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ASRock + AMD FX-9590 Build

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    Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 4:12pm


When I started planning this build, I decided to include AMD's flagship processor, the socket AM3+ FX-9590. I chose it not only to have a great processor, but to see for myself what this special CPU is all about.



I must say another reason I chose it was to test the claims made by some FX-9590 users that this processor can ruin mother boards while running CPU stress testing programs like Prime95. That was happening on some mother boards that were apparently compatible with the FX-9590. I knew before researching the FX-9590 that "compatibility" means more than simply using a board with the appropriate processor socket (AM3+) and using a UEFI/BIOS version that supports it. Simply searching the Internet for "FX-9590" gave me all the information I needed about the requirements and usage of that processor.

These are some of the things I found regarding the FX-9590. The first one is from ASRock's information page about their 990FX Extreme9 mother board.



The following warning is included in the FX-9590's page from a very popular Internet retailer in the USA:

 This CPU is only compatible with the selected 990FX motherboards.

For example:

ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z, GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD7 and ASRock 990FX Extreme9.

Please check motherboard manufacturers for CPU compatibility.

This retailer also includes this statement in the processor specifications: LIQUID COOLING REQUIRED.

I could include more of the same kind of warnings, but the information above is clear and obvious in my opinion. The FX-9590 is not a typical processor. Its 220 Watt TDP specification alone tells us this processor must only be used with the appropriate components. That spec makes it clear that simply using the right components is not enough. Cooling the mother board itself and in particular the CPU VRM stage will be a necessity. Providing this additional cooling is the responsibility of the PC builder. The FX-9590 is truly a PC Enthusiast's processor, and is not meant for the casual PC builder, or someone whose component research only consists of using PCpartpicker.

After confirming my suspicions about the FX-9590, I had an odd thought about this build. How about trying to use some other components that may not be quite right for the FX-9590, but work around that with a little customization and a tweak or two. Perhaps I could accommodate the FX-9590 without providing all the necessary grade of parts, somewhat similar to what a builder that did not do their homework on the FX-9590 might use, and later discover their mistake. The build could show how to fix the main issues that could be encountered.

Of course, that is what I did. You may be the judge of how successful I was with this build.



The CM HAF XB  is not a typical case, and the air cooling the radiator is from inside the case, the 140mm fan is pushing air out of the case. The rear 120mm and the top 200mm are the only intake fans. The front 120mm fan and two 80mm fans at the lower back of the case are exhaust. The other 80mm fan is mounted as the CPU VRM cooler. The very open and vented design of the case allows air to enter at both sides and at the bottom of the case. I've used this case for other builds and I did not think it allowed lower CPU temperatures than a standard tower case. A standard tower case for ATX boards normally has more fan mounting locations for intake and exhaust fans. I also don't like this case for AIO water coolers. This case is not optimal for this build in my opinion.




Component List

  • Processor: AMD FX-9590 AM3+ Vishera 8-Core 4.7GHz Base, 5.0GHz Max Turbo
  • Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 8GB
  • Mother board: ASRock Fatal1ty 970 Performance/3.1 AM3+ Supports 220W, 8-Core CPUs Digi Power, 8 + 2 Power Phase Design
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Nepton 140 XL with CoolerMaster JetFlo 140mm PWM
  • Video Card: EVGA GT 650
  • Power Supply: Corsair HX-850 850 Watt 80+ Silver
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF XB
  • Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD OS drive. SanDisk Extreme II 480GB SSD storage drive.
  • Case Fans: Cooler Master JetFlo 120mm PWM 800-2000RPM (two)
                         CoolerMaster MegaFlow 200mm 700RPM
                         Rosewill RFX-80BL 80mm 1800-3000RPM (three)


The Fatal1ty 970 Performance/3.1 board is said to support 220W processors, including the FX-9590. But it is not an AMD 990 chipset board as listed in the AMD minimum requirements. This board also has an 8 + 2 phase CPU VRM stage, which is smaller than the 12 + 2 phase design used by the 990FX Extreme9. So this board is one of my compromises given the AMD specs for the FX-9590. Personally, I would never use an AM3+ board with a smaller CPU VRM stage, or one without a VRM heat sink when using the FX-9590, and neither should you.

I began CPU stress testing with AIDA64 and monitored the VRM heat sink temperature with an infrared thermometer. I created a magnetic mounting bracket for one of the 80mm fans and mounted it to push air directly at the VRM heat sink. Even at 5.0GHz after 30 minutes into the stress test, the maximum temperature of the heat sink was 108° F/42° C.





I'm surprised in these pictures that the fan blades seem to not be spinning, but they were when I took the picture! Note the blue illumination you can see in the pictures where fans are visible, that is the blue fan LEDs. The shutter speed was either 1/30 or 1/50 of a second, and was able to freeze the fan blades while at over 2000RPM, for the 80mm VRM cooling fan.

My 850 Watt power supply is below the 1200 Watt spec, but the video card I'm using is a low power, low heat output type, and well below the quality and power requirements of the suggested graphics. I could not get a CPU power usage reading in AIDA64 or other programs, so I don't know how much overhead I have with an 850 Watt PSU. A compromise? Possibly.

A major compromise with this build is noise. YES, IT IS LOUD WHEN STRESS TESTING... The JetFlo fans move a large amount of air, more than the majority of PC fans, but at the cost of noise, running over ~50% of their maximum speed.



