The final article in our Motherboard Memory Lane series brings us right up to date with a look at the current AMD AM4 platform. AM4 series motherboards support AMD Zen architecture CPUs, a new platform which AMD hoped would finally elevate the company back into the upper-mainstream PC component ecosystem, a place that had been utterly dominated by Intel for most of the last decade. The platform arrived with a new socket, new chipset series, new AMD Ryzen CPUs and a newly invigorated sense of purpose. Let’s take a look at the key platform features, the motherboards that are currently most popular and the CPUs that are being used to make some very decent scores on the HWBOT database.
The first systems to use the AMD AM4 Socket were in fact built by OEMs HP and Lenovo in late 2016 who were given exclusive access to the new platform. It arrived with Bristol Ridge-based APUs that featured Excavator cores, the last iteration of AMD’s Bulldozer CPU architecture. As far as the mainstream DIY PC consumer and enthusiast space, it barely registered a blip on the radar. We were all far too preoccupied with waiting for Zen to arrive.
We continue our Motherboard Memory Lane series today with a look at the AMD FM2+ platform, the follow up to the FM2 Socket and its Trinity-based APUs that we considered in last week’s article. Socket FM2+ represents AMD’s third attempt to trying to gain traction in the budget to mid-range desktop PC segment, arriving with a refreshed series of Kaveri-based APUs and an updated FCH (or chipset if you prefer). Let’s push on and take a look at the new platform, the motherboards that were popular in this era and some of the more impressive scores that were submitted to HWBOT.
Where Intel had managed to maintain to a ‘tick-tock’ cadence with its processor launches, AMD enjoyed an odd dance all of its own. The first AMD Accelerated Processor Units (APUs) debuted with FM1 in mid-2011 and featured Llano architecture chips. Then FM2 came along in October 2012 with and Trinity and subsequent Richland architecture APUs which were eventually followed by updated Kabini models on mobile platforms only. FM2+ launched in January 2014 with Kaveri, seeing AMD having one last roll of the dice before the new AM4 socket and the eagerly anticipated Zen architecture made its bow on center stage.
Today our Motherboard Memory Lane series sets its sights on the FM2 Socket, an update to the previous FM1 platform that arrived with a new Chipset and an updated range of AMD APUs. Let’s crack on and check out the new technologies that AMD brought to the table, the motherboards that helped define the era and of course, some of the more impressive scores that were submitted to the HWBOT database using the FM2 platform.
The first iteration of AMD’s budget to mid-range APU lineup arrived in Mid-2011 using the FM1 socket. AMD hoped to woo gamers and enthusiasts with a new kind of processor that combined a quad-core CPU with a GPU that actually resembled something similar to a discrete part. AMD’s strategy involved leveraging the graphics technologies that it acquired when it had bought ATi, offering a more complete and heterogeneous design that was beyond Intel’s capabilities. The platform failed to really compete with Intel’s Sandy Bridge offerings however, and ultimately disappointed, despite having a clear advantage in most gaming tests when compared with Intel’s HD Graphics offerings..
This week’s trip down Motherboard Memory Lane brings us to the AMD AM3+ platform. Arriving in 2011 with a new enthusiast chipset and new range of FX branded CPUs, the new platform was AMD’s reinvigorated drive into the high performance PC space where Intel had long ago stolen a march. Let’s take a look at the most popular motherboards and processors of that era, the technologies involved and some of the more impressive scores submitted on HWBOT.
In terms of technical detail, the AM3+ Socket was in many respects virtually identical to its predecessor, the AM3 Socket. Motherboards arriving with the new AM3+ Socket also sported revised and updated AMD 900 series chipsets, the most popular with HWBOT users being the top tier 990FX which effectively replaced the previous generation 880FX.
New AMD AM3+ series motherboards were officially launched in June of 2011, some months before the Bulldozer-based FX-series CPUs arrived on the scene. In terms of CPU support the new socket was backwards compatible with AM3 series processors that include Phenom, Athlon and Sempron chips that also used a DDR3 compatible memory controller. Previous AM2+ platform processors were not supported. Enthusiasts had to wait until October 2011 before they could complement the new socket and chipset with the revamped FX lineup of CPUs based on the Bulldozer and subsequent Piledriver architectures.
Our Motherboard Memory Lane series today arrives at the AMD Socket FM1 era. The arrival of the FM1 Socket heralded a significant change in direction for AMD which launched its first Accelerated Processor Units or APUs in the market. Aimed at the mainstream to entry-level segment the new platform hoped to woo PC enthusiasts and overclockers with a relatively decent CPU coupled with a much beefier integrated GPU. Let’s take a closer at the new platform, the motherboards and processors that were popular during this era and of course, some of the most notable scores posted on HWBOT.
