We recently hooked up with overclocking guru Sami Mäkinen to get his take on the best way to overclock AMD's A8-3870K APU. Using his advice, we tweaked five retail -3870Ks and compared their overclocked gaming performance to a discrete Radeon HD 6670.
In an effort to best demonstrate multiple configurations, we first tested our system at stock frequencies using 800 MHz memory at 8-8-8-24-2T timings. Those are the same settings used in February's Llano-based overclocking story. Then, we overclocked Corsair's Vengeance kit to 933 MHz (the architecture's highest official data rate) using 9-9-9-24-29-1T timings, but kept stock CPU and GPU speeds.
We're also including a standard overclock using the same 933 MHz memory setting, changing only the CPU and GPU multipliers, but not the reference clock. This gives us 3.6 GHz processing cores and a 960 MHz GPU.
Finally, we include the highest memory overclock, a 117 MHz reference clock, 3627 MHz CPU cores, a 936 MHz GPU, and 1092 MHz (2184 MT/s DDR3) memory at 10-10-10-27-35-2T.
We're ultimately interested in how our all-out overclock compares to a discrete Radeon HD 6670 DDR3. So, we installed it in the overclocked system and disengaged its on-die GPU.
|CPU/APU||AMD A8-3870K (Llano), Stock: 3.0 GHz, |
Overclocked To 3.627 GHz @ 1.5 V
|Motherboard||Asus F1A75-V Pro, Socket FM1, Chipset: AMD A75|
|Integrated Graphics||Integrated Radeon HD 6550D, Stock: 600 MHz, |
Overclocked To 960 MHz @ 1.3 V
|Discrete Graphics||Radeon HD 6670 DDR3|
800 MHz GPU, 900 MHz (1800 MT/s DDR3) memory
|Networking||On-board Gigabit LAN controller|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance CMZ4GX3M2A2000C10|
2 x 2 GB, Max rating: 2000 MT/s, CL 10-10-10-27-2T,
Max overclock: 2184 MT/s @ CL 10-10-10-27-2T
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s|
|Power||ePower EP-1200E10-T2 1200 W, ATX12V, EPS12V|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 x64|
|Graphics Drivers||Catalyst 12.7 Beta|
|Battlefield 3||Version 126.96.36.199, Operation Swordbreaker, Fraps Runs|
|Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||Version 1.4.21.04, Fraps Runs|
|DiRT 3||Version 188.8.131.52, Built-In Benchmark|
|StarCraft II||Version: 184.108.40.20641, Tom's Hardware Guide Benchmark|
|3DMark 11||Version: 220.127.116.11, Benchmark Only|
|SiSoftware Sandra 2011||Version 2011.1.17.15, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark|
- Sami Mäkinen Weighs In On Llano Overclocking
- Dialing In Our Overclock Using The Right Components
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
- Benchmark Results: StarCraft II
- Power And Temperature
- AMD A8-3870K: Coming Close To Radeon HD 6670