Today in our Motherboard Memory Lane series we take on the classic AMD Socket 939 platform. After the heady heyday of the Socket A era, Socket 939 saw AMD build on the 64-bit architecture processors that debut on Socket 754, adding dual channel memory support, improved overclocking and eventually dual-core models. All of which makes it a memorable platform for many overclockers, especially when you thrown in some truly magnificent motherboards from DFI. Come with us as we recall the chipsets and boards that defined the era, plus a few of the scores that were submitted to HWBOT at the time.
The AMD Socket 939 platform arrived on the market in June 2004, just nine months after the company launched its Socket 754 platform. As with Socket 754, the new platform was designed to support the latest Athlon 64 and Sempron processors, eventually going to support Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64 X2 models. The actual Socket 939 design was in fact very similar to Socket 940 (just one pin less) which was essentially AMD’s server platform. Socket 940 supported Opteron and Athlon 64 FX chips which required registered DDR memory. In terms of design Socket 939 was launched as consumer grade platform and featured a dual memory controller and support for more affordable and readily available non-registered memory modules.
At launch the new platform arrived with a new range of Athlon 64 processors, and as with the previous Socket 754 platform, two main chipset options; VIA and Nvidia. At launch the VIA K8T800 competed against the Nvidia nForce3 platform. Eventually the most popular choice with overclockers became the Nvidia nForce4 chipset, a single chip solution that evolved to offer a 1GHz HyperTransport support and SLI support, one of the first AMD platforms to do so. While the standard nForce4 Ultra MCP (Media Communications Processor) offered 20 lanes of PCIe the nForce4 SLI packed 38 lanes of PCIe (which had now replaced the aging AGP interface). The nForce4 Ultra chipset also offered 10 USB 2.0 ports, 2x IDE ports and 4x SATA 3Gbps ports, Gigabit LAN and AC’97 2.3 audio.
Welcome to the latest edition of our Motherboard Memory Lane series here on HWBOT. Following on from our in-depth look at the iconic AMD Socket A platform last week, we now turn our attention to its successor, AMD Socket 754. The Socket retains a slightly odd position in the annals of technological history as it debuted with wholly new and updated 64-bit architecture processor series, yet quickly became the option of choice for budget PC builds as it was eclipsed by the Socket 939 platform. Let’s take a look at the Socket itself, the chipsets and processors that accompanied it, and of course some the landmark scores and submissions that happened during the Socket 754 era.
Introduced in September 2003, the AMD Socket 754 platform was marketed as the replacement for the long standing Socket A (or Socket 462 as was also known). It supported a new range of AMD processors based on architectures that include Newcastle, Venice, Clawhammer and Palermo - all of which come under the AMD K8 architectural umbrella, and were sold under Athlon 64 and Sempron brand names. Although Socket 754 motherboards essentially replaced Socket A motherboards, in most regions the two platforms overlapped. It’s successor, Socket 939 arrived in mid 2004 offering processors with a superior features set that essentially relegated Socket 754 to the budget PC space. This made the platform a popular choice with more affordable AMD Sempron processors.
Today we continue our Mother Memory Lane series, shifting our focus back to the beginning of the last decade, to a time when AMD had the upper hand against Intel in terms of raw performance. Our AMD series of articles kicks off with the classic Socket A (462), a CPU socket and platform which many us will recall with fondness, not least because it also involved some memorably overclockable processors. Let’s take a look at the chipsets, the processors and motherboards that defined the era, plus a few of the outstanding scores that were submitted to HWBOT.
Unlike previous Motherboard Memory Lane articles which focused on a specific platform and a specific chipset, today we’re looking at a platform from AMD which in fact spanned several different chipset designs from companies such as VIA Technologies, Nvidia, SIS and AMD themselves. From an overclocking perspective we can see Nvidia’s nForce chipset series as being the most popular, in particular the Nvidia nForce 2 Ultra 400. The VIA KT400 and KT600 may well have been the most popular in terms of units shipped globally, but it lacked the necessary performance features that overclockers craved. AMD’s 760 series was considerably less popular with SIS featuring heavily in the budget motherboard segment.
