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Overclocking The AMD Bulldozer FX-8150

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February 28, 2012 9:10:24 AM

Windows 7 64bit
Amd Fx 8150 Eight Core Processor 3.61 ghz (With CORSAIR H80 watercooler)
16.0 GB of DDR3 RAM
Asus Sabertooth 990FX motherboard
1 OCZ 120GB SSD
2 raided 320GB hdd's with an rpm of 7200
and 1 HD Diamond 5970
850WATT PSU


These are the current specs for my build, I'm wanting a stable overclock for the CPU since it's bottlenecking on the more CPU intensive games (Crysis and skyrim mainly.) I've heard the more stable OC's are ranged at 4.3-4.6 GHZ... I don't have a ton of experience in overclocking and I don't feel like messing around with buss speeds and voltage settings until I have a good idea of what I'm doing... If you guys could dig up some decent settings for me that would be great. :) 

February 28, 2012 9:17:57 AM

Also forgot someone mentioned multiplier settings, I have no idea how all of this ties together...
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February 28, 2012 11:16:52 AM

@cdjuda

Sadly your CPU gonna bottleneck Skyrim even with OC.
If you check the image below, you will see that (check the FX-8120, since it's a lower clocked version of your CPU, nothing less)
OC the CPU sure will help, but I don't think worth the increased power consumption (it will be a lot)

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February 28, 2012 2:50:45 PM

True, but it does point out how horrible of an idea it is to do what he wants. It's often the advice that I give people when they talk about OCing 8400GS cards and the ilk. Yes you can OC it, but why? You aren't going to get much more then 35FPS, and if you look at the chart thats only a few frames over stock. Is that really worth the extra heat, temp, and noise?

I will give my standard OCing advice. (which again isn't an answer to his question.) If your questions are really this basic, you need to do some more reading on this. I'm sure you can use google/yahoo just as well as the rest of us. Do your reading, post back with what you don't understand. I wouldn't attempt any OCing unless you understand what you are doing. Or else you risk the frying your CPU.
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February 28, 2012 2:56:13 PM

Wisecracker said:
Way to not answer his question.

Start with Ryan's AMD Black Edition Overclock Guide (Raising Multiplier)

Check out the AMD Overclocking forum for threads that will help you, and post up any questions you may have over there.


Giving straight answers isn't always the best. Sometimes OP need to rethink and evaluate if he really needs, or if he will really benefit from a OC for example.
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February 28, 2012 5:30:54 PM

I've tried overclocking before and it did temporary resolve my issue, the question wasn't "will the overclock give me the performance boost I need in every game I play."
It obviously won't... But right now skyrim isn't taking advantage of all the cores.... it's only using 2-3 actually... I'm getting 20-30 frames per second and when walking through a more detailed area It sometimes drops significantly... Overclocking will help give an extra 10-15 maybe even 20 frames... which is just what I need...
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February 28, 2012 5:38:23 PM

Isn't they're a skyrim patch which improves core utilization? So would guess that graph is obsolete.
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February 28, 2012 5:44:12 PM

well here is a question behind the curtain here, what is your graphics setup?, if your running the game on a 9800GTX and a FX 8150 8 core, then bam there is a answer. bottleneck right there, i would need to know what graphics cards your running, because it may be somthing more than your CPU holding you back. and ima straight out tell you, idc what your running or do to your computer. No one will ever be able to run the game at 60 fps constant every where you troll. no matter how many trolls your fighting or what smallest dungeon your in. you may see 60 fps in some places but never 24/7. The whole game performance wise is a complete nightmare. i run FX 6100 (6 core) and i am about the same boat your in, i think the best answer for us is to throw in the towel on AMD and go Intel on our next build
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February 28, 2012 5:44:51 PM

It's updated, it used to only use 1-2 cores. now it's using 2-3 sometimes 4... so only half of what its supposed to be using at best...
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February 28, 2012 5:48:05 PM

I heard windows 8 will better recognize the architecture for the Bulldozer and Piledriver CPU's so I'm not ready to give up yet... I am using a 2 GB graphics card... The ATI Radeon HD 5970... I have 16 gigs of ram so I'm pretty sure the only thing it could be is the cpu... especially since its maxing out 3 cores and not using the other 5....
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February 28, 2012 6:02:02 PM

Wait your using a dual gpu, turn off crossfire if you can. Crossfire creates greater cpu overhead which could actually lower performance when the cpu is the bottleneck. With the new AMD drivers you can create custom profiles for specific programs which allows you to choose when crossfire is on or not. This is located in the gaming section of the vision engine control center.
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February 28, 2012 6:17:38 PM

Also you could disable 2 modules in the bios to give you more overclocking headroom if temps are in issue. But if you play games like battlefield 3 which receives noticeable fps improvements with 6 cores you might want to compromise between the two games and disable only 1 module. If your going to do this make make sure you disable the worst modules that cannot overclock as well as the others. You can find this out by stress testing with prime95.
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February 28, 2012 6:23:12 PM

I have the beta for the new catalyst control center so I can create custom profiles, I'm just not sure what to put in the other categories seeing as how you have to completely customize the profile rather than taking the pre-existing default profile from the game and making a few small changes...
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February 28, 2012 6:53:37 PM

vitornob said:
Giving straight answers isn't always the best. Sometimes OP need to rethink and evaluate if he really needs, or if he will really benefit from a OC for example.

