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Adventures in Upgrading and FX-6100 Overclocking

post #1 of 625
Thread Starter 
After almost 3 years of fighting with, long nights of Far Cry 2 and Modern Warfare, and a passionate love hate relationship with my Phenom II x2, I finally decided it was time to part ways and upgrade my system. I decided to go with the AMD FX - 6100 because I always love a good value and I have to say that I'm loving this chip. And before you Intel fanboys start spouting off about the 2500K, I'll tell you that I'm clobering the i3 chips at the same pricepoint of my chip and even some of the i5's. So IMHO the price/performance of this chip is excellent.
So we'll start with what I have in my rig....

CPU - AMD FX-6100
CPU Cooler - Corsair H50
MB - Asrock 990FX Fatal1ty Professional
Mem - 2 x 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1333 6,6,6,20 (I have 8GB of DDR3 2100 coming from newegg)
GPU - XFX Radeon HD 5870 Overclocked to 900 MHz & Mem at 1300 MHz with a Zalman VF3000A Cooler (absolutely love it)
Sound - Auzentek X-FI Forte
DVD - Samsung SH-S183L
1 TB WD Caviar Black
PSU - Rosewill HIVE-650 650 Watt (never knew rosewill was making quality stuff but after reading hardware secrets review I picked this one)
Case - Cooler Master Haf 922

Most of what I had was still good so I didn't want to build from scratch but I still wanted to have a good gaming rig without spending an arm and a leg. I replaced the CPU with the FX chip for $139 (after $10 off promo code) on Newegg and coming from my Phenom II X2 550 unlocked this new chip is a HUGE difference so far. I replaced my Gigabyte 790X motherboard with an open box Asrock 990FX Fatal1ty Professional on Newegg for $138.99. I was using a mediocre 550W power supply which I had sitting in the closet after my main PSU died so that was number one on the list to replace. I replaced it with a Rosewill Hive Series 650 Watt power supply after reading a glowing in depth review on hardwaresecrets.com that I found on Newegg (I know I know...newegg again) for $71.99 after $8 off with promo code. My HD 5870 is still a great video card so I decided to keep it but since it has been running 60 C idle and high 80's and sometime low 90's under full load with stock cooling I picked up an aftermarket cooler in the form of a Zalman VF3000A and it is simply amazing. Now my temps are idle 28 C and 41 C under full load. At $49 from tiger I'm calling that my best deal of the whole upgrade and I'm completely happy with that choice. Since I've been missing the old Soundblaster days I started looking for a PCI-E x1 card to give me better sound. I found someone selling the x-fi forte on ebay and snagged it for $41.25 including shipping. So far impressive sound. The DVD drive is still good and I think I would rather wait till SSD's come down in price and go up in capacity before I pull the trigger on that one. So for now I'll stick with the caviar black. The H50 is still a good cooler so I decided to stick with it instead of going with the new one AMD is selling for the FX series. My idle temps are 30 C and load 45 C, and that's overclocked. My case is still awesome so again another thing I don't need to spend money on. I also ordered 8 GB of DDR3 2100 for $50.99. At the moment I'm using 2 sticks I had left over from my HTPC build. So the upgrade total was $491.22. After posting the old parts on Ebay I received $232.50 making the grand total for my upgrade just $258.72. Not bad....not bad at all. Let's see how it all handles.

I played around with the settings trying just multiplier, then the motherboards built in automatic overclock, and then adjusting everything to my liking and finally settled on (after a few almost made it higher speeds but had fails after 3 hours on prime95) an overclock of 4290 MHz.


Overclock settings:

Bus Frequency - 260 MHz
ss, cpu acc, turbo core and apm status disabled
cpu voltage - 1.35
NB Frequency multiplier - x9 = 2340 MHz
HT bus speed - Auto (I'll play with that later)
Dram Frequency - 1385
CPU Load line calibration 100%
the rest on auto

Benchmark Results:

Mem Read - 14046 MB/s
Mem Write - 10725 MB/s
Mem Copy - 17953 MB/s
Mem Latency - 46.2 ns
CPU Queen - 27757
CPU PhotoWorxx - 43135
CPU ZLib - 234.5 MB/s
CPU AES - 311716
CPU Hash - 3274 MB/s
FPU VP8 - 2815
FPU Julia - 10438
FPU Mandel - 5318
FPU SinJulia - 2233

