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Godavari/GV-A1: Closing out FM2+ (OC info and more)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
It's high time we had a thread dedicated to GV-A1 stepping Steamroller chips aka Godavari. I just got a 7870k from eBay for $79 shipped. It's a wk12 2015 chip, so it is far from the newest silicon to hit the streets, yet it's already proving itself to be very nice.

But let's make this less about one chip and more about the family. It's likely that GV-A1 is the last "new" product we'll see for FM2+ (not counting the Athlon x4 845). We may as well compile as much useful information we can about it now so that budget-minded buyers can snap up cheap chips + boards in the future. GV-A1 is different enough from standard Kaveri that the 7850k thread may not meet the needs of people buying GV-A1 chips.

All known GV-A1 stepping chips

The GV-A1 chips for FM2+ are as follows:

Athlon x4 870k
Athlon x4 880k

A8-7670k

A10-7860k
A10-7870k
A10-7890k

There is also a 7690k that was announced but apparently never released. If I missed any others, please let me know!

Best OC boards for GV-A1

Asus A88x-Pro
Asus Crossblade Ranger
Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-UP4

Those are generally considered to be the best. Anything else . . . good luck! If you have experiences with other boards running GV-A1 chips feel free to pitch in and I can add addenda. But you should be able to hit 4.7 GHz with any one of those with appropriate (read: better than stock) cooling.

Best utilities to improve the GV-A1 owner experience

GV-A1 chips suffer from the same GeAPM throttling as KA-V1 chips. Some of you may wish to stop that. Thanks to The Stilt, there is no reason why you should have to use amdmsrtweaker. He has supplied a number of UEFI/BIOS updates that disable GeAPM throttling, and he has done so for some of the latest UEFI revisions that support GV-A1 APUs:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1588994/disabling-igpu-usage-induced-cpu-throttling-geapm-steamroller-apus/0_100

Bear in mind that GeAPM throttling isn't the only kind of throttling that can happen with KA-V1 and GV-A1 chips! If you overload the socket (or if you make the system think you're overloading the socket) by pulling too much power, it may throttle you to the state listed by amdmsrtweaker as "p4" which is not its proper name according to some smarty-man types but dammit, that's what amdmsrtweaker calls it so I'm going with p4. Anyway, p4 throttling happens when you do things like run Prime95 Blend and Furmark at the same time, which is borderline insane but hey, some people are crazy like that. To fully defeat that behavior, you must disable APM in the UEFI and then use amdmsrtweaker:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1499562/undervolting-editing-p-states-for-piledriver-using-amd-mrstweaker-mini-guide/0_100

Note that the above guide is for Vishera, but the utility works the same way for Kaveri. You're trying to edit state p4 to be the same as state p3, that's all. You can also use this to disable p5 state throttling - GeAPM throttling - if you choose not to use one of The Stilt's UEFIs or if one is simply not available for your board. If you stuck to the recommended boards for GV-A1 then you are fully-supported.
Edited by drmrlordx - 8/31/16 at 5:01am
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
Overclocking

Voltage tolerances/preferred LLC settings

Bear in mind that this commentary comes from someone using an A88x-Pro with an A10-7870k.

It looks like Asus has a completely different idea about what are and are not acceptable voltage levels for GV-A1 chips versus older KA-V1 APUs. The UEFI claims that CPU voltages up to 1.6v are "safe", and that the default voltage should be 1.475v.

. . . yeah, okay.

In terms of what I have been able to accomplish with lower voltages, I managed 4.2 GHz with 1.3v in the UEFI (1.28-1.296v actual). Voltage scaling beyond that point is iffy. 4.3 GHz required around 1.35v, 4.4 GHz required just short of 1.4v, and 4.5 GHz required around 1.425v. Bear in mind that those are the UEFI settings and not the voltages measured by CPU-z during operation and that those are static voltages, not offsets. 4.7 GHz required 1.525v in the UEFI.

