud3 with AMD Bulldozer FX-8120 various hints
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 04:21:22 pm »
Update
I have found out that EasyTunes6 makes problems to adapt a new BIOS-set CPU clock in Windows. Therefore I deleted that Program and use Speedfan instead. Still tuning Speedfan (guess that never ends ;) ). AMD overdrive is reinstalled but usually not in use.

I'm running the Bulldozer @ 4.0GHz now. Still use a NB and CPU core reduction by 0.25v.
Gigabyte XA990-UD3 , BIOS v. F10g
AMD FX-8120  w. Scythe Mugen 3 cooler
Corsair DDR-3 1600 2x4GB
Radeon HD6970 2GB
Kingston SSD 64GB
HDD1 1Tb 7800, HDD2 500Gb 7800
LG Blu-Ray combi drive
Windows 7 64b

 

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