Passmark Performance Test 7.0

Passmark Rating - 1943.4
CPU Mark - 7579.7
2D Graphics Mark - 375.5
3D Graphics Mark - 3194.3
Memory Mark - 1045.7
Disk Mark - 749.1
CD Mark - 1134.6

PCMark 7 Basic Edition

3031 PCMarks

3DMark 11

P4637 3DMarks

Far Cry 2

1600 x 900 60Hz all settings maxed
Average Framerate - 84.61
Max Framerate - 100.15
Min Framerate - 70.93

After overclocking it's a snappy little CPU that I can see utilyzing for quite some time (unless Piledriver blows me away). Let's hear your results from playing around with this chip.
Edited by Bubba Hotepp - 4/13/12 at 12:35am
post #2 of 625
Thread Starter 
Oops... I meant AMD FX not Phenom FX.
post #3 of 625
Nice. I'm playing around with an FX-4100 I got during a sale for $105, haven't used a 6xxx yet.

The 81xx Bulldozers are kind of buzz kills because of the ridiculous heat crushing all my overclocking dreams. The 4100 runs really cool so it's been much smoother, looks like the 6100 isn't too shabby either. The more I've played with my 8150 the more I'm questioning the usefulness of the extra cores. So much extra heat for not much gain unless you're into benchmarking.
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post #4 of 625
Thread Starter 
I'm using a closed loop water cooler (the H50) so I'm running relativelly cool. I did see some 60's C when I had bumped the voltage up to 1.45 trying to get to 4.6 GHz but I didn't like the heat and a couple cores kept failing during prime95. I'll try to go up higher again after I get the new memory and see if that was the problem but I'm thinking this chip's limit is around 4.2 give or take. I think it's behaving more like a triple core with 6 threads then a pure 6 core. Some programs report just 3 cores after the windows patch but who knows. I was thinking about the 8120 but wanted to keep the upgrade price down (just to keep the wife from complaining tongue.gif ) but as you said I have a feeling they run a bit hotter. Looking at the comparison charts my overclock was sometimes faster and sometimes slower than the 1055T and even faster then some of the core i7's in some of the benchmarks. Not too shabby for a $139 chip. I can't wait to see what happens with piledriver. If it's not much faster I'll stand pat. If it has the ACTUAL gains that AMD has been claiming recently I might have to trade up if the price is right.
post #5 of 625
Thread Starter 
Strange....with this board when I have load line calibration turned off (on I'm getting all sorts of instability) instead of vdroop I'm seeing an increase in voltage under load. For example I'll set it to 1.30 and under load with prime95 it varies between 1.3 to 1.344. I think I'm going to henceforth call this verect. Any thoughts on why this is?
post #6 of 625
Thread Starter 
quick update - looks like my system doesn't like the cpu multi to go above 20 and I've gotten stable oc's at 260 but at 270 it may seem stable at first but the computer won't restart when rebooting. So looks like 260 is the limit.
post #7 of 625
Thread Starter 
Well....I feel like a dunce. I've been thinking that when everyone was talking about how not to go over 61C that it was the cpu temp. I just figured out that it's the core temp that everyone was talking about *smacking forehead*. And here I was freaking out when it was hitting 60 with only 1.35V. Now I'm playing with getting it to 4.5 just with multi and V adjustments alone.
post #8 of 625
Thread Starter 
I've decided to start over. And while I'm at it I'm going to settle the debate. An Intel fanboy in another is completely convinced that the i3 2100 is SO much better than the FX-6100 after initially comparing it to the 2500K until I pointed out that the comparably priced chips would be the i3 21xx chips. So while I'm restarting my overclocking I think I'll settle this.

My System Specs:
CPU - FX-6100 set at stock speeds
MB - Asrock 990FX Fatal1ty Professional
Mem - G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2x4GB DDR3-2133 set at 1600
GPU - XFX Radeon HD 5870 stock speeds
HDD - ST3500320AS Seagate Barricuda 500GB (I swapped out and did a fresh install because I'm trying to figure out why my disk marks are so low)
Sound - Auzentech X-FI Forte
PSU - Rosewill Hive 650W

So basically everything is set to stock speeds except the memory which I have set to 1866 and auto timing. I'll be comparing this to the i3-2120 since that's the one that I consistently find with comparable specs online and in the benchmarks.