CPUNB voltages are also radically different in this latest UEFI (2001). The default is 1.25v which permitted NB speeds up to 2100 MHz, which is awesome by the way. GPU speeds are another story; the default 866 MHz is just fine with 1.25v, but 917 MHz required 1.3v. Most higher speeds yielded unremarkable results in graphics benchmarks, but just for the hell of it, I pushed the GPU all the way to 1040 MHz which required CPUNB voltage of 1.3875v. The UEFI claims that voltages up to 1.3925v are "safe" which is . . . unexpected to say the least. Older UEFI revs designed for KA-V1 put you in the "yellow" zone at around 1.35v.

This opens up questions as to whether or not GV-A1 actually can tolerate higher voltage better than KA-V1. I will say that at 4.7 GHz, my GV-A1 7870k runs cooler than my KA-V1 7700k despite having a nearly-identical cooling solution. The only major difference was that the 7700k had been delidded for TIM replacement (CLU between die and IHS), whereas the 7870k is soldered. The 7700k also had a lapped IHS. In theory, the cooling for the 7700k should have been better.

Sadly, I do not have any power reading for the 7700k back when it was still able to reach 4.7 GHz consistently. I will do some power readings on my 7870k as permitted by time constraints.

Clockspeed tolerances for CPU/NB/GPU

Before I go any further, there should be some discussion of how I arrived at my conclusions about my 7870k's clockspeed limitations. I used a variation of the tried-and-true "Isolate and Consolidate" method of overclocking that has been in use since the days of k8, which was awhile back. This method means that you should lower the clockspeed of everything, and then tweak one individual component of the system until you can't push it any further. Since I had a frame of reference with my KA-V1 chip, my target was 4.7 GHz, and I alternated between bumping clockspeed and voltage until I got there. My max was 4.7 GHz @ 1.525v, which doesn't seem all that great until you consider that the default voltage set by the UEFI is 1.475v. It also runs cooler than my 7700k running 4.7 GHz @ 1.5125v, go figure. If you want to know my CPU stabilization procedure, then here it is:

1). Raise CPU clockspeed by 100 MHz via multiplier

2). Boot into Windows. If it boots, run Prime95 (latest version) either Blend or custom 768k/768k FFTs, and run FFTs in place. Either one is fine really. Let it run for 5-10 minutes. If there are no crashes, reboot and return to 1).

2a). If the boot fails and/or Prime95 crashes, go to the UEFI and raise CPU voltage/vcore by some arbitrary amount, and repeat step 2)

3). Continue the above steps until you reach an uncomfortable voltage or temperature level.

If you're really feel like it, take your highest stable settings and try to run Prime95 768k/768k in-place FFTs for 24 straight hours. Do that and you're really stable. If it crashes somewhere along the way, either bump voltage again or back off the clocks and call it a day.

Once I squared away my 4.7 GHz settings, I plugged in my old RAM settings and found that they still worked: 10-12-13-34-2T. I arrived at those settings through a lot of trial and error back in Dec 2014/Jan 2015. For those who want to get the most out of their RAM with Kaveri, I recommend the following assuming you have a kit that is specced for DDR3-2400 (which you should, if you don't then boo on you):

1). Make sure your CPU, NB, and GPU are set to stock speeds and voltages.

2). Set your RAM to 2400 MHz, set your vDIMM/RAM voltage to 1.7v, and set your primary timings to 12-13-13-40-2T or higher. Max out your secondaries and leave your tertiary timings alone. If it does not boot, hang your head in shame because I have no idea how those sticks aren't booting with such horrible timings! It probably isn't your fault, but still. Ugh.

3). Start with your primaries, and tweak each one starting with the first (CL/CAS) downward. Reboot. If it gets to the OS, try running 5-10 minutes of Prime95 Blend. If it does not error out, go back to the UEFI, tweak the same setting down by one more, and reboot. Repeat the process until either a) the system will not boot successfully (or just acts weird) or b) the system crashes in some way that did not happen with DDR3-1600 settings. Repeat the entire process for the first three primaries. The last one (the one I told you to set to 40 above) is less important, and should be kept in the range of 28-34 or so. I run 34 though I could probably get away with lower. Command rate should be kept at 2T since 1T will probably crash. You're free to try to get command rate 1T if you think you can manage it. Good luck!

4). Go to your secondaries. You can either repeat step 3 for each secondary - which is tedious as all hell - or you can tweak them 2-3 settings below max and stay there. For the last secondary - the one rated in nanoseconds (ns) - I recommend 300-350ns, with 350ns being the safer bet.

