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Is it an upgrade or not worth it

post #1 of 38
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Looking to get better stability out of my 1090t

I've broken the 4ghz mark a few times with all six cores enabled but i can't get past 2300 on the NB as i'm reading is pretty awfull and not helpful to us AMD users. I've raised voltages high enough to get it semi stable however things get a little hot... 67C on the CPU and about 75 on the NB.

So i've come to the conclusion its time for a better MB.

Currently I have....
GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H(rev. 2.0) Socket AM3/ AMD 880G/ Hybrid CrossFireX/ SATA3&USB3.0/ A&V&GbE/ AT
Kingston KHX1600C9D3K2/4GX DDR3-1600 4GB(2x2GB) CL9 Memory Kit x 2 === 8Gigs

And the current thought for a swap

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-873&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2

ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

" Sale " ends tommorow can i get some opinions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 38
Could you come up with a little more cash cause exchanging one midrange motherboard for another midrange motherboard isn't going to do you that much good. Something like this Asus 990X Evo for $130 with a $20 mail in rebate would be a much better performing motherboard. $40 more out of pocket but well worth it. Your motherboard is the foundation of your entire rig and will largely determine how far you can take it.
post #3 of 38
^Then again, the Asus will be a definite upgrade over the Gigabyte because:

1. Its got heatsinks for the 'fets (which is really important, at least in the OP's case)
2. Added CFX support, albeit at 4x for the 2nd slot.
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post #4 of 38
Hello braxsusriely !

Your current thought for a swap of "Asus M5A97 Rev 2.0" is wrong choice for what you want. This board has 4+2 phase design only, and according to what I've and most Thuban users have clearly learnt that 4+2 phase is not enough for Phenom II X6 overclocking.

Source: http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-info-database

As I am seeing you like overclocking a lot too, and users like you must have a motherboard which has 8+2 phase design.
Here are some very important things I want you to understand which is essential for a good overclocker.

1.) What is a phase/VRM ?
A Phase or voltage regulator module in a motherboard is to feed required voltage and current to the CPU. It consists of a MOSFET, a Driver IC and a Choke. All these component makes a complete single VRM or Phase. Each Phase/VRM is capable to provide certain amount of Current. When we say 4+2 phase then it means 4 phases are for CPU core power and 2 phase is for Memory Controller.

Mostly each phase in a 4+2 configured motherboard can provide 35 Ampere of Current. This means 35 x 4 Phase = 140 Ampere max current.
This means All these 4 Phases are able to provide 140 Ampere current to CPU.

2.) Why do 4+2 phases is not good enough for high overclocking of Phenom II X6 ?
To understand this you must understand these formula:
Power Consumption (Watts) = Voltage (v) x Current (A)
or Current (A) = Power Consumption / Voltage (v)


Now we know that default core voltage is 1.30 and TDP is 125Watts (TDP stands for "Thermal Design Power" tells us that CPU can transfer heat up to this rate at default voltage frequency settings in full load condition, in modern CPU we also estimate it as power consumption of CPU in a full load situation.)

How much current is required by Phenom II 1090T at default setting.
this will be 125 watts / 1.30 volts = 96 Amperes.
This means CPU will need 96 Amperes of current from your motherboard's phases which is 140 ampere max.
As you can see that 68% current is being eaten by CPU from what motherboard can deliver in a default settings.
Now what will happen when you overclock it ?

Motherboard's Phases might burn when they have to deliver more than 80% of current from the total. Because at this situation Phases becomes too hot to tolerate such heat. You either have to spend special cooling for VRM or have to deal with lower overclocking.

This is why we use 8 phase motherboard, so that the stress on the VRM/Phase becomes very low, because each phase now have to deliver much lower amount of current as the phases quantity is now increased to 8 from 4 for CPU core power. Now you have a lots of room to overclock your CPU smile.gif You also Looking to get better stability out of your 1090T. Don't you ?

All these boards have native AM3+ socket.

The cheapest 8 phase motherboard from ASUS is:
"Asus M5A88-V EVO" It is of of $90 only.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131733&Tpk=M5A88-V%20EVO

The second available cheapest 8 phase motherboard is from MSI is
"MSI 990FXA GD65". It is of $119.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130650

Third available 8 phase board is from Gigabyte:
"Gigabyte GA990FXA UD3" This is of $139
http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-GA-990FXA-UD3-990FX-SATA-Motherboard/dp/B0055QYKQO
http://www.microcenter.com/product/366425/GA-990FXA-UD3_Socket_AM3_990FX_ATX_AMD_Motherboard

^ Unfortunately all these motherboards don't have UEFI BIOS. And if you want to buy a board that must have UEFI featured BIOS, then choose the one from this link which have at least 6 phase (6 phase is enough for Phenom II X6, but they might be insufficient for latest 8 core FX CPUs ) and find in internet if it has UEFI or not. However UEFI is not a big deal, it just has some fast boot and secure boot feature for Windows 8 only.

http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-info-database/990
Edited by sumitlian - 11/25/12 at 7:51am
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post #5 of 38
^Actually, the M5A97 would be absolutely fine with overclocking a Thuban (And also notice that its listed as recommended biggrin.gif.

