Western Digital WD5000AAKS, 500 GB7,200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16 MB cache
Integrated HD Audio
Integrated Gigabit Networking
Coolermaster RS850-EMBA (850W, ATX12V v2.2)
Software and Drivers
Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
ATI Catalyst 8.9
Onboard Device Drivers
Motherboard Driver DVD
To best determine the overclocking capabilities of these high-end AMD 790FX + SB750 chipset motherboards, we brought back MSI’s K9N2 Diamond, which is based on the highly competitive nForce 780a SLI chipset from Nvidia.
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AMD sent its fastest Phenom X4 processor, the 2.60 GHz model 9950 BE, for us to use in our motherboard overclocking and performance evaluation.
Overclocking doesn’t have much value if the rest of the system can’t perform, so we also ran our standard set of performance benchmarks.
Version: 1.2.1Test 1: 1024x768, Low Details, No AATest 2: 1920x1200, Very High Details, 8x AADemo: CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool
Supreme CommanderForged Alliance
Version: 1.5.3599Test 1: 1024x768, Low Details, No AATest 2: 1920x1200, Very High Details, 8x AADemo: WallaceTX_006_006Benchmark: Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037
Unreal Tournament 3
Version: 1.2Sound and DirectX10Texture Details: 1Level Details: 1Demo: vCTF-Reflection_botTime: 12/60
World in Conflict
Version: 184.108.40.206Test 1: Very Low details (No AA, No AF)Test 2: Very High details (4x AA, 4x AF)Demo: Game-Benchmark
Version: 220.127.116.11Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minDefault format AAC
Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007)Audio CD Terminator II SE, 53 minwave to MP3160kb/s
Version: 18.104.22.168Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
Encoding mode: Insane QualityEnhanced multithreadingEnabled using SSE4Quarter-pixel search
Display encoding status = off
Nero 8 Recode
Version: 22.214.171.124- Recode an Entire DVD to DVD- convert DVD-9 to DVD5- High quality mode (slow recording)- disable video preview
Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1
MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264)MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16 Bit, 224 kbps)Mode: PAL (25 FPS)Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core
"Also notice the removable BIOS IC, a feature that makes bad-flash recovery as easy as plugging in a replacement."
I don't know about you guys, but I haven't had a flash going wrong since a P2B board from the stoneage
neiroatopelcc"Also notice the removable BIOS IC, a feature that makes bad-flash recovery as easy as plugging in a replacement."I don't know about you guys, but I haven't had a flash going wrong since a P2B board from the stoneage
Call it paranoia from a guy who changes BIOSs on an almost daily-basis on one board or another (me, not Thomas, though he does his fair share of updating, too).
Perhaps it's just the luxury of gigabyte's dual bios that makes me not care for removable ic's but I just don't see the relevance. Nobody has an eprom writer for those chips at home anyway, and with prices of many motherboards closing in on what a new chip would cost it's only truely useful for the expensive boards - and if an amd board is expensive, then it's targetted at the wrong people.
Thanks for the review. As you have stated, only way that AMD can compete with INTEL is to provide better clock speeds on their chips. Intel has shot forward with giant improvements and AMD has been stuck on the side lines. Their 45nm chips are still not on the market and Intel is already making moves to switch to 32nm.
Sadly, this is going to be tough hill to climb for AMD to become competitive again. I wish them luck though, the consumer is always the winner when corporations compete :)
Ive got a phenom x4 9950 placed on a ASUS m3a32 mvp deluxe motherboard.
With stock voltage and stock cooling ive cranked it up to 3.2ghz and it runs perfectly stable. (this was done by only adjusting the multiplier)
A friend of mine have the same setup as me but an aftermarket cooler (noctua nh-u12p) and hes overclocked it up to 3.4ghz, again running stable.
On Overclocking forums i read about people cranking this CPU up to 3.6ghz on air (noctua nh-u12p) without any wizardry.
This test is flawed and im very dissapointed about tomshardware and what i feel is an effortless test of this setup.
Im an Intel guy myself but at least im honest about intels oponents, and in this case the review should end up with AMD being amazing value for money and that the future is a bit (not alot) brighter for AMD.
You realize that the Q6600 can also be overclocked to 3.6GHz on air as well without much difficulty? Both processors are at the same price point. The only difference is that the 9950 is AMD's top end chip and the Q6600 is a entry level quad core from Intel...
im aware of that yes, but the problem here is tomshardware not the q6600... why? they didnt get it over 3.12ghz, which frankly is pathetic.
and the 9950 is cheaper then the q6600 its cheaper then about every intel processor out there (even the dual cores such as e8400 etc).
Im not saying it is a better processor then what intel has lined up, what im saying is that it is amazing value for money. and much better at overclocking then tomshardware managed to get out of it thats all :D
Oh my God, you guys went with a Jetway over a DFI board! Not to mention just one vidio card and a mid range one at that, how about two 4870X2’s??.. I mean isn’t that what we buy these boards for?…….Oh and what kind of memory each board can handle or why didn’t you go with a Thermalright cpu cooler, hell if your going to oc water cooling is the way to go!
Obviously Tom wasn’t interested in doing this review!……..
I got my 9950 running at 2.85 ghz so thir numbers are not too bad. Im running it on a 790FX+SB600 K9A2 mobo. I could go more but my DDR2 800 RAm is holdinmg me back... I guess I should have gotten DDR2 1066 RAM.
But I game at 1080P res. wiht a 4870 and I get over 30FPS in most of my games At max setting.