Pushing old AMD FX to limit. Pointers to stress testing software on ht/nb?

I’m trying to push old AMD FX-6300 + Asus 970 mobo to max. To see if I can squeeze little more life out of it.

But I’m struggling with hypertransport and north brigde speed setup. My system defaults to 2000MHz on both and I seem to manage to 2200 or maybe 2400 but can’t be sure. What do you recommend to run as stability test software which stresses hypertransport and or north bridge preferably on linux?

Currently my system is prime stable. I ran 9 hours and it got no errors and shortly after I opened youtube and watched video it crashed @2400MHz ht/nb. And this was with everything else running stock, even no Turbo Core. So I’m wondering what is good stress tests for testing hypertransport and northbridge. Maybe something with heavy GPU and memory action?

Ps. I can get CPU to around 4.6GHz, This is more to get max out of every last thing.


I would look into getting better cooling on your NB and trying out some ram stress tests. Whats your end goal? You would do better with an 8320E.

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End goal is more or less to get few FPS more on some games* so that I can push updating to Ryzen (or some other) to later date. Yes it would be better to run 8-core 8320E or 8350, but they most likely top out at similar max CPU clock at 4.6 - 4.7GHz and most stuff that I do doesn’t require added cores, at least for now.

Any pointers on good RAM test? I have been running memtest86 and I dont seem to get errors on it, but still on some apps like basic Youtube - Firefox can crash.

*Games like Deus Ex - Mankind Divided, Dirt Rally (on linux).

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Don’t the 8 cores have a higher multiplier tho?

And honestly its not often enough that I have a machine that has ram worth benching, so I don’t really have any tests on hand. What ram do you have right now? Is it just some 1600 or did you go crazy with 2133/2400?

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Would check temperatures on VRM, NB and chipset (like @FaunCB suggested).

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Yes 8 cores have higher multiplier at stock settings.

Now I’m running Furmark which maxes one thread and GPU. Rest of the threads (5) are maxed out with prime. And everything seems fine. Nothing so far. I’ll look if I can find some app that runs lots of PCI express traffic. That would maybe be good test?

RAM is currently 1866. It can almost make 2133 but not quite.

As I’m currently on linux I can’t read most of temps. NB/Chipset is warm 79C with IR thermometer and VRM is nice and cool at 50C. Maybe that chipset is too toasty? Lm-sensors reports MB temp at 30C and CPU at 51C.

I want to mention 990fx boards would prabably do better

Can you OC cache at all?


When the heatsinks reads close to 80, the chipset is probably pushing 90, so not the happy camper it should be.

Hypertransport doesn’t matter, just oc the cache

Board / CPU ran 5 hours of Prime95 + Furmark and no issues @2400Mhz.

I’ll try to clock nb to max and leave ht to 2200Mhz for now. And maybe lower nb volts to see if I get better temps. Back case fan is sort of near (with diy fan shroud*) and maybe I could get that to run from mainboard with more RPM. Now back case fan is controlled by Fractal case’s fan controller. CPU has AIO so airflow is not that great.

Yes as @FaunCB suggested 990fx would probably be better. But this Asus 970 Pro gaming aura is not bad board.

I don’t really want to invest any upgrades on this rig. Save the updates to next generation. I’m more interested to see what this compo can do. Sort of max this out and have fun doing it :slight_smile:

Btw. thanks all the suggestions.

*And small pic of the machine:

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Isn’t that one of those boards that came out a few months before Ryzen? With lots of bells and whistles?

Whats your water temp normally on your AIO?

I bought an after market 970 copper heatshink for my VRM’s, and it mattered considerably. I rocked an 8150 at 4.8 ghz for a long time (upgraded to Devil’s Canyon when Sky Lake came out).

The 990fx boards are way better over-clockers and especially for memory. My old Corsair Vengeance 1500 that I ran at 1866 ran at 2133 on the next guy’s 990fx. If you can grab a gigabyte 5 or especially 7, or the Asrock Fatality board, lots of guys did crazy things with those with both 8350’s and 6350’s. I have no idea what prices look like today. Keep an eye out though.

@MazeFrame I think Ryzen was not released as this board was. This board was released maybe 2016 January or some time close to that. Ryzen came soon after that though. Board has good fan controls, M.2 and new USB 3.1, good audio, so pretty ok. And also RGB but I don’t really need that as I have no window in my case and its built to be relatively silent.

I did ramp up the back case fan and it lowered the chipset temps to 60-65C.

@FaunCB This AIO is not that great. Water temp don’t really seem to keep up with CPU as pump compo maybe somewhat overwhelmed when pushing CPU hard. I have lapped both CPU and pump cold plate but still.

I’ll look if getting lower temps to chipset helps and try to push nb more. Also I think that I have to double check that RAM settings. I have been running it for long time with high 1.61 - 1.62 volts It may have deteriorated these sticks. I had to push relatively hard to get good timings as this RAM is just generic HyperX stuff.

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So I am at work right now but I am a Poor-dozer bro my self. I don’t have access to the exact guid that I used with spreadsheets right now. I am running a FX-6300 or Asus Sabertooth 990FX with a 4.5Ghz over clock and RAM OCd to 1866 using 1600 chips.