The Benchmarks

Passmark Performance Test 7 x64
*note that the closest i3 I could find in list is a 2120 with a HD6870 which is pretty close to the 5870 but it's using an SSD which is why the diskmark is such a huge difference

Passmark Overall: My PC=1626.8, i3-2120=2041.8
CPU Mark: My PC=5904.7, i3-2120=3587.2
2D Graphics Mark: My PC=301.5, i3-2120=474.2
3D Graphics Mark: My PC=2722, i3-2120=3315.5
Memory Mark: My PC=1164, i3-2120=1399.5
Disk Mark: My PC=607.5, i3-2120=2674.5

Note the CPU mark....very telling.

PCMark 7
I don't have a detailed output for the i3 but the specs are basically the same

My PC = 2629
i3-2120 = 3738

Cinebench 11.5

My PC:
CPU = 4.05
OpenGL = 52.54

CPU = 3.2
(only the cpu portion matters for the comparison

3DMark 06

My PC:
3DMarks - 14747
sm2.0 - 5189
HDR/sm3.0 - 7382
Graphics Test 1 - 44.38 FPS
Graphics Test 2 - 42.11 FPS
CPU 1 - 1.52 FPS
CPU 2 - 2.01 FPS
HDR 1 = 92.08 FPS
HDR 2 = 55.57 FPS

(couldn't find a comparable i3-2120 for this one)

3DMark Vantage

My PC:
15384 3DMarks
Graphics Score - 16630
CPU Score - 12561
Jane Nash - 50.84 FPS
New Calico - 46.52 FPS
AI - 1735 Operations/s
Physics - 16 Operations/s

i3-2120: (same specs w/ a HD 6970)
16470 3DMarks
Graphics Score - 19517.28
CPU - 11216.83
Nash - 60.64 FPS
New Calico - 53.58 FPS
AI - 1540.31 Operations/s
Physics - 15.16 Operations/s

3DMark 11

My PC:
Graphics Test 1 - 23.62 FPS
Graphics Test 2 - 22.43 FPS
Graphics Test 3 - 26.47 FPS
Graphics Test 4 - 11.03 FPS
Physics Test - 14.26 FPS
Combined - 19.89 FPS

i3-2120: (same specs)
Graphics Test 1 - 23.94 FPS
Graphics Test 2 - 22.54 FPS
Graphics Test 3 - 26.74 FPS
Graphics Test 4 - 11.22 FPS
Physics Test - 14.29 FPS
Combined - 19.88 FPS

so far that's the i3 bench's I've tracked down so I'll continue with the rest of mine

SiSoft Sandra Lite 2012

Aggregated Score 54.89GOPS

Unigine Heaven
1080P all settings maxed
Min - 5.5 FPS
Max - 62.8 FPS
Avg - 22.0 FPS
Score 554

Far Cry 2
1600x900 all settings maxed
Avg - 87.75
Max - 219.41
Min - 51.85

During all the benchmarks my min core temps were 8.8C with a max of 31C and the CPUTIN at min 28.5C with max of 38C

I'll run the OC bench's tomorrow
Edited by Bubba Hotepp - 4/18/12 at 3:09am
post #9 of 625
Thread Starter 
I've noticed that something is holding my system back and just have to figure out what it is. Is it the HDD? I know it's a sata 3Gb/s but is that really what's holding it back?
post #10 of 625
Thread Starter 
I've upped the mulitplier to 25 giving me 4.5GHz and the voltage to 1.3625V that goes up to 1.4V under load giving me a stable system in everything with the exception of 3dMark Vantage which keeps crashing but it's doing that at stock speed now so I need to figure out which file is not being deleted on uninstall and is corrupting it.

3dMark 06
19266 3dMarks, Now this chip is really starting to smack the i3's around (the i3's are lucky to overclock to 3.5GHz from 3.3)


3dMark 11
P4440 3dMarks


Not bad for just a multiplier and V bump. More bench's to follow.
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