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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional

Posted November 21, 2011 by James Baranski (Drdeath) in CPU & Motherboards







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by James Baranski (Drdeath)
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Overclocking: Sub-Zero

There’s probably nothing more fun than overclocking with sub-zero temperatures. The two most popular methods of extreme cooling are probably dry ice and liquid nitrogen. In today’s case we’re using dry ice; it’s relatively easy to set up and use, is readily available, and doesn’t require much special handling other than gloves. Liquid nitrogen will produce better results, but it’s tougher to work with, and unfortunately logistics were not on our side this time. As a result, dry ice was on the menu.

We settled in for some dry ice overclocking at about -67°C. Yes, that can get your choice of liquid refreshment cold in a hurry, but that’s a story for another day.

In our dry ice run, we could not use F-Stream Tuning; the adjustments simply would not take. Frankly, it’s not designed for extreme overclocking. Hopefully this is a temporary issue but nonetheless, we used the old school manual BIOS overclock method. We hit 6.1GHz on 1 core and we hit 5.8GHz using 4 cores which we feel is outstanding. Phenom II chips hit around 5.7GHz so the FX processors truly are overclocking monsters. Our previous high overclock on Dice with the FX-8150 was 6.2GHz on 1 core so we were very happy with the result.

We encountered a minor bug in CPU-Z, where a discrepancy between the voltage used and what was shown, were different. We used 1.86V, and we know the FX processors are extremely power hungry chips.

Getting to 6.1GHz on dry ice is an excellent result, though it’s not quite the best we’ve achieved with this particular chip. That said, overclocking with sub-zero cooling is a mixed bag at the best of times; sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not so much.

However, overclocking is about potential, and the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional has some great potential here. The board has a very good range of BIOS settings for the veteran enthusiasts, though novice overclockers might find them just a bit daunting.

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    Only 1 core enabled? Not a vary effective way to OC. Now it were all 8, I’d be more impressed.

      Sandy Bruce

      Most extreme overclocking is done on a single core for stability. Sometimes there will be 2 cores enabled. The record for the FX8150 was 9Ghz with only 2 cores enabled. If you can beat the 6ghz that was done in this review, I will be impressed.

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