And viola! Now your RAM is tuned. You absolutely, definitely, positively want 2400 MHz RAM if you have an iGPU and plan on using it. For you 870k/880k users, you may be better off tuning with DDR3-2133 as your target.

Once I had my RAM nailed down, I moved on to NB. The procedure was simple:

1). Raise NB speed by 100 MHz

2). Boot into Windows. Run SuperPi mod 1.5 XS 1m, then y-cruncher 512m, then Unigine Heaven. Between the three, I was sure to catch some NB instability somewhere, which worked pretty well.

2a). If step 2) fails, raise CPUNB a bit and try again

3). Repeat until it seems that unsafe voltages would be required to achieve a higher NB speed

I managed to up NB all the way to 2100 MHz without moving my CPUNB voltage. 2200 MHz NB would not stabilize. I may take another whack at it since I had to go so high for the GPU anyway (see below).

On to the iGPU! Tuning that is basically the same as tuning the NB, though I highly recommend bringing your CPUNB voltage back to default before tuning the iGPU. To elabourate:

1). Raise GPU clocks to the next setting (on a 7870k, the settings are 866, 917, 970-ish, 1040, etc)

2). Boot into Windows. Run Unigine Heaven 4.0 for a single benchmark loop.

2a). If step 2) fails due to failed boot or crashes during Heaven, raise CPUNB a bit and try again

3). Repeat until it seems that unsafe voltages would be required to achieve a higher NB speed

Note GPU stability may also be related to a lesser-known voltage setting known as APU1.2v in the A88x-Pro UEFI. I recommend raising it maybe 1-2 steps above default if you get a bad run where multiple voltage increases within "safe" territory produce no additional GPU stability.

On my 7870k, I found that 4.7 GHz CPU, 2100 MHz NB, and 1040 MHz GPU were as high as I could get. I have not tried for 4.7 GHz CPU and frankly I am not interested since the voltage scaling is poor past 4.2 GHz anyway. 2200 MHz NB has proven an elusive target, and any GPU speed past 917-970 MHz seems superfluous given the limitations of the Kaveri/Godavari memory controller (which is unchanged). I have not tried bclk OC, and in the interest of not destroying my Windows install on my SSD, I won't be touching that just now.

If you are using the 7670k, you may want higher GPU speeds, though speeds in excess of 1020 MHz will probably get you as far as you want/need to go. I found myself bandwidth-starved @ 1028 MHz GPU with a 7700k, so things should be about the same with the 7670k.

digi+ VRM settings for A88x-Pro/Crossblade Ranger

Consider it a work in progress. The basic idea behind the digi+ VRM settings on the Asus boards is that you can feed more current to the VRMs to help supply tigher voltages to the APU. Kaveri gets really finicky about voltage ripple at higher clockspeeds. I set my UEFI to permit 120% overcurrent to CPU; NB; and RAM, though, for now, I left most of the other settings at default. LLC for the CPU and NB are on Medium.

And that's all for this post! Please post additional content in response, and if you have good information, I'll include it above where possible with accreditation.
Edited by drmrlordx - 8/28/16 at 7:03pm
post #3 of 21

Athlon 870K, purchased in April. Run on ASUS A88X-PRO motherboard, as was the 860K that was in there before.

Default vcore 1.475v.

Stable at 4.5 GHz in Windows 10 with 1.5v (1.488 effective) with thermal margin of 35.4 C in AMD OverDrive. The 860K it replaced needed 1.5325v (1.51 effective) with a thermal margin of about 8.5 C.

Could run at stock settings (3.9/4.1) with 1.225v, but failed IBT after 43 runs and Prime after 80 minutes. It can run on a lot less than this, but the third core is not quite as good as the other three. I had to get it all the way up to 1.3v for full stability. I originally thought it would hold stable at 1.275 (passed several hours of Prime), but later had a lockup and had to go to 1.3.

On the high end, the chip hit 4.7 GHz on two occasions--the first time at 1.55v with LLC on max, giving up to 1.63v. Later did it successfully with a straight 1.6v setting and LLC normal, for about 1.57 effective. Even under heavy load, the chip was still registering thermal margins of about ~15 C after an hour.