AMD’s Socket A used a zero insertion force pin grid array design with 462 pins (hence the alternative Socket 462 naming). It supported a range of K7 architecture AMD processors and core designs that spanned the period from 1999 to 2005. It supported several AMD models that included Duron, Sempron, Athlon, Athlon XP and Athlon XP-M. The AMD Athlon XP series arrived in 2001 and was an immediate hit with enthusiasts, offering superior performance than Intel equivalents, coupled with reasonably competitive prices. The Athlon XP series is regarded by many as AMD’s greatest historical moment in terms of sheer popularity with enthusiasts.
Today we say farewell to our series of Intel-based Motherboard Memory Lane articles on HWBOT, having exhausted history’s quota of Intel Chipsets from the Intel P965 platform to the present day. All of which leads us to the current mainstream Intel platform, the Z270 chipset that was in fact launched just a few months ago. The Z270 chipset arrived with a new Kaby Lake series of backwards compatible processors and the hope of improved overclocking capabilities. Let’s take a look at the chipset, the processors and motherboards, plus a few of the outstanding scores that have been submitted to HWBOT.
First announced back in August 2016, the new Z270 platform was officially launched in January 2017. The Z270 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) was designed as a direct replacement for the previous Z170 that had arrived in August of the previous year. Whereas the 100 series, (codenamed Sunrise Point) included six PCH offerings with Q-,B-,H- and Z- offerings, the 200 series used the codename Union Point and featured five PCH models; the Intel Z270, Q270, H270, Q250 and B250. All members of the Union Point family had specific feature limitations in terms of PCIe lane count and connectivity options. The Z270 remains the high-end model - boasting a full complement of connectivity it is the only family member that allows full CPU and memory overclocking.
A direct comparison of the Intel Z270 PCH and its predecessor reveals very little difference. In short the two main differences are that the Z270 platform offers 24x PCI gen 3.0 lanes direct from the PCH compared to 20x lanes with the Z170. One other new feature that end users can enjoy with a Z270 motherboard is support for Intel Optane Technology. The additional PCIe lanes can be regarded as Intel’s acknowledgment that motherboard vendors were keen to expand support for faster M.2 drives, bringing more bandwidth to the PCH specifically for that reason.
Welcome back to our Motherboard Memory Lane series. This week we’ll actually be looking at a platform that should remain pretty fresh in the memory of most overclockers - the relatively recent Intel Z170 platform. The Intel Z170 platform arrived alongside a brand new batch of Skylake architecture processors just under three years ago and remains a popular platform today. Let’s once again take a look at the motherboards and processor models that were popular in this era, as well as a few of the most exceptional scores and submissions that were made by overclockers on HWBOT.
In the minds of most enthusiasts the newly arrived Skylake architecture processors replaced the previous generation Haswell and Devil’s Canyon architecture chips. This due to the fact that its true predecessor, the Broadwell architecture, basically failed to turn up as a desktop PC option. For most us, Skylake replaced Haswell, just as Z170 replaced Z97.
The Intel Z170 platform officially landed on August 5th 2015, sporting a new CPU socket and a new line of CPUs. Aimed the mainstream PC market, Z170 was eventually joined by several other PCH variants that include the Intel H110, B150, Q150, H170 and Q170. The Z170, as with all Z-series PCH models, was aimed at the enthusiasts and was the only one (at launch) to support CPU multiplier and BCLK overclocking.
Today we are honored to bring you all a huge update from Strunkenbold, a valued HWBOT member and volunteer that has done enormous amounts of work behind the scenes to keep the hardware database up to date, and a man who deserves a massive pat on the back from us all:
ATI Rage Fury Maxx Problems: The GPU count of the Rage Fury Maxx was corrected from one to two. Unfortunately that led to some unforeseen problems. For some unknown reason, old submissions wouldn't update and stayed stubborn as single GPU card. I actually hoped a dev would take a look into this but after two months there is still no progress. So I tried again and more or less by coincidence I was mostly able to fix the ranking. There are however still 4-5 wrongly matched subs.
