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Asrock 970 extreme4

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    Posted: 12 Dec 2015 at 10:56pm
I love how the admin of this site remove all tech issues and say to post them right down the bottom hidden under all the other useless info. Sort of like trying to read the terms and conditions of something.

I bought an Asrock 970 extreme4 along side a black edition 8320.

Ever since doing so I have been experiencing massive FPS drops in games. And I don't mean slight annoyances, I am talking to the point of every game is unplayable. So I figured it was my GPU as I hadn't updated that. So off I go and lash out $550 I really couldn't afford but alas my gaming is very important to me and I am also a streamer. My graphics are 1000x better... I run awesome FPS... with one issue. This FPS drop is still happening! Every game, every 15 seconds it drops to 2-3 FPS for about 5 seconds. I then think maybe its because of my CPU. So I start researching and asking questions. Turns out after months and months of putting up with this crap, It cames down to dodgy ass Asrock CLAIMING the 970 extreme4 supports the 8320 after their dodgy ass 1.60 bios update. What they don't say is that the board is actually under powered and will most likely cause the CPU to not be fed enough power causing these bullcrap frame drops.

I have done all the tests, my CPU doesn't over heat, my processes dont go over 30-40% with games open, yet somehow all 8 cores will max out for no damn reason.

Someone wanna explain wtf? Without getting all high and mighty about posting this in the little dark corner where it can be swept under the carpet?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2015 at 11:50pm
Welcome to the forums.

Firstly, only threads posted in the wrong section of the forums are moved. The forum is segregated into categories and the tech support category is at the bottom because it is the most convenient location for it as it sits right above the "recent posts" listing that a lot of us use to keep track of what is going on.

The Asrock 970 extreme4 utilizes only a 4+1 phase power design which is a little on the weak side for 8 core FX CPUs, especially if they are overclocked with non stock voltage. This is clearly stated at the very top of the product specification page. Sadly there has not been much in the way of info made available as to what is truly needed for FX 83XX CPUs regarding power so you are far from alone in your frustration. What is happening is that your CPU is throttling down to ultra low clocks for brief periods and thus you see the spike in core utilization, slow cores = more utilization required to achieve the same workload. This most often happens when there is either a thermal event, the VRMs on the motherboard overheating in this case, or the voltage provided to the CPU dropped below thresholds.

The good news is that you are not without options. Before you go out and replace/return the board you can try the following:

Install a decent high CFM (cubic feet per minute of air) fan directed onto your VRM heatsink. If the issue is high temps causing board to suddenly throttle the CPU and drop it's core voltage to bring down temps this should solve the problem. ASRock recommends that all FX 83XX CPUs be utilized with a top down cooler in order to facilitate VRM cooling. 

If that does not help, which I believe it will, then you can try lowering your vcore and essentially undervolt your CPU. This is not ideal as it may mean you lose any overclock you have in favor of stability but most CPUs are able to run at least a little under their "stock" voltage. I only mention this last option in case budget is a concern and you are unable to return the board. Based on the description of your problem however I believe cooling your VRMs will resolve your issue for you.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bockle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 1:01am
Thank you for a speedy reply, I must say this has raised my hopes a little with asrock as I've been quite annoyed so far as this board was recommend to me by the supplier. I don't mind trying to find a temp solution, the temp is certainly not an issue as I have been watching it with monitors.

Can you please give me a walk through on how to lower the vcore? I am not sure how this is done but happy and confident to follow a walkthrough. I am guessing a 10-20% reduction is required? Anything is better than what I am currently experiencing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 1:25am
Before you get into lowering the Vcore I would try the fan method. The deceptive thing with this situation is that the VRMs will only get hot under significant load. They will seem fine and then suddenly spike as the CPU boosts and then throttles because of the sudden spike in temps. These temps will settle very quickly again to seemingly normal levels. This is the reason so many did not discover the issue early on.

As a quick and dirty test you can remove a 120mm fan from elsewhere in your case and hold it over the small heatsink between your IO panel and the CPU while running a game, preferably one with an in built benchmark to really put the system through a proper workload. If this resolves the stuttering then find a way to attach the fan there permanently and you should have countless stutter free hours of enjoyment ahead of you. If you have a case with the PSU in the bottom and vents on the top you can try mounting 2 120mm intake fans at the top rather than the usual method of using them as outlet fans. This should be adequate to resolve your stuttering issues.

As for the vcore you should find the info as to how to access it on page 51 of your user manual. Set it to manual and lower the displayed value by 0.05v and then save and reboot. Repeat until your system becomes unstable then add +0.1v to the figure that proved unstable and stress test the system using x264 or prime95 for a few hours to be sure you are completely stable. You should be able to lower the vcore about 0.2v at stock clocks but it will vary widely from one CPU to the next. 

You could also try simply disabling boost and allowing the CPU to run exclusively at its base clock, that will likely also resolve the stuttering. You should be able to find the setting in your user manual. I do not own your board so would have to look it up there myself.

We will get you up and running smoothly, it will just take a little testing and tweaking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bockle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 5:21am
I have already upgraded my heatsink, and also installed 4 120mm fans into my case, thats certainly not the issue. I've read the manual and it says overclocking isn't enabled. I did not overclock anything. Would you happen to use team speak at all?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bockle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 5:46pm
Fingers crossed, I've dropped it to 3.2GHz and it seems to be running ok so far... but lets see how it goes over time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bockle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 5:47pm
after further tests, we actually discovered the frequency was dropping to 0 from 3.5GHz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bockle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 7:19pm
however dropping it to 3.2GHz seems to have sorted it for the time being. Still not acceptable. This will do until a refund/replacement is organized.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 10:31pm
It will at least tide you over. I am sorry to hear that you could not get it running as it should. Good luck with the RMA/refund. Perhaps spend a little more on the 990FX, the Extreme series or Fatal1ty series would both go well with your system, just make sure that whatever you decide on has an 8+2 power design for optimum power delivery. Your current board should have been able to handle your FX 8k so it may be a fault on the board itself. Sadly it does happen, no matter the manufacturer. 

Best of luck to you and please let us know how it turns out for you Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bockle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2015 at 8:26am
This issue is still happening, but less frequent. now it only happens every minute or 2 instead of every 10 seconds.
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