It really depends on the quality of the VRMs.

The ASrock 970 Extreme 3 is a good example. Although its a 4+1 layout, the VRMs are of ridiculously high quality and have absolutely no problems with 125w chips (except when overclocking a power-hungry FX 8XXX).

The M5A97 has quality 'fets as well and will handle an overclocked Thuban with absolutely no problems.

4+1 phases are actually enough for 125W chips; you just need to be choosy with the board. Had it been a 4+1 MSI, then its a hell no (self-explanatory...for most people here anyway tongue.gif).

Another prime example is the Biostar TA890FXE. Widely regarded as the best AM3 board ever made for overclocking...and the best part is that its a 4+1 phase board. smile.gif
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post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkX 1 View Post

^Actually, the M5A97 would be absolutely fine with overclocking a Thuban (And also notice that its listed as recommended biggrin.gif.
It really depends on the quality of the VRMs.
The ASrock 970 Extreme 3 is a good example. Although its a 4+1 layout, the VRMs are of ridiculously high quality and have absolutely no problems with 125w chips (except when overclocking a power-hungry FX 8XXX).
The M5A97 has quality 'fets as well and will handle an overclocked Thuban with absolutely no problems.
4+1 phases are actually enough for 125W chips; you just need to be choosy with the board. Had it been a 4+1 MSI, then its a hell no (self-explanatory...for most people here anyway tongue.gif).
Another prime example is the Biostar TA890FXE. Widely regarded as the best AM3 board ever made for overclocking...and the best part is that its a 4+1 phase board. smile.gif

biggrin.gif It is listed as recommended because you didn't scroll to right and saw that CPU will throttle rolleyes.gif
Asus M5A97 series still have traditional MOSFETs.

People always think Asus have good quality MOSFETs on their mid range boards. But they don't know that Asus prevents their MOSFETs from being burned by implementing Throttling function in BIOS (Asus's Thermal Protection or Overvoltage and Overcurrent protection ). Throttling means CPU voltage and frequency will be reduced to lowest safe value when MOSFETs reaches to its max temperature or max current delivery state. Therefore their motherboard don't just die.
Why to have such board that you can't get full performance of your overclocked CPU ! rolleyes.gif

Actually MSI always had better quality MOSFETs than ASUS, but they didn't support Thermal Protection, that is why their Motherboards were dying.
I've burned three 4+1 phase MSI boards (Two 790FX GD70 and one 890FXA GD70) to death, no one could tolerate 4GHz at 1.45volts more than 1 hour in Prime95.

I have also used "Asus's 3+1 phase M4A78-LT-M-LE" Motherboard with my phenom II X6, and I was impressed it didn't die in Prime95. You wanna know why it didn't die rolleyes.gif ?
Because it always throttled my CPU to 800MHz with 1.200 volts within two minutes even at default BIOS settings. mad.gif

This is why I still prefer and will always be preferring 8+2 phase boards over 4 phase for Thuban and 8 core FX CPUs.

Don't know anything about Biostar what VRM they were using, they either must have been using Throttling command too or it may be exceptional quality VRM, but now no one is gonna buy that old AM3 board.
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post #7 of 38
Just because I got one, the ASUS M5A97 PRO biggrin.gif BUT the M5A99X EVO would be an excellent choice, support for crossfire and also will be nice with new AMD chips in the future thumb.gif

I can run CPUNB at 3Ghz with 1.1750 with this M5A97 PRO, so I can say it does its job.

Obviously all chips are different, but unlike FX, Thubans don't necessarily need massive VRMs, but that said you really should get the most VRMs possible for money, because well, it provides a stable current, helps with heat, and no one wants the risk of a fried motherboard do they?

6+2 phase minimum I would say, 8+2 even better. I have personally stuck with ASUS because how their voltage works, stable and easy to use, never got a long with Gigabyte but the 970A-UD3 is a solid choice also! thumb.gif
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo01 View Post

Just because I got one, the ASUS M5A97 PRO biggrin.gif BUT the M5A99X EVO would be an excellent choice, support for crossfire and also will be nice with new AMD chips in the future thumb.gif
I can run CPUNB at 3Ghz with 1.1750 with this M5A97 PRO, so I can say it does its job.
Obviously all chips are different, but unlike FX, Thubans don't necessarily need massive VRMs, but that said you really should get the most VRMs possible for money, because well, it provides a stable current, helps with heat, and no one wants the risk of a fried motherboard do they?
6+2 phase minimum I would say, 8+2 even better. I have personally stuck with ASUS because how their voltage works, stable and easy to use, never got a long with Gigabyte but the 970A-UD3 is a solid choice also! thumb.gif
^ This !