The arrival of the AMD FM1 Socket marked a pivotal change in the overall AMD product lineup. Socket FM1 would become the mid-range and entry-level platform leaving the mature AM3+ platform to spearhead its high-end offerings. Whereas previous mainstream platforms from AMD had relied upon a Northbridge Chipset such as the AMD 880G and AMD 880GX to deliver integrated graphics and digital display outputs, the new FM1 platform used Accelerated Processor Units had a much more substantial GPU baked into the processor itself. AMD would later release its Bulldozer-based AMD FX series processors on the AM3+ platform in an attempt to better compete with Intel’s recently arrived Sandy Bridge offerings.
Today we bring you news of another great overclocking guide, this time penned by the OC tem at GIGABYTE. The topic of the guide is overclocking the latest AMD Ryzen Threadripper platform that burst on to the scene just a week or so ago. The guide focuses on how to get a solid overclocking experience using the latest AORUS X399 Gaming 7 motherboard. Other hardware used in the guide includes a flagship AMD Ryzen Treadripper 1950X processor (he of the 16-cores and 32-threads) a 16GB GEIL DDR4-3200 kit and a Thermaltake 3.0 Extreme S AiO cooler. Here’s a sample of the guide intro:
We all fondly remember the glory days of AMD Athlon CPUs and their amazing 3000+ Venice CPUs. They were cool, efficient and were good overclockers. I got my first bug for binning CPUs in those days and really enjoyed trying to cool these and Opteron CPUs subzero in months and years to come. However, a dark period ensued and AMD fans had no choice but to lay dormant and wait for the return of the king and the king is back and his name is Ryzen Threadripper, all hail king Ryzen Threadripper!
AMD Ryzen Threadripper is built on the TR4 socket, it brings large IPC improvements, multi-threading and DDR4 support as well as increased energy efficiency — all at a competitive price. Did we mention this processor is the first ever consumer processor to offer 16 cores and 32 threads?! We’ve decided to create an OC guide so read on to learn how to get even more value out of your AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor.
The guide doesn’t offer too much in terms of extreme overclocking with LN2, but it does offer a great overview for anyone looking to push a TR 1950X chip with custom water cooling or an AiO cooler. GIGABYTE have also included plenty of notes for advanced users including several hints and tips specific to the AORUS X399 Gaming 7 motherboard. Enjoy! You can find the GIGABYTE Threadripper guide here on Overclocking.Guide.
Back in May of this year we brought you news about a new kind of overclocking event hosted by ASUS South Africa and the country’s No.1 overclocker, DrWeez. Inspired partly by the ROG Camp event which has been held in Berlin, Germany for the last few years, the ROG Masterclass event involves prominent YouTubers and tech enthusiasts being invited to learn all about overclocking from the master himself. DrWeez hosts the event at his home, giving attendees a comprehensive course that includes tutorials about motherboard insulation, LN2 pot mounting, BIOS tweaking and of course, running benchmarks to see just how they’re we’re doing.
In a follow up event (Part II) just last weekend, DrWeez invited four lucky local tech media folks into his den to try their hand at pushing a CPU under Liquid Nitrogen. With help from ASUS South Africa all the gear was provided so that his guests would have everything they would need to prepare the hardware for a real LN2 benching session. Step one of course included motherboard preparation. Once prepped it’s time to break out the paper towels, mount the LN2 pot and starting pouring the LN2 followed by some fun raising clocks and voltages.
[Press Release] August 22, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan – HWBOT, an organization regulating international Overclocking competitions and rankings, today officially announces its attendance at DreamHack Montreal 2017, one of the largest digital festivals in North America. HWBOT will host Overclocking Workshops for gamers and enthusiasts at the show as well as an Overclockers Gathering plus some seriously competitive Extreme Overclocking with the OCWC Montreal 2017 Qualifier contest.
“The HWBOT World Tour team is very excited to attend DreamHack Montreal, the second North American date so far in 2017,” commented Pieter-Jan Plaisier, Director at HWBOT. “The enormous scope and popularity of DreamHack gives us an unmissable opportunity to interface with thousands of influential gamers and PC enthusiasts, spreading the word of Overclocking further than ever.”
Free Overclocking Workshops for All DreamHack Attendees - The HWBOT World Tour team will be joined by several experienced North American and Canadian overclockers to host a series of free overclocking workshop sessions. All DreamHack attendees are invited to sign up for a workshop session and learn the basics of what overclocking is all about. This will include how to tune the CPU to improve performance, plus more advanced skills that allow you to progressively raise your score.