How did stress testing at 5.0GHz go? Let's see:







You can see I reached a CPU temperature that peaks at 76° C, and minimums of 70°C. I did not find a reliable specification for the maximum temperature for this processor, but apparently 76° C is not enough to cause thermal throttling. I had that enabled in the UEFI.



I've been using the FX-9590 and Fatal1ty 970 Performance/3.1 for about a week. 4.7GHz is the actual base clock of this processor, and 5.0GHz is considered an over clock by some users. My idle CPU temperature is ~28° C. The UEFI settings for processor speed are different than what I'm accustomed to with Intel CPUs. This AMD board's UEFI allows you to select a maximum frequency for the processor, which is easier than determining the speed from the multiplier and 200MHz CPU clock. At 4.7GHz, the max temperature is in the low 60s C, helped by a lower CPU voltage.

The main thing I've learned (or verified again) is if you pay attention to the basic needs of this processor, and use a decent mother board with it, you won't have problems. Using an AIO liquid cooler with any high power use processor adds another requirement to the build.

With an AIO cooler, we don't have any air circulation in the CPU socket/VRM area. Don't miss this sometimes overlooked reality. The 120mm fan directly above the VRM heat sink, and the 80mm fan I added for VRM cooling make up for this, and even improve VRM cooling compared with any type of CPU air cooler.

When we build a PC, we are responsible for the outcome of the combination of components we use. Usually we don't need to worry about this to much, since we notice problems before damage occurs. This processor demands our attention, and insists that we not only cool it, but also cool the VRM stage providing its power. Not rocket science, but don't do it and you may pay the price.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 4:28pm
Great review Parsec, I love that you took the time to explain your component choices and the reasoning behind them. Building a PC today requires planning, research and forward thinking or you end up with a disappointment. The system looks clean and well thought out, fantastic job and I love your choice of case Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Piddeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 6:41pm
Nice! I had a Nepton 280L once..The pump noice sounded like a tooth drill...I replaced my 280L for an U14S, much quiter and peformce the same or even little better tho 2 fans vs 1 fan :P 
My PC. http://i.imgur.com/x6wZmmz.png
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2015 at 1:10am
Originally posted by Xaltar Xaltar wrote:

Great review Parsec, I love that you took the time to explain your component choices and the reasoning behind them. Building a PC today requires planning, research and forward thinking or you end up with a disappointment. The system looks clean and well thought out, fantastic job and I love your choice of case Cool


Xaltar, thanks! I did not intend this to be a review, but it turned out that way I guess. Wink

The CM HAF XB case requires more planning than a standard PC case. It's the area under the mother board tray that you cannot see that is the problem. You can remove the mother board tray easily with four screws, but don't forget all the cables that must be disconnected too.

It's mainly the cable routing under the mobo tray that requires planning. ALL cables, power, SATA data, fan cables, etc. If you don't make things accessible from the sides of the case, and you need to add or change something, you'll be removing the mobo tray if you did not plan ahead.

Originally posted by Piddeman Piddeman wrote:

Nice! I had a Nepton 280L once..The pump noice sounded like a tooth drill...I replaced my 280L for an U14S, much quiter and peformce the same or even little better tho 2 fans vs 1 fan :P 


I'm surprised you could even hear any pump noise, given the 140mm JetFlo fans. I'm only using one of them on the radiator now, the clearance behind the front panel of the HAF XB case is tight, no room for a fan to breathe much. I will try adding a 120mm JetFlo for pull on the radiator, which is 38mm thick, and very difficult to move air through. Typical AIO CLC radiator.

In my experience with AIO CLC coolers, if the radiator and pump are not at nearly the same level, so the tubes are as close to horizontal as possible, you get pump noise. Plus each pump is different. Some I could run connected to the PSU, and they were quiet. Others were not quiet like this, so I connected the pump to a fan speed controller and tweaked it down a little bit from full on. That really helps if you have pump noise, and the difference in pump speed is less than 200RPM, out of ~2500RPM for Corsair CLC's. The CM pump on my Nepton runs at ~7000RPM!

CM has the pump connected to a four pin PWM fan connector. I tried it once on a true PWM fan header on another board. I could never get the pump speed to change, so I doubt the pump is really PWM controlled. I asked about this in the CM support forum, and never got a decent reply. I now have the pump connected to the three pin Power Fan header, it runs at the same speed as it did on a PWM fan header. I should just connect the pump directly to the PSU... Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ASRock_Official Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2015 at 12:09pm
Very clean build, looks like you took a lot of time on the wiring, epic!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2015 at 3:45pm
Thank you, I like to have all the cables hidden as much as possible.

The case I used and this board allowed me to hide the cables quite well. With all of the major cable connectors around the edges of the board, and the mother board tray allowing access to the large area under the tray on three sides of the board, hiding the cables is easier than a standard tower case.

I should say there is more potential for hiding the cables, their routing requires planning, with plenty of trial and error regarding what will work. More than once I had to reroute a cable when I did not like the appearance of the result. I tried to hurry to get this build done to include in the contest, but one cable change after another took so long, I lost two days in my schedule. Plus I moved the radiator from one side of the case to the other after I had it up and running.

Some custom PSU wiring would be a great addition to this PC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Edwin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2015 at 5:32pm
need more info about how you mount 80mm fans, want to try this method on my rig too!!
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