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CPU may be self-overclokcing?

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January 15, 2013 1:19:58 AM

Seems a little ridiculous, I know but here's my issue. I don't know when it started, but I noticed it in the Task Manager a week or so ago. I am running an AMD FX-8150 in a Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5, 8 GB of DDR3-1333 memory (2 sticks), and Win 8. As you may know the max stock speed is 3.60 GHz. While at idle (it's sitting there, I'm not running any programs, and don't have any open) my CPU is running between 3% and 4% utilization, mainly seems to be updates to the live temp readings in Speccy and Live Tiles, but at a speed of 3.85 GHz. I'm not experiencing any problems with my PC. I haven't even tried overclocking it and the BIOS is showing a Vcore of 1.4125V. Even the temps are fairly normal for me in my current conditions, which is 17 Celsisus at idle. Is there some problem with my PC or is this some kind of anomaly in Win 8 and the Task Manager? Thanks in advance.

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January 15, 2013 1:26:18 AM

Most new CPUs from intel and AMD have built in "turbo" which means under load, as long as temps are OK, they will boost up about 10-20% above stock clock speeds. AMD 8150 is 3.6 stock and has a turbo boost of 3.9, which is probably the 3.85 you are seeing rounded up.

In short, yes they do overclock a little on their own and it's normal and as designed.
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January 15, 2013 1:36:57 AM

1.41 V is kinda high tho. Try updating you BIOS to the latest version and go from there. Also check the Vcore in the BIOS as 3rd party programs have a tendency to be inaccurate
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January 15, 2013 1:53:21 AM

Yes I did consider that Turbo, but like I said, the computer is at idle and still constantly at 3.85. In the short term it's fine. It's water cooled in an open-loop setup so I'm not terribly worried about the temp end of things, but if there's some defect causing it to run at higher speeds when it shouldn't need to I'd like to know.

As for the Vcore, that did come straight from the BIOS. I'll have to check on the BIOS version in the morning to be sure (working on something right now) so I'll let post back here sometime tomorrow.
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January 15, 2013 2:01:35 AM

DRosencraft said:
Yes I did consider that Turbo, but like I said, the computer is at idle and still constantly at 3.85. In the short term it's fine. It's water cooled in an open-loop setup so I'm not terribly worried about the temp end of things, but if there's some defect causing it to run at higher speeds when it shouldn't need to I'd like to know.

As for the Vcore, that did come straight from the BIOS. I'll have to check on the BIOS version in the morning to be sure (working on something right now) so I'll let post back here sometime tomorrow.


Wouldn't be the first time I'v seen auto settings over volt the hell out of a chip.
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January 15, 2013 3:44:47 PM

Well, they say if you can get things to change then you're getting closer to an answer...

I went ahead and updated the BIOS. The voltages in the BIOS didn't change, but once in Windows, the Task Manager the speed now freely bounces about. At a low it gets down to about 3.2 GHz, but will spike to 4. The problem that still concerns me however is that the speed is dropping when I'm in the web browser, or working in Office, floating around the 3.5 to 3.7 range, but floating around the 3.8 range when it's supposed to be idle.

Speccy does show more fluctuations in the voltage than the BIOS, Vcore dropping to a low of 0.9V and going up to around 1.45. There has also been a slight drop in temps, but I'm going to take a look at other conditions that might be affecting that.

Still, everything seems to be working. I don't how concerned I should be about this. It's not doing anything too over-the-top radical. It is driving up power usage a little when I'm not at the screen, but that isn't a whole lot. My original concern remains, however, that the CPU may end up pulling too much power or that there is some kind of defect that could cause sudden and unpredictable throttling. The range is fairly constrained, so unless someone has a definitive answer i don't know how much more attention I'll give this.

Thank you for your help and input. Greatly appreciated.
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January 15, 2013 4:58:56 PM

If it seems like its working and your temps arent out of hand call it good and leave it alone.
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January 19, 2013 2:29:02 PM

Best answer selected by DRosencraft.
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