Montreal 2017 – Ambient Contest - As well as expert tuition, workshop attendees will be given the chance to submit their best score to the OC-ESPORTS platform and have a taste of genuine competitive overclocking. Score as highly as possible and you could be one of four overclockers invited to compete in the Montreal 2017 Ambient Finals on the last day. Contest winners will walk away with some fantastic prizes.
Overclocking World Championship – Montreal 2017 Qualifier - At each stop of the HWBOT World Tour 2017 an Overclocking World Championship Qualifier contest is held. These are extreme overclocking contests where the region’s top overclocking talent are invited to compete head to head for the ultimate prize – a ticket to the OCWC Final at the end of the year. The OCWC Montreal 2017 Qualifier contest will consist of a qualification round on September 9th where competing overclockers will be given three hours to score as highly as possible in three benchmarks. This will be followed by Semi-Final 1v1 matches, followed by Bronze Final and Grand Final 1v1 matches on September 10th.
Overclockers Gathering - The Overclockers Gathering is place for overclockers to meet and enjoy overclocking together in a relaxed environment with unlimited LN2 provided. The event is a BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) event. To take part you need to purchase an LN2 ticket.
The latest Core-X platforms from Intel launched just a few months ago with company expanding their HEDT offerings to include both Kaby-Lake-X and Skylake-X processor series. It’s fair to say that at this point in time the ASUS ROG Rampage VI Apex motherboard has proved to be one of the more popular board choices for the new platform, which is why it’s great to ASUS produce a really solid Extreme Overclocking guide with that board specifically in mind.
Published (with permission) on the Overclocking.Guide site, we are treated to a very in-depth piece that will be really useful to any Extreme Overclockers looking to push their Core-X processor to the max. Specific subjects covered include advice about overclocking with LN2, overclocking DRAM (target frequencies and expectations), plus some pretty advanced advice about how to install and remove a DMI pin – an ingenious and unique way to get more voltage to key parts of the CPU.
The guide also covers a host of topics that are specific to the Rampage VI Apex board including; USB Flashback, PCI Express Configurations, USB and SATA ports, known issues and more. For serious overclocking with the latest Core-X platforms, Rampage VI Apex users will enjoy taking a look.
Today marks the halfway point of the Alza OC Cup 2017 contest here on OC-ESPORTS which gives us a fantastic reason to take a look at the current standings and the stand out scores that have been submitted so far. Swedish legend Rauf, as a Mid-Contest Leader will be very happy to learn that he currently tops the contest leaderboard, and that he has also won some great prizes from partners Intel and G.SKILL. More on that later. Right now, let’s take a more detailed look at all the action so far.
The Alza OC Cup - Sponsored by Alza, the Extreme Overclockers Retailer
First a little information about the company behind the contest. The Alza OC Cup 2017 is sponsored by Alzo, one Europe’s biggest electronic goods e-retailers. The contest underlines the company’s commitment to engaging with European overclockers, a customer segment they really do care about.
Alza is currently the only e-retailer that stocks Kingpincooling products for example, and is quickly growing its Extreme OC product lines to include pretty much everything an Extreme Overclocker might need; LN2 pots, thermocouples, thermal pastes, measurement devices, contact cleaners, torches, MAP cartridges plus kitchen towels and insulation materials. They can even help sort out LN2 delivery in certain areas. The company is quickly expanding to become a one-stop-shop for things XOC. They are also one of the only retailers that currently accept payments in Bitcoin.
The Alza OC Cup contest spans the month of August with four individual stages that will test your skills at pushing raw PC performance to the edge. Being a European company, the Alza Cup 2017 contest is open to European HWBOT members only. Here is a breakdown of the individual stages involved :
Today we are very pleased to to be able to confirm the prizes that we and our partners have lined up for the forthcoming HWBOT World Tour visit to Montreal next month. For the Montreal 2017 event partners Seasonic and Alphacool have agreed to contribute some awesome prizes for the Ambient Contest and the Overclocking World Championship contest, making things that bit more inciting and rewarding for attendees and competitors at the event. Intel have also agreed to contribute some hardware, including an upcoming Intel Core X-series chip.M
Montreal 2017 - Ambient Contest:
As we all know, each HWBOT World Tour involves Overclocking Workshops. Once the workshop session is complete, attendees will be given the chance to submit their best score to the OC-ESPORTS platform using PCs that we have set up at the show. Score as highly as possible and you could be one of four overclockers invited to compete in the Montreal 2017 Ambient contest on the last day. The following prizes will be available for the winners!
