Power and Overclocking


The two boards represented here share many of the features that users look for in an enthusiast class motherboard.  Plenty of expansion options, higher end audio, greater connectivity options, and an efficient and powerful VRM setup.  My expectation here is that both boards will be around the same range of power consumption.  If the MSI board actually supported the FX-9590 then we might expect it to pull more power due to the heating up and inefficiency of a 6+2 array when pulling 200+ watts.  Since I am using the 8370 instead, it is well within the wheelhouse for the 6+2 array in terms of efficiency and heat production.

At idle the ASRock board has a 4 watt improvement over the MSI board.  That is a nice little win for the ASRock board, but a few watts typically won’t make or break a board when at idle.  When we push both boards to load they pull identical amounts of power from the wall.



Since the entire range of FX processors are unlocked, it is quite easy to overclock them to near their top speeds.  This is achieved through a combination of multipliers and fine tuning the bus speeds.  The bus went beyond 250 MHz with ease without increasing the multiplier.

The 8370 went up to 4.8 GHz with a small 0.08v increase.  It was unstable above that, even with FSB tweaking.  This is not exactly an outstanding overclock, but it is not unexpected considering that it was not designed with a 200 watt CPU in mind (the FX-9590 is officially 219 watts TDP).  The power at the wall jumped up around 90 watts when overclocked to this level and running Cinebench with 8 threads.

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