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Underclocking AMD FX-6100 and HD 8650 for Maximum power savings

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March 3, 2013 12:54:53 AM


Hi guys... I have bit of a mixed topic here.... Please be patient while I explain my problem....
Forgive me if its in a wrong section..

My Build: :o 
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Mobo: Asus M5A97
Processor: AMD FX 6100 3.3Ghz, 3.9Ghz on Turbo(TDP: 95W max, atleast what AMD says) (6 cores, maybe 3 cores and 3 threads)
CPU Cooler: CM Hyper 212 EVO (TDP: 5W for fan)
Thermal Paste: CM Thermalmaster 400
Ram: Gskill RipjawsX 4 GB (1600Mhz)
GPU: Sapphire HD Radeon 6850 1GB DDR5 (TDP: 125W max, no idea hw much of that is true...) (GPU Clock when idle 100 Mhz, Max 1200Mhz)
PSU: CM GX550W
Monitor: AOC e2243Fw2k (TDP: 20W max)
PC Case: Lancool Dragon Lord PC-K62 (Three 140mm blue LED fans + one 120mm fan) (TDP: 20W combined, I guess..??)
HDD: 200GB Samsung hdd Sata II + 2 TB WD Cavier Green Sata III + 3 TB Cavier Green Sata III (TDP: 15W.. I think..)
Wireless Modem and Wireless Adapter: TP-Link

Here is my trouble... My total expected TDP is over 300 Watts at load, I guess... Don't know how much at idle...
I would like to run torrent only by keeping the PC dile.... I couldn't find any cheap alternative method for continuous downloading...
(Worth Noting: I'm from India, here all technologies arrive after they are outdated... No Ivybridge Atom's or i3's available so far...)

My Goal : (Maximum power savings...) :bounce: 

Already Done: Turned off 3&4 and 5&6 cores from BIOS... Only 2 cores working now... They run at 1400Mhz...GPU Clock is 100Mhz on idle.. All power saving modes enabled...

What elde can I do to achieve maximum power savings... Is there any way to make my GPU draw very low power on idle...??? What's the Idle TDP for Sapphire HD 6850..???
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Suggestions...??? :cry: 
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Can I undervolt FX-6100 to decrease clock speed further just when I'm only downloading..???
Is that a safe thing to do...??? I heard FX-6100 gets overheated when underclocked.... Any possible damage due to underclocking...???
And can I turn off one more core to save more power...??? Is it possible...? If so, please tell me how...

More suggestions are welcomed...

Thank you for your time... Have a nice day...

Roshith Balu
March 4, 2013 3:39:30 AM

I'm gamer, and the sole purpose of this build was for gaming....

But now I have completed all the titles that I have, around 20-30...

So for a while, the sole purpose of the system will be be continuous downloads...

My aim is Maximum power savings regardless of performance drop...
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March 4, 2013 3:57:23 AM

this is the article i can point you to:
AMD's Bulldozer Architecture: Overclocking Efficiency Explored
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bulldozer-efficienc...
since fx6100 is fully unlocked, you can tweak it to your preference. downloading rarely pushes cpu load so it shouldn't be any problem. you should ask someone who owns bd cpus and undervolts. your total tdp is not an issue as long as you don't overclock. tdp is measured for worse case, full load situations.
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Best solution

March 4, 2013 5:02:14 AM

Quote:
Is that a safe thing to do...??? I heard FX-6100 gets overheated when underclocked.... Any possible damage due to underclocking...???


every modern CPU/GPU underclocks when idle. You dont manually have to underclock it. Processors do it automatically, so no issue of overheating. Also, no issue of instability.


If you mean undervolting, that is a separate issue.


What you can do is go in windows power management--> advancedsettings--> Processor power management.Their,change the max CPU state to ~50% or so. This will set the processor to quite a low CPU state, and it should use overall lesser power. But at the same time, the performance will be reduced quite a lot. So when you do some active work, you can change teh max CPU state to 100%.