Just like every month we have a look at the SuperPI 32M low-clock challenge threads in our forum and make a list of the most efficient overclocks for various CPU architectures. It's been a while since we posted the last update on the most efficient results as things have been quiet on the SuperPI front this summer. Compared to last time we have two new entries on the leaderboard. First up is the Skylake-X entry by I*C*E* MAN from Germany with a score of 6min 44.096sec using the Core i7 7820X. Skylake-X is a relatively new CPU so it will take a while before we see the best results pop up. Also new in the list is Newlife's improved Carrizo score of 9min 35.781sec with the Athlon X4 845 processor.
In Week 33 of 2017, we received 3612 benchmark results from 919 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 38% of the submissions. We had a peek at the most valuable submissions in a breakdown per league.
We're nearing the end of summer time in the northern hemisphere and are getting ready for the second half of the year 2017 in overclocking. This week three overclockers made the leaderboard with a golden cup. First up is Splave from the United States. The American overclocker has been very active with the soon-to-be-released Core i9 7960X 16-core Skylake-X processor from Intel. He scores a World Record in the HWBOT X265 1080P benchmark with a score of 174.05 FPS. The WR is achieved with the CPU overclocked to 5470 MHz cooled with liquid nitrogen. Next up is K|ngp|n, also from the USA. The Taiwan-based EVGA overclocker has been hitting the 3DMarks heavy in the past couple of weeks and decided it's time to see how the 16-core Skylake-X fares in 3D. K|ngp|n took the Global First Place in the 3DMark Fire Strike 1xGPU category with a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti clocked at 2581/1607 MHz and the CPU overclocked to 5500 MHz. Last but not least is $@39@ ("Saega") from Greece, a regular on the list. Not only did he temporarily dethrone Dancop as the #1 in the Overclockers League, he's also listed in the leaderboard with two golden cups! The first one is a Global First Place in the HWBOT X265 4K benchmark with a score of 13.34 FPS using a Core i7 7700K at 6767 MHz. Along with that comes a World Record in Unigine Heaven Xtreme with 11824.79 marks. For the World Record he pairs the 7700K - now clocked at 7 GHz - with a 2632/1618 MHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Congratulations to everyone making the leaderboard!
The most used hardware components of Week 33 are the Core i7 7700K (11.4%), GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (8.8%) and the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex (1.7%). In total the community used 347 different CPUs, 226 different GPUs and 755 different motherboards.
The overclocking results submitted during Week 33 generated in total 830 World Record Points, 6958.8 Global Points, and 6073.4 Hardware Points. The distribution per League is as follows: 19% for Elite, 36% for Extreme, 8% for Apprentice, 19% for Enthusiast, 8% for Novice, and 18% for Rookie. The representation of the active community is as follows: 2% Elite, 8% Extreme, 3% Apprentice, 18% Enthusiast, 9% Novice, and 60% Rookie.
This week’s OC Show was broadcast a day earlier than usual, hitting the air waves of TwitchTV late last night. As per usual Episode 8 of Season 4 featured Atlas, Toolius and Buildzoid who kicked off the show with a chat about about new HWBOT No.1, the one and only $@39@. Apart from an in depth discussion about exactly how one pronounces the guy’s actual name (think saegar…) they also go on to examine exactly what approach he took in order to amass so many points in a relatively short amount of time.
The guys continue with a look at recent action on OC-ESPORTS were the Alza Cup, Road to Pro Challenger Divisions and the Team Cup are attracting plenty of overclocking action, not mention the recently finished Rookie Rumble #46 which was won by Frenchman Prote1n. Buildzoid professes to not actually being a fan of contest overclocking – you spend all that time trying to hit a nice score, then find out that you’re not even in the top ten. Yep… actually competitive overclocking ain’t easy.
The discussion turns to the recent news that has appeared including news from Intel that the platform after Coffee lake (Cannon Lake) will be manufactured on a new 10nm process. A nice newsflash that almost replaces not having IDF this year. There’s also discussion about Intel’s renaming of its B-Series chipset and the affects of the currency mining on graphics card pricing. The team then turn their attention to AMD Vega graphics cards and whether or not they really are good mining cards.
The new 16-core / 32-thread Core i9 7960X processor is not yet available on the market, but the word on the street is that Intel did in fact give the go ahead for industry partners to ‘leak’ a few scores and make them public. Oddly enough, this happened just as AMD’s Threadripper was officially launched. Go figure. A week ago GIGABYTE in-house overclockers Sofos1990 (Greece) and Hicookie (Taiwan) made several very impressive 16-core Global First Place scores using the Skylake-X Core i9 7960X, as did Splave (US). In the last 24 hours or so, Splave has enjoyed another session with the i9 7960X, one that reaped two World Records and five new Global First Place scores.