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970 Performance FX-9000 & RAM incompatibility

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WKjun View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WKjun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2016 at 8:20pm

Topic - Fatal1ty 970 Performance problem
Posted: By WKjun

Originally posted by wardog wardog wrote:

AMD FX-9000 sheet for a list of approved FX-9k 220W motherboards

www.amd.com/Documents/FX-9000-Installation-Guide.pdf

I will concur that the Fatal1ity 970 Performance is not for the 220W FX series processors. I've seen and replied to here and elsewhere too many VRM issues when coupled with the FX-9k processors.


How very intersting! The 970 Performance is not AMD approved to be FX-9000 compatible after all! Angry

After taking another look at the VRM heatsink installed on the 970 Performance vs. the 990FX Killer, visually both the same and promoted as "8 + 2 Phase Design", I cannot comprehend why the 970 Performance was given FX-9000 "support" in the first place!
While the 990FX Killer never had ASRock's FX-9000 approval, people used it and its use was prohibited via BIOS update for a reason.
I think the only reason why ASRock didn't recall FX-9000 support for the 970 Performance is, that it is possibly the most uncommon combination, because most people (would) chose a 990FX chipset board, for it's high-end touch and multi-GPU features.
 
My VRMs got 90-100° C! No fan could cool this reasonably. And other AMD approved boards don't need that kind of extra. A descent air cooler is definetly sufficient! I'm not talking about overclocking (the FX-9000), but at stock values it is no problem to cool or work with, on the right platform. After all, there is no hint on the box or in the manual to buy and realize better VRM cooling, when using the FX-9000...
 
Feeling like a guinea pig, I'm afraid I have to persist on the removal of the FX-9000 support tag for this board, for the sake of all future customers having the same trouble with it and come into defective boards! What a waste of time... Censored


Edited by WKjun - 19 Jan 2016 at 8:39pm
PC1: FX-9590@def|290 |16GB@2133|Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
PC2: FX-8320@4.5|290 |16GB@2133| "
PC3: FX-9590@def|280X|16GB@2133| "
PC4: FX-9370@def|280X|16GB@2133| "
PC5: FX-6300@4.6|7950|16GB@1866|990FX-UD3
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Nonorg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nonorg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2016 at 9:11pm
Just my 2 cents to anyone still trying with this board:

- I can't speak for the FX-9590, but the FX-9370 it's definitely not a 220W processor - except at BIOS defaults it will likely be.
- The +50mv offset is being misinterpreted. The only thing it does is to mitigate the (insane) voltage drop this board experiences when switching from idle to full load. The only reason OP experienced higher temperatures when increasing the offset is that the effective voltage provided to the CPU was increasing (since vdroop was reduced).
- Hence, the true problem is the 1.535 default vcore that leads to the 220W rating. This ensures the FX-9370 will work stably (provided heat is taken care of), but it is way overkill.

Therefore, the solution for those set on using the FX-9370 on the 970 Performance is: undervolt that CPU! Your mileage may vary, but in my experience you can drastically reduce vcore without experiencing stability issues, and highly improving the thermal environment.

In order to do that, you need to remember that vcore or cpu offset themselves don't drive the temperature under load: what really matters is the actual voltage delivered to the CPU by your vocore/offset combination. In my experience, temperatures are a bit better if the effective vcore is stable rather than bouncing around (which, unfortunately, is very common with this board).
Hence, I recommend lowering the vcore and trying which combination of vcore+offset works better for you (as a general rule, you need to combine higher offsets with lower vcores to achieve the same effective vcore during load).

Another thing to take into account: I found that RAM speed is also an important determinant of VRM/CPU socket temperature and vcore stability (I guess it's due to the IMC).

Now, my results so far:

- With +0mv offset, I could get the FX-9370 to work with 1.4125 vcore. Effective vcore was of the order of 1.32v, and not very stable. 1.4v would now be stable.
- With +50mv offset, I could go to 1.3875 vcore. That would translate to a quite stable 1.33-1.34v delivered to the CPU at load. My temps for VRAM (measured with IR gun and a temp sensor attached to the back of the MB) were lowest with this setting, and CPU socket sensor would barely approach 55C.
- It seems I could go lower, although delivered voltage would become less stable, and no temperature improvement was observed. However, at this point I realized RAM was defaulting to 800Mhz. So, time fix that.
- I was using G.skill sticks rated at 1866 MHz, so I aimed for 1866. Temperatures went higher and delivered voltage less stable as I did this, and it would become unstable before 1866. However, I didn't need to adust vcore: increasing CPU NB (i.e, the IMC) voltage one notch to 1.15v was enough to get everything to run stable. Now the effective voltage dances around more, the VRM temperature (back of the MB) is in the low 70s, and the CPU socket temp reaches 66C under load. 
- As a side note, core temps barely reached 30C (~22C ambient) at 800MHz, and never passed 41C at 1866MHz.

For reference, I'm using OCCT to measure actual voltage delivery, Corsair Link software to track temperature sensors, and an IR temperature sensor to calibrate/validate the outcome of the non-built in sensors.
I'm not surprised by these results, since no one overclocking an FX-8XXX ever needed 1.53v to reach 4.4GHz (and 8x4.4GHz is the maximum power consumption and temperature, not 1x4.7GHz, which is the FX-9370 turbo mode).
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WKjun View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WKjun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2016 at 9:10pm
Thank you for your in-depth contribution - I was looking forward to that!
 
Do you mean the FX-9370 is not a "220W processor" because you have managed a successful undervolt? Actually its TDP is 220W, which means it does not necessarily need 220W, but peaks there eventually. I bet it uses even more than 220W if used on a 970 Performance at BIOS defaults, because voltage is so high (1.535V), like overclocked.
 
Apart from this, AM3+ FX CPUs are known for rather ineffectual undervolting results and high overall power consumption. Congratulations you've managed and hopefully it lasts!
 
To keep within TDP, AMD uses its LLC (Load Line Calibration) technology to lower voltage the more load it gets. That is why it is possible to keep it within TDP specs and/or 60° C.
This should be the voltage drop you have experienced. So no Offset should be needed. Was it unstable that way? It definetly shouldn't be. Btw. this board lead me more than once to wrong conclusions.
Another AMD thing is APM (AMD Power Management). You will notice that at full load (like Prime95) the clock rates begin to fluctuate between say 4400 and 3500 MHz. This allows for even lower voltages at full load, while maintaining a certain performance level.
 
If LLC and APM is active, there should be no need of extra cooling components like VRM - other boards prove that. It's an imposition anyway if users have to experiment with undervolting to get it right. What about users that are not capable as you are? A decent case like Fratal Design should be fine without extra VRM cooling to manage FX-9000 chips - mine do. But the real issue here is, as you have discoverd too, wrong default BIOS settings that lead to improper voltages used by the CPU! I don't remember seeing LLC in there... is Offset ASrock's interpretation of LLC? It should be there and it should be set to Regular, not Medium, High, Extreme or Auto to keep everything cool!
 
However, I still can't see the difference between your and my understanding of Offset Voltage. The drop is desired by AMD at full load and if not implemented right, you get a too hot CPU and way too hot VRM.
 
PC1: FX-9590@def|290 |16GB@2133|Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
PC2: FX-8320@4.5|290 |16GB@2133| "
PC3: FX-9590@def|280X|16GB@2133| "
PC4: FX-9370@def|280X|16GB@2133| "
PC5: FX-6300@4.6|7950|16GB@1866|990FX-UD3
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