The GPU will underclock on its own if idle. Turning monitor decreases quite a lot of idle power in HD78xx and HD79xx. Dont think HD68xx does that. But your card will definitely go to a low power, underclocked mode in idle state.

Turning off those extra fans will save some watts as well.
If the CPU fan supports PWM mode, the mobo will automatically reduce its speed when CPU temps are low.

As a rough estimate, i would say that while torrenting, and the monitor is shut, the idle power will be arounf 40W. That should be OK.


I wouldnt recommend undervolting without extensive research and knowledge. Undervolting on its own is completely safe to the processor and mobo. But if its not done properly, unstable processor can crash the Operating System, potentially losing data of your drive.
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March 5, 2013 12:14:11 AM

de5_Roy said:
this is the article i can point you to:
AMD's Bulldozer Architecture: Overclocking Efficiency Explored
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bulldozer-efficienc...
since fx6100 is fully unlocked, you can tweak it to your preference. downloading rarely pushes cpu load so it shouldn't be any problem. you should ask someone who owns bd cpus and undervolts. your total tdp is not an issue as long as you don't overclock. tdp is measured for worse case, full load situations.



So I believe my maximum TDP is very low compared to what I consume when my PC is at full load...

:pt1cable:  Life in this country is hell... Electricity Bills are not much better than electric shock itself... :pt1cable: 


What about the TDP of 6850, the advertised Max.TDP is 125W.. Is that true..??? I heard GPU TDP will always be higher than Manufacturer claims... :kaola: 

I don't think turning off fans is a good idea, when my PC is continuously working....

My idle CPU temp is nearly 36 degrees and at load it never exceeds 50 degrees. That is 6 cores in Turbo mode...

Anyway thanks for the reply...
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March 5, 2013 12:17:04 AM

mayankleoboy1 said:
Quote:
Is that a safe thing to do...??? I heard FX-6100 gets overheated when underclocked.... Any possible damage due to underclocking...???


every modern CPU/GPU underclocks when idle. You dont manually have to underclock it. Processors do it automatically, so no issue of overheating. Also, no issue of instability.


If you mean undervolting, that is a separate issue.


What you can do is go in windows power management--> advancedsettings--> Processor power management.Their,change the max CPU state to ~50% or so. This will set the processor to quite a low CPU state, and it should use overall lesser power. But at the same time, the performance will be reduced quite a lot. So when you do some active work, you can change teh max CPU state to 100%.

The GPU will underclock on its own if idle. Turning monitor decreases quite a lot of idle power in HD78xx and HD79xx. Dont think HD68xx does that. But your card will definitely go to a low power, underclocked mode in idle state.

Turning off those extra fans will save some watts as well.
If the CPU fan supports PWM mode, the mobo will automatically reduce its speed when CPU temps are low.

As a rough estimate, i would say that while torrenting, and the monitor is shut, the idle power will be arounf 40W. That should be OK.


I wouldnt recommend undervolting without extensive research and knowledge. Undervolting on its own is completely safe to the processor and mobo. But if its not done properly, unstable processor can crash the Operating System, potentially losing data of your drive.



Thanks buddy.. I will definitely change max CPU state... Is it ok to set it to 20% max when PC is idle...???

Will it affect running Windows 7...???
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March 5, 2013 12:58:59 AM

Well i'd like to add a few tips here, not sure how much more power you'll save though,

1. Switch off your monitor, printer, speakers, webcams etc, basically any peripheral connected to the PC, that's not required.
2. In your torrent client, there should be an option to set how much RAM to use as a cache for your HDD. Set this to a high value, around 128MB or so. My reasoning behind this is, if its set to a small value such as 16MB, there will be much more frequent requests to the HDD during uploading/downloading, and the HDD head will have to travel back and forth a larger amount to fetch data. This should also reduce wear and tear on the disk, but frankly speaking, I doubt you'd notice anything major :) 
3. As an even more extreme measure, you can keep only one Green HD active, and disconnect the other one, so that you can save 5W's.

Are you sure you can't find IB i3's in India? I see them everywhere I go, little boxes placed on shelves in virtually every PC shop in India....must be a fast selling chip.
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