Power and Overclocking

Power

This is going to be an interesting test.  Here we get to see if there is any functional differences between a pretty high end 8+2 implementation with the Asus board and the 6+2 of the budget MSI board.  The system was left to idle for 15 minutes with the video active.

At idle we see a small difference between the two boards.  Two watts is nothing to write home about, but it is a couple percentage more than expected.  We must also consider that the Asus board is chock full of extra features and chips which will consume more power.  Does this spell a little trouble for the supposedly lean and mean MSI board?  We test load with all eight cores running Cinebench R15 for several back to back runs.

We can gather a few things from this particular result.  The 27 watt difference between the two boards is pretty significant.  We must again consider that the Asus board is just plain running a lot more stuff on it, and more stuff requires more power.  The 6+2 power phase setup that MSI implemented is simply not as efficient at load as what Asus designed for their high end Crosshair V FZ.  Each phase with a 6+2 setup is required to do more work to provide the CPU with power.  This will cause more heat to build up, and that will lower the efficiency of the individual phases.  The MSI board does not get overly hot, but we can see here that fewer phases are actually less efficient in this particular scenario.  Also consider that Asus is using some higher quality chips in their design, but these are higher priced parts on a board that is almost 3x more expensive.

 

Overclocking

Overclocking the FX-9590 is a nearly fruitless endeavor for this board.  The chip runs at a 5 GHz boost clock and a 4.7 GHz base clock.  The board can slightly overclock this product, but I would not trust a long term overclock with this combination.  I was able to reach a stable 5.1 GHz OC with this processor. 

When paired with a FX-8370 the board can easily take that part to 4.8 GHz on all cores with Turbo disabled.  I raised the voltage by about 0.04v for this test.  It does of course heat up the VRMs, but at about the same amount as just running a FX-9590.

If a person really wants to push their processors, then a higher end solution would be best.  The 6+2 phase setup works better than expected, but those extra phases do make a difference when pursuing ultra-high overclocks.  This board would actually complement AMD’s 95 watt TDP parts very well.  I could easily see this pushing the FX-6350 quite nicely and at a relatively low bundled price.

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