Maybe stop trying to bash on BD every little chance you get I run Skyrim after the last patch @ 35fps min in some spots on my OCed 955 @ 3.6ghz.
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February 28, 2012 6:56:57 PM

Phyrexiancure said:
Wait your using a dual gpu, turn off crossfire if you can. Crossfire creates greater cpu overhead which could actually lower performance when the cpu is the bottleneck. With the new AMD drivers you can create custom profiles for specific programs which allows you to choose when crossfire is on or not. This is located in the gaming section of the vision engine control center.

Found a pre-defined profile that helps alot with the framerate issue.... solved the problem mostly, still looking for stable OC settings though
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February 28, 2012 7:04:38 PM

cdjuda said:
I have the beta for the new catalyst control center so I can create custom profiles, I'm just not sure what to put in the other categories seeing as how you have to completely customize the profile rather than taking the pre-existing default profile from the game and making a few small changes...


Catalyst 12.1 uses the default profile selection for me. Everything is "use application settings" which should mean you only need to turn off crossfire for Skyrim. If this not how your version is set up then download the official 12.1 versions.
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February 28, 2012 7:29:29 PM

Bulldozer isnt the problem,


A. Disable CrossFire in the AMD Control Panel, Skyrim hates it,
B. Since your now running a Downclocked 5870 w/ 1GB, Lower GFX from Ultra to High/Med.
C. Drop AA to 4x, and AF to 16x.


I Run SkyRim Maxed out on Ultra in Eyfinity w/ My System, i think i have MSAA off:

Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply
Mainboard: ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional AM3+ AMD 990FX
CPU: AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W (Overclocked to 3.6Ghz Using 16.0x230Mhz)
CPU Cooling: CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Graphics: Sapphire RadeonHD 7950 w/ 3GB, Factory Overclocked Edition 900Mhz
Physics Processor Unit: eVGA Geforce 8800 GTS SSC with 640MB of Memory
Audio: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series
HD Recording : Black Magic Intensity Pro 10-Bit HDMI 1080p Capture Card
Harddisk: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
External HDDrive: Seagate External USB 3.0 1 TB HDD
Displays: 3x ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED

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February 28, 2012 7:47:52 PM

cdjuda said:
I'm getting 20-30 frames per second [...] Overclocking will help give an extra 10-15 maybe even 20 frames

I think you've got pretty unreasonable expectations there. I don't think I've ever heard of overclocking giving 50%-100% increased framerate. You'll get better performance, sure, but I think you might be disappointed by just how much of a boost you get.
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Best solution

February 28, 2012 7:52:41 PM

I like how no-one answers his question directly.

1. Be prepared to BSOD
2. Turn off all power saving functions in your bios
*Cool n Quiet
*Turbo Boost
*Spread Spectrum
*Anything else that is related to powersaving, i don't think Spead Spectrim is power related but turn it off anyways.
2. Gain access to your multiplyer and being the push upwards 14X>15X>16 and turn off (Auto) voltages for your Vcore and lock your ram at 1333 or 1600. If you can't just use a divider on it and drop it near of below its specs but keep the voltage set at its default.
3. Boot up your system to see if its stable or BSOD'ing on you. Do quick checks with CPUZ and monitor your tempatures.
4. Once you reach you're maximum, you can up the voltage on the process, but don't go up to much, use small increments to see if it stablizes and stops the BSOD or freezing.
5. Lock and load!, Thats be basic's!
* Sometimes overclocking via your BUS can't produce better results, that's the 200-399 near or around your multiplier, but it effects your ram on some motherboards so be sure to watch your dividers so you don't push your ram out of spec.

That's the very basics and should answer your question better then the "Search Google" answers here. That being said, google is your friend for fine tuning.

*Final Notes

Don't push the voltage to far out of spec!
Watch your temps!
Overclock can produce strange issues on a PC, such as BSOD when plugging in USB devices, and other rather annoying issues you can't track down. Sometimes to fix these issues you'll have to reset your bios.

Hope this helps!

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February 28, 2012 7:53:06 PM

I have a similar setup (same proc, board, ram, psu wattage) but I'm using an Intel 520 series SSD (frickin crazy fast). How much of a PITA was it to install that H80 cooler? Been trying to figure out whether I want to go water or get a Zalman/Noctua fan cooler.