Exactly, no one wants the risk of a fried motherboard smile.gif That is why I recommend it too.
Any Asus board with at least 6+2 or higher phase is absolutely ok for Phenom II X6/FX 6 core.

And thanks for mentioning Gigabyte 970A UD3, it is solid choice. smile.gif

Actually I would have bought Asus's 8+2 phase boards, I like them a lot, but at their launch only Sabertooth and Crosshair were available here in India, and they were way costly, hence I had to buy Gigabyte.
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post #9 of 38
That said, if you can find an ASUS M5A88-V EVO that's a good choice thumb.gif 8+2 phase. Its more available in the US, over here in UK they are very rare unfortunately ;(

The sabertooth and crosshair is only really needed for extreme overclocks and crossfire/sli. If you are not going to use all the lanes and ports on the board, a lower end 970 chipset with 6+2 or 8+2 phase will do the job as nice as a saberooth/crosshair? (provided you don't do crossfire/sli tongue.gif).

Heres some good boards that'll do just fine:
Gigabyte 970A-UD3
ASUS M5A97 PRO
ASRock 990FX Extreme 4
ASUS M5A88-V EVO

All capable smile.gif

I wouldn't bother with the M5A97 R2.0, I would give it a miss, it isn't amazing and if you do upgrade in the future more than likely you'd need a new motherboard either way.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumitlian View Post

biggrin.gif It is listed as recommended because you didn't scroll to right and saw that CPU will throttle rolleyes.gif
Asus M5A97 series still have traditional MOSFETs.
People always think Asus have good quality MOSFETs on their mid range boards. But they don't know that Asus prevents their MOSFETs from being burned by implementing Throttling function in BIOS (Asus's Thermal Protection or Overvoltage and Overcurrent protection ). Throttling means CPU voltage and frequency will be reduced to lowest safe value when MOSFETs reaches to its max temperature or max current delivery state. Therefore their motherboard don't just die.
Why to have such board that you can't get full performance of your overclocked CPU ! rolleyes.gif
Actually MSI always had better quality MOSFETs than ASUS, but they didn't support Thermal Protection, that is why their Motherboards were dying.
I've burned three 4+1 phase MSI boards (Two 790FX GD70 and one 890FXA GD70) to death, no one could tolerate 4GHz at 1.45volts more than 1 hour in Prime95.
I have also used "Asus's 3+1 phase M4A78-LT-M-LE" Motherboard with my phenom II X6, and I was impressed it didn't die in Prime95. You wanna know why it didn't die rolleyes.gif ?
Because it always throttled my CPU to 800MHz with 1.200 volts within two minutes even at default BIOS settings. mad.gif
This is why I still prefer and will always be preferring 8+2 phase boards over 4 phase for Thuban and 8 core FX CPUs.
Don't know anything about Biostar what VRM they were using, they either must have been using Throttling command too or it may be exceptional quality VRM, but now no one is gonna buy that old AM3 board.

I'm well aware of the throttling feature that's standard on all Asus boards and pretty well versed with the article. wink.gif

Scrolling to the right just serves as a piece of info that states that the board is equipped with protective throttling and doesn't specify that the board will throttle. Even the 6+2/8+2 boards have "throttling" marked beside them. tongue.gif

3+1 Asus boards cannot be used as reference here with an X6 because it will throttle.

Lack of throttling isn't the only thing that has to do with MSI boards frying. They just suck, quality-wise. Period. Using DrMos hasn't proved helpful, in the least. While Driver MOSFETS are more efficient, they are extremely fragile and sensitive to high current/amperage. That alone accounts for most MSI failures.

Take my word for it, an overclocked X6 will fare absolutely fine on an M5A97. Again, I go back to the example I made with the Biostar TA890FXE and the ASrock 970 extreme 3.

To sum up, the setup needs to have a high amperage rating per transistor (again, as shown by the TA890FXE).

I agree that the Biostar is an old board (not that old, though). Something as newer as the Extreme 3 also holds true with regard to fewer but quality 'fets.

Don't get me wrong, though. A board with a 6+2/8+2 phase setup is definitely more future proof,efficient and stable and is def. recommended.
Edited by PunkX 1 - 11/25/12 at 9:37am
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