Cinebench score at 4.7 GHz was 4.38, compared to 4.25 for the 860K at 4.5. Passmark CPUMark for the 870K at 4.7 GHz was 7121. The 860K at 4.5 got 6891.

Firestrike benchmark with the HD 6970 is 5638.

NB has run overclocked at 2 GHz at 1.225v since I bought it.

This chip appeared to be drawing close to 150W from the wall when run at 4.7 GHz.

Currently running at 4.2 GHz on 1.4v, LLC auto.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 870K 4700mhz 1.63v ASUS A88X-PRO Radeon HD 6970 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Kingston V300 Toshiba 2.5" laptop HDD, 1TB Micron C300 SSD Generic 2TB HDD WL2000GSA1672 (external) 
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Seagate Momentus XT 500GB ASUS DVD-RW Prolimatech Black Series Megahalems Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon "Sarah" 
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Windows 10 ViewSonic VG2030wm IBM Model M Fractal Design Newton R3 600W 
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Phanteks Enthoo Pro Logitech Marble Mouse Behringer UCA222 Upgraded Realistic Minimus-7 speakers, Lepai 20... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 870K 4700mhz 1.63v ASUS A88X-PRO Radeon HD 6970 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Kingston V300 Toshiba 2.5" laptop HDD, 1TB Micron C300 SSD Generic 2TB HDD WL2000GSA1672 (external) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB ASUS DVD-RW Prolimatech Black Series Megahalems Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon "Sarah" 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 ViewSonic VG2030wm IBM Model M Fractal Design Newton R3 600W 
CaseMouseAudioOther
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Logitech Marble Mouse Behringer UCA222 Upgraded Realistic Minimus-7 speakers, Lepai 20... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T9900 Dell 0G848F Intel Mobile 4 series 4GB Crucial DDR2-6400 
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for supplying your information! I'm still cleaning up the first two posts but it's good to see some feedback. Looks like your chip is newer. Yours is wk4 2016, mine is wk12 2015.

Since you have an A88x-Pro, I'd like to hear your thoughts on digi+ VRM settings.

Also, what are you using to cool the chip? I'm using a Noctua NH-D14 with CLU between the base and IHS. The IHS is unadultered (no lapping/delidding). I have a Nidec Servo 120x38mm fan strapped to the lead tower and a Delta 120x25mm fan in the center position. The hottest I can get it according to Speedfan is CPU temp of 43C and thermal margin of 49. I am very pleased with the temps. My 7700k ran @ 47C with thermal margin of 33.
Edited by drmrlordx - 8/28/16 at 7:27pm
post #5 of 21
I'd have to pull up the BIOS to tell you the VRM settings, but I don't think any of them are different from default. The CPU cooler is a Prolimatech Megahalems with two SilenX Efflizio 12-15's running in push-pull. But I did the thermal testing mentioned earlier when the system was in an Antec SX1040B case, not the Phanteks Enthoo Pro.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 870K 4700mhz 1.63v ASUS A88X-PRO Radeon HD 6970 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Kingston V300 Toshiba 2.5" laptop HDD, 1TB Micron C300 SSD Generic 2TB HDD WL2000GSA1672 (external) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB ASUS DVD-RW Prolimatech Black Series Megahalems Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon "Sarah" 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 ViewSonic VG2030wm IBM Model M Fractal Design Newton R3 600W 
CaseMouseAudioOther
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Logitech Marble Mouse Behringer UCA222 Upgraded Realistic Minimus-7 speakers, Lepai 20... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T9900 Dell 0G848F Intel Mobile 4 series 4GB Crucial DDR2-6400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OWC Mercury Electra 3G 44GB SSD stock DVD-RW Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.1 "Rebecca" 1366x768 WXGA 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 870K 4700mhz 1.63v ASUS A88X-PRO Radeon HD 6970 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Kingston V300 Toshiba 2.5" laptop HDD, 1TB Micron C300 SSD Generic 2TB HDD WL2000GSA1672 (external) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB ASUS DVD-RW Prolimatech Black Series Megahalems Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon "Sarah" 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 ViewSonic VG2030wm IBM Model M Fractal Design Newton R3 600W 
CaseMouseAudioOther
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Logitech Marble Mouse Behringer UCA222 Upgraded Realistic Minimus-7 speakers, Lepai 20... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T9900 Dell 0G848F Intel Mobile 4 series 4GB Crucial DDR2-6400 
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks.