Think you're going to see the biggest increase to your performance in Skyrim and other graphically intensive games by going with a better graphics card. I don't claim allegiance to either video card camp, but I am currently using a GTX 560 and I have been pretty happy with my graphics. Plenty of tasty options to choose from, but I would step-up to at least a 6870 from AMD or a 560ti from Nvidia. Pick your poison, but I think that is where you are going to really make headway.
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February 28, 2012 7:57:14 PM

game junky said:
I have a similar setup (same proc, board, ram, psu wattage) but I'm using an Intel 520 series SSD (frickin crazy fast). How much of a PITA was it to install that H80 cooler? Been trying to figure out whether I want to go water or get a Zalman/Noctua fan cooler.

Think you're going to see the biggest increase to your performance in Skyrim and other graphically intensive games by going with a better graphics card. I don't claim allegiance to either video card camp, but I am currently using a GTX 560 and I have been pretty happy with my graphics. Plenty of tasty options to choose from, but I would step-up to at least a 6870 from AMD or a 560ti from Nvidia. Pick your poison, but I think that is where you are going to really make headway.

I think Skyrim is CPU limited
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February 28, 2012 8:14:17 PM

game junky said:
I have a similar setup (same proc, board, ram, psu wattage) but I'm using an Intel 520 series SSD (frickin crazy fast). How much of a PITA was it to install that H80 cooler? Been trying to figure out whether I want to go water or get a Zalman/Noctua fan cooler.

Think you're going to see the biggest increase to your performance in Skyrim and other graphically intensive games by going with a better graphics card. I don't claim allegiance to either video card camp, but I am currently using a GTX 560 and I have been pretty happy with my graphics. Plenty of tasty options to choose from, but I would step-up to at least a 6870 from AMD or a 560ti from Nvidia. Pick your poison, but I think that is where you are going to really make headway.


They will not see better performance with a 6870 or 560ti. They have a 5970, which is more than enough. They need to apply the skyrim patches and other things people here have suggested.
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February 28, 2012 8:31:37 PM

I differ to others - patch it and then reassess your FPS to see if you are bottlenecked.
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March 11, 2012 5:57:58 AM

Best answer selected by cdjuda.
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March 11, 2012 6:26:40 PM


Is this a good FXAA game for AMD video cards or a bad FXAA game for them ??


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March 12, 2012 5:31:43 AM

Wisecracker said:
Is this a good FXAA game for AMD video cards or a bad FXAA game for them ??

according to toms testing of amd mlaa 2.0 fxaa doesn't effect performance much like mlaa 2.0. But mlaa looks better according to them even though its slightly slower. You could always just test settings while using fraps to see for yourself.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...
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October 3, 2012 7:59:57 PM

cdjuda said:
Windows 7 64bit
Amd Fx 8150 Eight Core Processor 3.61 ghz (With CORSAIR H80 watercooler)
16.0 GB of DDR3 RAM
Asus Sabertooth 990FX motherboard
1 OCZ 120GB SSD
2 raided 320GB hdd's with an rpm of 7200
and 1 HD Diamond 5970
850WATT PSU


These are the current specs for my build, I'm wanting a stable overclock for the CPU since it's bottlenecking on the more CPU intensive games (Crysis and skyrim mainly.) I've heard the more stable OC's are ranged at 4.3-4.6 GHZ... I don't have a ton of experience in overclocking and I don't feel like messing around with buss speeds and voltage settings until I have a good idea of what I'm doing... If you guys could dig up some decent settings for me that would be great. :) 




It really depends on the game, but I find that on GW2 (Guild Wars 2), with it being a DX9 (more CPU intense game), I noticed a tremendous boost going from 3.6ghz to 4.6ghz.

You should easily be able to OC to around 4.1GHZ without any voltage adjustment. Heck you don't even have to mess with with the FSB/HT if you don't want, just boost the multiplier up, turn off turbo core, disable Cool 'n quiet, and C1E and you are good to go.
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October 3, 2012 8:02:15 PM

cdjuda said:
Windows 7 64bit
Amd Fx 8150 Eight Core Processor 3.61 ghz (With CORSAIR H80 watercooler)
16.0 GB of DDR3 RAM
Asus Sabertooth 990FX motherboard
1 OCZ 120GB SSD
2 raided 320GB hdd's with an rpm of 7200
and 1 HD Diamond 5970
850WATT PSU


These are the current specs for my build, I'm wanting a stable overclock for the CPU since it's bottlenecking on the more CPU intensive games (Crysis and skyrim mainly.) I've heard the more stable OC's are ranged at 4.3-4.6 GHZ... I don't have a ton of experience in overclocking and I don't feel like messing around with buss speeds and voltage settings until I have a good idea of what I'm doing... If you guys could dig up some decent settings for me that would be great. :) 



Then later, try driving the multiplier down a few steps and pick up on the HT.
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