S3 IGP Cleanup: HWBOT member Antinomy made a rather big cleanup of S3 IGPs. This is really hard work because of the most undocumented stuff. Information was basically taken from the driver and datasheets. Several S3 IGPs have now been updated and corrected to make things much more coherent.
Intel Atom Cleanup: There was a big cleanup regarding Intel Atom CPUs. We had a lot of duplicate db entries, one model had up to three different categories for example. Those got merged, wrong CPU core, CPU subfamily names got fixed or deleted, missing CPUs were added. The situation was quite bad for several years which was probably very confusing for users. I'm quite happy to say we're done here.
Duplicate Entries Were Merged for the Following Intel Atom CPU: Atom Z2520, Atom Z3480, Atom Z3560, Atom Z3580, Atom Z3590, Atom Z3735G, Atom Z3735F, Atom Z2560.
Qualcomm SoC Cleanup: Next up are the Qualcomm SoCs. I've started to sort them by family and used architecture. But Im open for other ideas how to categorize them. It currently looks like this: MSM7000 (ARM11) Snapdragon (ARM11) Snapdragon (Cortex-A5) Snapdragon (Cortex-A53) Snapdragon (Cortex-A7) Snapdragon (Krait) Snapdragon (Kryo) Snapdragon (Scorpion). The name scheme of the SoCs were updated, there were a lot of crazy combinations of name, model number and core speed. There are still a lot of duplicate SoCs which are already tasked to get merged.
Mobile Phone Support Discontinued: There was rather heavy request of adding mobile phones to the db. During the process I noticed some technical problems. It looked like the more I touched things, the more things got broken. I'm waiting for a dev who is willing to fix the problem. I'm however not very optimistic. To make things worse, we have over 7000 devices in the queue which actually need to be added (so that you can make submissions with the HWBOT prime android app). Adding this enormous amount of phones alone would be a Herculean task but this is an even more complicated operation due some Chinese manufactures and users of custom ROMSs which makes the detection very hard for our system.
Our system cant distinguish. Submissions get matched to the wrong hardware, rankings need to get cleaned afterwards, an effort that is simply too much for volunteers. Hence I'm very sorry to tell you that I wont add mobile phones to the db anymore until these problems are solved. I continue to add SoCs though, so it should be still possible to bench Geekbench, CPU-Z and mobile 3DMark.
Other Small Changes: To avoid confusion, the core for Opteron 144-156 Socket 939 CPUs was changed from San Diego to Venus. CPU-World says they are San Diego, CPU-Z identifies them as Venus. I think, its not really important. Clock of Athlon XP 1800+ Thoroughbred was corrected from 1466Mhz to 1533Mhz.
New AMD GPUs: Radeon R9 390 x2, Radeon R7 350, FirePro D300, Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 560, Radeon RX 550, Radeon RX 540, Radeon Pro WX 7100, Radeon R7 450, Radeon R9 M470X, Radeon HD 6450M, FirePro W4190M, Radeon Pro Duo (Polaris), Radeon R7 M460, Radeon R7 A360, Radeon Pro 580, Radeon Vega Frontier Edition.
New ATI GPUs: 3D Rage LT PRO AGP
New ARM GPUs: Mali-T880MP12, Mali-G71 MP20, Adreno 540
The following GPUs were merged: Riva TNT2 M64 and Riva TNT2 M64 16MB into: Riva TNT2 M64 AGP. Riva TNT2 and Riva TNT2 16MB andTNT2 Pro into: Riva TNT2/TNT2 Pro Radeon HD 6320m. Radeon HD 6320 into: Radeon HD 6320.
The latest videos from Buildzoid return to the AMD Ryzen platform and to the ASRock X370 Taichi motherboard. It’s probably fair to say that Buildzoid has had a pretty up and down experience with the X370 Taichi in the last few months, prompting some extended rants and even some frustrated hair pulling at times. Since then however ASRock have stepped up their game and resolved several issues via successive BIOS updates. The latest updates however involve integrating the latest AGESA updates that AMD have released to motherboard vendors to help improve certain features. At the top of the list of changes we have improved and extended memory timing and frequency settings. Buildzoid’s video addresses these changes specifically.