As mentioned before, you really want to look at OCing the cahce in your case but you really need a 990FX chipset to stretch the Vishera core’s legs.

Nothing new came about OCing the platform since about 2015 but here is a start,

and also to see if you even won the silicon lottery.

I beleive I am at a 4.5 OC with 1.23 volts to the CPU. I have a pretty good over clocker but system stability is a little wonky past that and the heat is just ridiculous. Honestly after 4.4Ghz, you will not notice any significant performance gain.

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I did some testing last weekend when I had better access to machine. I got NB to 2.6GHz with 0.11V boost to NB voltage. It seemed stable I didn’t test it much though. I dropped NB to 2544Mhz and upped RAM to 1977Mhz with FSB running 212MHz everything seemed stable. I ran 1 thread furmark and 5 prime maybe 8-10 hours all was fine. Space heater :slight_smile:

And then in the week wifey started to tele commute on the machine. As soon as she started the mouse stopped responding. Never happened. Reboot and as she plugged in webcam system froze. Again never happened. So I reverted stock clocks and everything was fine.

I seems that OC’ing the NB affects the USB through south bridge? or something. I can’t believe that it was the FSB 200 -> 212 bump. I should really learn how these AM3 systems are connected. What clock affects what. Oh and the voltages there is NB voltage and then there is other NB voltage and HT voltage and other HT 1.8 voltage and some VDDA… somewhat confusing.

As many have stated that 990fx is better. But what should one expect compared to 970? Better Northbrigde clock ~200-400Mhz and more hypertransport? It shouldn’t affect the CPU core clocks should it? I mean this 970 has pretty beefy VRM. I can push the core little past 4,6GHz. But I have to push high voltages.

@Mastic_Warrior That 4.5 with only 1.23V is very good :slight_smile:

i would highly recommend to do some proper,
reading into overclocking AMD FX in general.
Because overclocking the NB also affects pci-e link speed, imc etc.
So unless you really know what you are actually doing.
Otherwise it would be better to just firstly start with,
just the cpu multiplier overclocking.
And see how far that will get you.
Don´t be bothered with memory overclocking.
Because the imc on AMD FX is just crap the begin with.
And has very little impact on real world performance.
At least from my personal experience.

Anyways, the single core performance of the FX cpu´s is pretty terrible.
So yeah i would definitelly not recommend to buy a 990FX board anymore.
Because it’s just not worth it at all!

prime95 and Cinebench R15 / R20 are good tools to use for testing.

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Pretty much this. Your biggest bang for your buck is using the CPU multiplier first and then once you have that stable, back off the voltage until unstable. Then add like .02 volts onto your unstable and then turn the other nobs if need be. Memory overclocking does not get you too much here unless your RAM supports it.

OCing FX is pretty straight forward for a basic overclock. Trying to squeeze everything out of the system does require a 990FX. For the same price, you can graduate up to Zen1. Once the Zen 2 mobile stuff comes out so that I can buy a Ryzen 4000 laptop, them I am upgrading to Zen3 on the desktop. My OC’d Poor-dozer does everything that I need accept provide the core count that I need for more development VMs.


@MisteryAngel @Mastic_Warrior I have CPU core overclocking pretty clear as I said in first post. It’s mostly simple stuff as you said. Up the CPU multiplier and once the system goes unstable add more volts. Rinse and repeat until temps go uncomfortable level. Prime95 is very good on detecting issues on CPU core overclocking.

Mostly I’ve based my overclocking information on AMD_FX_Performance_Tuning_Guide.pdf (the one made by AMD them-self) and tried to learn from old OC threads. Trouble is that most of the information available on the net doesn’t really explain what affects what. It’s mainly do this and then do that. Which is not that helpful if one tries to learn more complex aspects of Piledriver overclocking. Like for example simple question of what voltages and clocks define heat output and or stability of AMD 970 chipset of (or 990fx)? It is not that easy to find an answer to something like that.

I have done this NB / HT testing and overclocking CPU at stock clock so that it doesn’t effect testing / results. Even when I tested with higher FSB I dropped CPU multiplier to match so that CPU was still running same 3500 default speed. Off course when I get this working I’ll retest everything with CPU core overclocked as well. And I have tried to do this OC in small increments where possible only one change at a time to keep things more simple. From Phoronix-test runs that I’ve done this NB OC doesn’t give that much more performance maybe only few percent <5%.

I’m still struggling to find good test software to test NB/HT stability. As Prime and even Prime + Furmark didn’t give good results. That USB issue I explained earlier is pretty weird and hard to test. Thanks for the suggestions though.

And for me at least this just something to tinker / tweak and to have fun. Hope you guys are having fun too even if we have to stay in home much more now days.

No worries. My wife and I are essential personnel so We did not get the mandatory vacation.

In regards to you OCing, definitely have fun with it. When I started OCing FX, I was in the same boat of not knowing what did what. I did not know that AMD came out with an OC guide but it would make sense after so man "RMA"s for burned up chips because PoorDozer OCs differently than the Intel and Phenom parts at the time.

If you dins out anything worth while, don’t hesitate to post here. Maybe it will helps someone that gets an FX setup as a hand me down.