I have mine in a Rosewill Thor v2. It's got a lot of airflow, though arguably the cooling for my CPU was better in my old setup, which was an old Centurion 5 with the side case off, a desk fan blowing across the HSF/mobo/RAM, and the HSF blowing directly out a hole I carved in the back by tearing out a fan grill.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, I guess in conclusion, the last issue to bring up is pricing and availability. The value of these processors (and all FM2+ chips) should drop steadily following October 2016 to a bottom-out point where the hardware itself becomes unavailable. A large swathe of FM2+ boards are already effectively unavailable. The UP4 isn't even listed on pcpartspicker.com anymore due to lack of pricing data despite it being of the best FM2+ boards ever made!

FM2+ is closing up shop.

In terms of "best buy" it's probably the 7670k, localized pricing anomalies aside. In my own comparisons between the very-similar KA-V1 A10-7700k and the GV-A1 7870k, I find that the 384 shaders on the 7700k are more than enough to drive games about as fast as DDR3-2400 will allow if you OC the smaller iGPU to 1028 MHz. Running the larger 512-shader iGPU of the 7870k @ 1040 MHz provided very little benefit. The only upside I see to running more shaders is that you can get away with lower clockspeeds without losing much performance.

Due to current market phenomena, the 7670k is overpriced and sits at the same price point as the 7860k, making the 7860k the better buy. I do not think that will last. The 7670k should fall into the 7600's price point of ~$70 by the end of the year (if not lower). If it does not, then this will be due to etailers trying to squeeze out uninformed buyers, or due to some other dynamic causing irrational price fluctuations.
post #8 of 21
Asus A88x-Pro
Asus Crossblade Ranger
Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-UP4



I have all three sitting on a shelf lol! All joking aside they are good boards. The Stilt said the UP4 if not for the bios may have been the best of the boards for overclocking. The bad things about the FM2+ processors is obviously the amount of voltage need for what I consider fairly meagre overclocks.
Edited by chrisjames61 - 9/1/16 at 4:27pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmrlordx View Post

Well, I guess in conclusion, the last issue to bring up is pricing and availability. The value of these processors (and all FM2+ chips) should drop steadily following October 2016 to a bottom-out point where the hardware itself becomes unavailable. A large swathe of FM2+ boards are already effectively unavailable. The UP4 isn't even listed on pcpartspicker.com anymore due to lack of pricing data despite it being of the best FM2+ boards ever made!

FM2+ is closing up shop.

In terms of "best buy" it's probably the 7670k, localized pricing anomalies aside. In my own comparisons between the very-similar KA-V1 A10-7700k and the GV-A1 7870k, I find that the 384 shaders on the 7700k are more than enough to drive games about as fast as DDR3-2400 will allow if you OC the smaller iGPU to 1028 MHz. Running the larger 512-shader iGPU of the 7870k @ 1040 MHz provided very little benefit. The only upside I see to running more shaders is that you can get away with lower clockspeeds without losing much performance.

Due to current market phenomena, the 7670k is overpriced and sits at the same price point as the 7860k, making the 7860k the better buy. I do not think that will last. The 7670k should fall into the 7600's price point of ~$70 by the end of the year (if not lower). If it does not, then this will be due to etailers trying to squeeze out uninformed buyers, or due to some other dynamic causing irrational price fluctuations.

I am really not up on things. Whats happening in October that makes the FM2+ platform eol? AM4 boards with the stop-gap Bristol Ridge apu's?
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, DIY AM4 becomes available. There is already Bristol Ridge among OEMs but it's nothing special yet. It will be interesting to see if/how Bristol Ridge unseats Kaveri/Godavari. I fully expect that Bristol Ridge will be the stronger APU for all non-gaming tasks since the 845 can turn in some pretty impressive results already. There are a lot of unknowns though, such as whether or not AMD has done anything significant to differentiate Bristol Ridge from Carrizo.

But the writing is on the wall, FM2+ is dead.
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