The BIOS release in question for the X370 Taichi is the rev 2.40 which includes the AGESA updates from AMD. Straight out of the traps Buildzoid shows us how the new BIOS offers several new memory frequency ratios, these include DDR4-2800, DDR4-3066, DDR4-3333, DDR4-3466, DDR4-3600, DDR4-3733, DDR4-3866 and DDR4-4000. The integrated Ryzen memory controller might not actually support speeds of DDR4-4000 at the moment, but it’s good to see that ASRock and AMD are thinking ahead to a rumored B2 stepping, forthcoming APUs or even Ryzen 2 silicon which may support such speeds. We can always dream.
In terms of timings, AMD originally locked many of the timings using aggressively tight, high performance timings which meant that even B-die modules were unable to just simply boot at frequencies above 3200MHz. The new update means that many of these timings can be loosened and higher speeds are now possible. Buildzoid goes on to offer some advice that deals specifically with subtle idiosyncrasies that remain when pushing memory with a Ryzen platform board. In a follow up video he also goes on to discuss a few of the issues that ASRock are still having with their AMD Ryzen platform boards.
The latest video from der8auer has certainly caught the attention of tech enthusiasts and overclockers around the world. He gives a pretty stark assessment of the latest batch of motherboards from three major vendors, stating unequivocally that the VRM designs of the X299 series motherboards are a disaster. Strong words indeed.
Roman explains his findings after testing several motherboards. The major problem being that the he is seeing dangerously high VRM temperatures which cause the new Skylake-X processors to throttle down under load. In the first section of the video he mentions that a CPU that he knows can do 5GHz was restricted to only 4.6GHz (1.25v) due to excessively high temperatures. The source of the problem seems to the actual heatsinks used for the VRM design. Instead of having ample surface area to effectively dissipate heat, current designs are using a block type design that does little to sufficiently cool the VRM components.
He also goes on to discuss the 8-pin CPU power connectors that are being used on the majority of X299 boards. Roman explains that a ten core Skylake Core i7 7800X processor can pull around 300 watts when overclocked and under full load. In his opinion an 8-pin solution is not suffcicient, especially in terms of heat where the cables could breach maximum recommended temps.
The upshot of Roman’s findings lead him to conclude that he cannot currently recommend any of the X299 motherboards he has tested so far - a pretty damning assessment of the latest and greatest HEDT platform. There are doubtlessly many reasons why these issues are cropping up. Hopefully they will be resolved soon. If you have any thoughts, go ahead and chime in the forum link below.
Today we look back at a memorable moment from June 2014 when we organized the HWBOT OC Anniversary Gathering in Taipei. The event took place in Taipei in the days following the Computex 2014 trade show. Dozens of overclockers were in Taiwan that week, many of whom attended the gathering which was basically place where overclockers could hang out, take advantage of the unlimited LN2, compete in some sponsored contests and also socialize.
OC-TV - So Vivi basically tell us where you come, how you have been overclocking and stuff like this?
Vivi - Well, I’ve been Overclocking since 2008, so that about six years, since I was in high school, and I’m from South Africa and the scene is not very big there so it’s very nice to come here and meet all the friends and just overclock together.
OC-TV - We have the support of some of the vendors today, like Cooler Master, GIGABYTE, G.SKILL, GELID. What do you want to say to all of these sponsors? That they support his kind of event.
Vivi - I’m really proud of these companies because I know a lot of the people in them personally. Like G.SKILL they sponsored all the liquid nitrogen, GIGABYTE sent motherboards, Cooler Master and Enermax gave power supplies, GELID with thermal paste – they’re all helping to support the overclocking community. I think it’s definitely a step forward as overclocking is just going to get bigger and bigger from here.
OC-TV - Regarding this kind of thing, this was organized by HWBOT for ten years now and we (OC-TV) are also trying to boost the overclocking broadcasts with commentary and live feedback. So what do you expect from a live stream when you watch it from home?
