Originally Posted by Darrath
Originally Posted by Benjiw
Either move to watercooling with a custom loop or forget about 5ghz on air unless your PC is living outside in 10c or under. These chips produce too much heat and the simple fact is you need to keep them cool to hit 5ghz if the chip is able to do so.
^^^^ That right there is exactly why I want to do it!
Everyone just shoots it down right away... There are plenty of ways to cool air down. Noise aside (doesn't bother me) and energy consumption aside (It's an AMD CPU thread, of course we don't care about electricity bills) it is very possible.
Hell, even an old window air conditioner would cool air down to 10 C and could be pushed through the case. Not looking for full time 5ghz on air of course. Just to get it stable for a bit to say I did
said I am on an Asus M5A99FX (close man. So close.
) and while it is still substantially better than your board, i have done literally everything I can think of to try overcome the limits of this motherboard. Now for most people this board starts to take strain in the 4.6-4.7 region and tends to really max out at 4.8GHz. But that wasn't enough for me. So i set out on my quest for 5.0.
1. I added the stock 70mm CPU fan to my VRM's
2. I added a 120mm fan to help cool the back of the motherboard socket.
3. I modded the VRM heatsink so that I used screws instead of push pins to fasten it down in an attempt to provide better contact between the VRM's and the heatsink.
4. I replaced the thermal pads with Arctic MX-4 to try and improve temps. (I'm actually a little unsure of how good of a job I did here. So i will get some high end thermal pads soon and replace that all again.)
5. On the back of the ASUS 6+2 boards and higher there are Digi+ controllers. I went and added heatsinks to those in an attempt to cool those. (they can reach over 100C uncooled.)
Alas all of that netted me a stable 4.95GHz overclock. And this is at the boards absolute limit. The VRM's start tapping out cause they over heat. (even with socket temps well down.)
So Yeah boards do have their limits. And while you can overcome them to an extent, as mus1mus said it normally becomes an uphill battle.
When it comes to cooling FX the CLC's actually show their mettle well against air coolers. I was able to put down a rule of thumb for most coolers while observing what most people (who knew what they were doing) were getting with most air coolers. And it still holds true even with the new low leakage chips. The absolute best air coolers will get you to about 4.7GHz. But most 240mm CLC's will get you to 4.9GHz and sometimes beyond that. So do keep that in mind. The reason why it often seems air coolers are similar to CLC's is often because the heat load isn't enough to really make the coolers shine. They are usually reviewed on Intel which tend to run cooler anyway.
On the motherboard side. The MSI 990FXA-GD80 is one of the best boards out there. However. She is a tough board to learn to control. I had the gd-65 so I know where I am coming from. They have no LLC and also if I remember the BIOS limits you in terms of how much voltage you can use. So you have to use software to overclock further. So overclocking on the board isn't as straight forward as most people would like it to be.
If you want 5GHz contenders that are straight forward clockers here are some options!
Crosshair V Formula-Z
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5Edited by Alastair - 3/30/15 at 1:51am