Gaming: 4.2 GHz Is A Sensible Ceiling
Once I realized that a loss in efficiency (and not cooling headroom) was limiting the usefulness of my overclocking efforts, I swapped over to a more sensible cooler. The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro is a $90 heat sink. Slap it on top of a $200 processor and you're looking at an expensive, unbalanced combination. So, I gave the same company's $50 Shadow Rock Slim a shot with its fan running at under 600 RPM. Noise still wasn't an issue; I measured 31.4 dB(A) from a distance of 50 cm.
At 4.2 GHz, we measured an average of 1.18 V. This doesn’t change, even if we drop the BIOS' default 1.215 V setting. However, the system becomes unstable at settings of 1.2 V or less. Avoid undervolting; it's not going to happen.
We measure a maximum power consumption of 103 W between the host processor and VRM. The FX-8370E’s actual power use is probably just over 90 W. The rest shows up on our infrared pictures as a pretty chain of lights made of voltage regulators and waste heat. It looks a lot like what we already showed you at 4.5 GHz.
The CPU package temperature is 47 degree Celsius, and the heat spreader stays at 51 degrees, according to the FX-8370E’s sensor. That should alleviate the worries of enthusiasts who are afraid of cooling AMD's less heat-tolerant processors. Any $15 budget-oriented solution specified for 90 W or more should be sufficient for AMD’s latest FX model.
Most gamers will happily settle for 4.2 GHz, which yields a "free" 30-percent performance boost. If you want to me more environmentally friendly, that 3.8 GHz is a better bet. re better served by the optimal 3.8 GHz.