Vivi - Well, a live stream is really important because for overclocking, it’s really hard to understand what is going on, so if you don’t have a picture of the screen, a video of what is going on with live commentary, it’s really hard to get good feedback out of the event. So if you don’t have the live stream and the commentary it’s going to be a tough event, so I think it’s really good that everything is being recorded and commented on. It’s what all eSports have. It’s necessary.
Spanish overclocking might not be quite as strong other countries around the world at the moment, but it’s great to see that HWBOT member and Extreme League overclocker ChentinoX is doing a fantastic job of help grow overclocking in the region. Chentino is setting up overclocking workshops and contest at Dreamhack Valencia, a great opportunity to spread the OC love to Spanish gamers and PC enthusiasts.
The workshops will take place on Thursday July 14th and feature a presentation which discusses the deeper aspects of overclocking including different cooling techniques and the technical approaches involved in pushing a modern CPU. The presentation will then cover some more esoteric topics such as delidding and voltmodding for example.
Attendees will be invited to make scores on the OC-ESPORTS platform on Friday 15th with systems available were they can compete on the XTU benchmark. On Saturday 16th the highest scorers will be invited to compete in Semi-Final and Finals. Contests from both days will be streamed live with the Finals and Sem-Finals taking place on the Dreamhack stage. Promises to be a great event, one that should really help to grow the youthful OC scene in Spain.
You can learn more about the HWBOT X Valencia event at Dreamhack here on the HWBOT X website, the ultimate platform to learn about and promote overclocking events around the world.
The GIGABYTE Master Your Ryzen Contest is only four days away from reaching its conclusion. With that in mind let’s look at the overclockers that currently sit at the top of both Extreme and Ambient tables in a contest where $3,000 USD in great hardware prizes is at stake. The contest is in fact the fourth contest of the GIGABYTE OC Season and is centered around the new and exciting AMD Ryzen platform processor series with two distinct categories that are designed to attract overclockers that span Rookie to Elite League members.
Ryzen 5 Ambient – Let’s kick off with the Ambient portion of the contest which invites Rookie, Novice and Enthusiast league members to compete on the latest Ryzen 5 processors using ambient cooling only. At the top of the table we find yosarianilives, a US-based Enthusiast overclocker who belongs to the /r/overclocking team. Right now he looks to be almost untouchable, taking maximum points with top scores in all three stages.
Ryzen 7 Extreme – Although there are no restrictions as regards to who may compete, the Ryzen 7 Extreme segment is designed for Extreme and Elite overclockers with a thirst for LN2. At the top of the table we currently find Chilean overclocker Samsarulz who has now taken the lead from US OC master FUGGER.
PCGamer.com editor Wes Fenlon was one of our media guests at the Extreme Workshops that we hosted at the G.SKILL booth during Computex a few weeks ago. I think it’s fair to say that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially the deeper technical challenges that overclocking with LN2 can present. He also took some time to talk to Roman ‘der8auer’ Hartung who introduced him to the concept of CPU delidding. Wes then managed to get hold of a Delid-Die mate 2 and set himself the task of testing the delidding thing for himself. The upshot is a pretty cool article on the PCGamer.com site that approaches the topic of delidding from a pretty mainstream perspective. His conclusion is basically that although it can be an oddly scary experience, it does prove to be beneficial in terms of thermal efficiency. Here’s a sample of what Wes has to say:
“Now for the part that's genuinely scary. With the IHS detached, there's a lot of glue gunk to remove from the PCB and the IHS itself. While there are no delicate components around the die, I wasn't sure exactly how hard I should be scraping. I didn't want to damage anything, so I spent a good 20 minutes methodically scraping away with a credit card and a toothpick. I'd blow off the detached debris and wipe it down with a tissue until, finally, all the gunk was gone.”
“That left the die itself, which had Intel's thermal paste on it. Here I used a drop of my thermal paste removal solution and wiped it gently with a tissue. Touching the die feels a bit like poking a brain with your finger. Next step—a great tip I picked up from watching some Youtube delidding walkthroughs—covering the PCB with scotch tape before uncorking the Liquid Ultra. Turns out this liquid metal material really squirts out.”
