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Build

AMD Hellfire Build

by Dan-youd

8
11 Comments

Details

Date Published

Feb. 9, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.5GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.1GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.8GHz

Description

This PC is a second computer made mainly for LAN gaming and Twitch Steaming/Recording

It Orginally had my AVerMedia Live Gamer HD video capture card installed in it so I could record from the Main PC and Stream but I have recently decided I'm going to sell this PC so have migrated the capture card back over to the Main PC.

NOTE: also not listed in the parts list is a Bluray drive installed and a memory card reader.

The APU is overclocked from 3.9Ghz to 4.5Ghz The North Bridge is overclocked from 1800Mhz to 2000Mhz The APU Graphics is overclocked from 866Mhz to 1114Mhz and works in Dual Graphics with the Dedicated R7 250 Card All overclocks were stress tested using various software over a few weeks of testing and are 100% stable in all situations.

Part Reviews

CPU

I bought this CPU originally for a Thermaltake Armor A30 SFF Case as I'd moved my i7 4790K out of the case due to heat issues so I figured this chip would be far coolers not having the grunt of the i7. It turns out I was wrong, not only did it run hotter but it has a much lower thermal margin meaning it downclocks a lot sooner than the 4th gen i7.

I then cut a 120mm hole in the side of the A30 case and fitted a AIO water cooler in push-pull config into the case which bought temps down but left no room for overclocking.

The motherboard also had issues recognising the APU even on the latest BIOS and wouldn't run turbo boost at all.

I finally gave up on the board and the case and got an Asus A88XM-Plus board and a Mid tower gaming case and upgraded the two AIO fans to noctua NF12's for as much performance as possible.

With that setup I was able to overclock the APU to 4.5Ghz safely and it does run well I don't think it's worth it over other options anymore.

CPU Cooler

Better than most air coolers but stock fan is poor and the pump wines a lot

Motherboard

Excellent board for the money and very good overclocking performance

Memory

Fast RAM and very reliable.

Storage

Have upgraded to an 850 EVO in my main build because I like this one so much. It is still super fast even for an older model.

Storage

The only Seagate I've owned that hasn't died on me so that's got to count for something.

Video Card

Not a fast graphics card but works great in Dual Graphics mode with an AMD A10 7870K APU and is an excellent overclocker.

Case

This is an excellent case for the money and has everything you could ever need at a very good price. Looks stylish and the red fans give it an evil look (great for my AMD build)

Power Supply

Great modular PSU for the price and has proven to be reliable.

Operating System

Best version of Windows to date.

Case Fan

A bit pricey but these things deliver that's for sure. You can feel the airflow if these are on full.

Comments Sorted by:

oneflygtiguy 5 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

I broke a sweat just reading the description. From the looks of it you got the Heat Miser under control.

Dan-youd submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Hi oneflygtiguy,

yes it certainly wasn't easy getting the results I got from this machine. The biggest barrier with this AMD APU is it's thermal margin is much lower than their older processor such as the Athlon x2's and far lower than the Intel CPU's.

Also getting it to report the correct temperature is a PTA as you can only get AMD Overdrive to show the correct Temps which was unfortunately crashing to desktop on me.

Best way for me to check it was in parameters was too run the Asus AI Suite software and watch to see if the clocks dropped during stress testing meaning I would know if it hit TJ max but luckily it didn't at the clocks set though with an extra 100Mhz on the CPU it hit TJ Max and caused the CPU to downclock.

oneflygtiguy 5 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Very impressive. I would use overdrive once to get my thermal margin then use any other monitoring tool and just mentally add or subtract. I currently use Corsair Link and it is quite close to being accurate. Core temp will allow for a margin adjustment.

Dan-youd submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Might post some Cinebench and Heaven scores for this machine before I sell it.

oneflygtiguy 5 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Yes!

Dan-youd submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

As promised I've posted the Heaven Bench scores and the Cinebench scores in the photos above.

On the first Heaven screenshot it was done without Dual Graphics enabled just using the APU's graphics chip but kept the overclock on.

On the second Heaven screenshot you can see it in Dual Graphics with the R7 250 card with it's overclock enabled which as you can see makes a massive difference.

The first Cinebench run wasn't that impressive just concreting that these APU's are very poor at multi-threaded calculations per second but is still an improvement from its stock clocks making it closer to i3 sort of performance.

The second Cinebench run shows it's single core performance though and that is very impressive when you can see it beating the likes of the Intel Xeon in this test (most likely due to it's high clock).

I think the main thing that lets these APU's down is that AMD didn't make them into a true Quad-Core CPU just like they didn't make the FX series into true Octa-Core CPU's. I know Intel do the same but with Hyperthreading but in all fairness they don't advertise a Quad-Core as a Octa-Core either. AMD focused too much effort on getting on chip graphics perfected which still isn't there yet even with Dual Graphics enabled. Though I have enjoyed owning this PC and I like trying out new things so Dual Graphics has been fun for the most part.

ajpinton 11 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

I heard AMD disabled dual graphics mode in the new driver software (APU+GPU), what did you do to get it working? I heard people are having to use the old software suite. I have considered doing an APU build before AM4 comes out for the heck of it.

Dan-youd submitter 2 Builds 2 points 16 months ago

Hi,

they haven't actually disabled it they just moved it when they transitioned over to AMD Radeon Settings and got rid of Catalyst.

When they initially changed over to AMD Radeon Settings you had to open Radeon Settings and click Preferences and then click Radeon Additional Settings to bring up the older Catalyst window which let you enable Dual Graphics.

Since then they've moved everything into AMD Radeon Settings so all you do now is open Radeon Settings and click the Gaming tab at the top and it's in Global Settings label AMD Crossfire (which is quite funny as it used to be known as Hybrid Crossfire and then they changed the name to Dual Graphics and now just to confuse people even more they've just named it Crossfire)

It's a great feature and works well on games with it enabled but really not worth investing in right now as there is much easier and cheaper ways of achieving similar if not better performance by selecting a cheaper athlon processor and getting a faster card for the same sort of money plus no worrying about if the game supports crossfire or not so in all honesty it's flawed in several ways.

Nilithium 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

Hey! Is your APU running at DDR3-2400? I can't get my A10-7890K to tolerate it without memory errors.

Dan-youd submitter 2 Builds 1 point 16 months ago

Hi,

yes it is, you might need to check your memory compatability and also overclocks on the APU can cause the RAM to not reach it's advertised speeds in some cases.

[comment deleted]
Dan-youd submitter 2 Builds 2 points 16 months ago

Hi RaspberryPiFan,

Yes it is a 4 fan manual controller though most fans are actually attached to the board and using Asus's software can actually turn off when not in use, making for a pretty quiet build.