“Here's roughly what was going through my head as I started squeezing the Liquid Ultra's syringe: Huh this stuff doesn't want to come out. Is it clogged? Let's try a little more force. Still nothing. A liiiitle more force. Still nothing. A liiii-OH GOD IT'S EVERYWHERE.”
It looks like Greek overclocker Sofos1990 has been getting deeply acquainted with Intel’s latest Skylake-X processor series. Using a Core i7 7820X and a Core i7 7800X he managed to claim seven Global First Placed scores in the octa-core and hexa-core rankings, all within the space of just a day or so. Good going. Let’s take a look at the scores.
In the GPUPI for CPU 1B rankings Sofos managed to break the record score for an octa-core CPU, completing a run in just 2min 8sec 953ms using a Core i7 7820X clocked at 5.5GHz (+ 52.7%) with DDR4 configured at 1,800MHz (13-13-13-28). The rig used a GIGABYTE X299 SOC Champion motherboard and its X9c revision BIOS.
Finally we should probably also mention that Sofos currently holds the record for he highest CPU frequency on an Intel Core i7 7820X, hitting a very tasty 6,400.08MHz which is exactly +77.78% beyond stock.
Today we bring you news of a pair of new World Record scores in the GPUPI 1B and 32B benchmarks. Both scores were submitted by Filipino overclocker Dhenzjhen who is clearly having plenty of fun with a new server build that involves ten Nvidia Tesla GPUs and a pair of deca-core Intel ‘Broadwell-EP’ Xeons processors.
The World Record score for the GPUPI 1B benchmark now stands at 1sec 458ms. The rig that Dhenzjhen used featured two Intel Xeon E5-2689 v4 processors, each of which boast ten Broadwell cores and twenty threads. That’s a total of 40 treads. Not bad. On the GPU side of things, it’s even more impressive. Each of the ten Tesla P40 GPUs in this system use Pascal architecture cores capable of 12 TeraFLOPS coupled with 24GB of GDDR5 memory and have a max power draw of up to 250 watts. That means a total power draw of close to 3,000 watts for the entire system.
The new GPUPI World Record is actually significantly faster than the next best score of 1sec 746ms. That was submitted by Russian overclocker Pijonson who harnessed the power of 8x GTX 1080 Ti cards to make his score. Dhenzjhen also did a GPUPI 32B run which also turned out to be the fastest ever, completing a run in just 1min 45sec 177ms. This is some way ahead of the next best score of 2mins 3sec 850ms which was also posted by Pijonson and his 1080Ti-based rig.
In Week 25 of 2017, we received 3430 benchmark results from 803 registered overclockers around the world. The majority of the submissions is coming from Rookie overclockers representing 60% of the active community. They were responsible for 37% of the submissions. We had a peek at the most valuable submissions in a breakdown per league.
With the X299 Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X processors finally coming to the retail market this week, we can expect records being broken shortly. Last week was another quiet week with only two golden cups in the leaderboard. The first golden cup comes from Dhenzjhen from Philippines with a GPUPI 1B World Record! This feat was achieved with no less than ten (10!) NVIDIA Tesla M40 graphics cards working together. The new top score is 1.458sec which is almost 300ms faster than Pijonson's 8x GTX 1080 Ti setup. Next up is Ale Belo from Italy with a Hardware First Place in the Radeon HD 4890 Aquamark3 leaderboard. To achieve this the Italian uses a Kaby Lake Core i7 7700K at 6750 MHz paied with a Radeon HD 4890 GPU clocked at 1280/1280 MHz. Congratulations to everyone making the leaderboard!
The most used hardware components of Week 25 are the Core i7 7700K (14.1%), GeForce GTX 1070 (11.9%) and the ROG Maximus IX Apex (3.6%).
The overclocking results submitted during Week 25 generated in total 100 World Record Points, 4100.9 Global Points, and 5713.6 Hardware Points. The distribution per League is as follows: 12% for Elite, 40% for Extreme, 8% for Apprentice, 18% for Enthusiast, 7% for Novice, and 23% for Rookie. The representation of the active community is as follows: 2% Elite, 7% Extreme, 4% Apprentice, 18% Enthusiast, 9% Novice, and 60% Rookie.