Overclocking the A10-6800k (Richland 4.1 GHz) (Update: Benchmarks!)

So, I attempted to use AMD Overdrive to overclock my Richland 4.1 GHz A10-6800k on my Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H.  The 2133 MHz RAM I’m using should allow the GPU to operate under fairly optimal conditions given current hardware standards.

Unfortunately, while AMD Overdrive is supported in Linux with the Catalyst 14.2 (fglrx) driver, it seems my GPU is not:

$ aticonfig --adapter=0 --od-setclocks 1050,1066
ERROR - ATI Overdrive(TM) is not supported on Adapter 0 - AMD Radeon HD 8670D

That’s a huge bummer.  I looked all over the Internet for a list of supported adapters to confirm that mine is omitted (though it seems odd given that this was a flagship product just last year) but to no avail.  The Catalyst driver page itself lists the Radeon HD 8000D series as supported, but for some reason AMD Overdrive just won’t work.

So,  I fell back to the old-fashioned BIOS modification.  The UEFI interface on the GA-F2A88XM-D3H made it a breeze.  I simply navigated into the processor frequency settings (if anyone needs detailed steps, just ask) and changed the GPU frequency (a variable 340 (I think – gotta double-check that low-end) MHz to 844 MHz at stock value) from “Auto” to 1025 (MHz), having seen 1050 MHz reached by the good fellows at overclock3d.net.

When I’m back in my system, I can clearly see through aticonfig that my GPU is now operating at 1025 MHz:

$ aticonfig --adapter=0 --od-getclocks
Adapter 0 - AMD Radeon HD 8670D
Core (MHz)    Memory (MHz)
Current Clocks :    1025           1066
Current Peak :    1025           1066
Configurable Peak Range : [1025-1025]     [1066-1066]
GPU load :    0%

I immediately notice a great increase in performance.  Even the KDE desktop is smoother and snappier.  This may be due simply to the change from a variable speed in the GPU to a constant 1025 MHz.  I have also noticed a great performance boost in L4D2 and TF2 running through Steam.  I have downloaded the Phoronix Test Suite and intend to post benchmark results soon.  For now, I’ll just have to report that given my current configuration (don’t forget that Corsair Hydro Series H60 water cooling system), I can crank away with the GPU at 1025 MHz and the processor temperature doesn’t get above 44 degrees Celsius.  Because of the incompatibility between the GA-F2A88XM-D3H and the it87 drivers, I don’t have direct access to the GPU temperature sensors, but I don’t imagine it’s going to get much higher than the rest of the CPU, seeing that it’s an on-die structure and all.

I’ll post those benchmarks ASAP.

Mega Benchmark Update:

Here’s the phoronix-test-suite’s description of my system without an overclocked GPU:

Phoronix Machine Description (No GPU OC)

That’s a great feature of the test suite right there.  That system produced the following results with the Unigine engine demos thrown at it:

Unigine Heaven v4.0 @ 1920×1080:  5.61

Unigine Heaven v4.0 @ 1600×900:  7.55

Unigine Tropics v1.3 @ 1920×1080:  23.17

Unigine Tropics v1.3 @ 1600×900:  27.55

I’m glad I was upstairs for the Heaven tests.  Yeesh.  I’d say we’ve got a good idea of the upper bound of this APU’s performance from that data.  Unigine Tropics seems more indicative of the performance I get with TF2 at maxed out settings (without AA) and L4D2 at 1600×900 at maxed out settings (without AA).  I’ll have to test those applications outside of the Phoronix Test Suite because, unfortunately, the TF2 test simply won’t execute.  All I receive is a message stating that the test failed to execute properly, and that’s the end of it.

So I’m working on that, too.

Anyway, now for the overclocked GPU configuration:

Phoronix Machine Description

Those same demos:

Unigine Heaven v4.0 @ 1920×1080:  6.13 fps ( +0.52 or +8.5% )

Unigine Heaven v4.0 @ 1600×900:  8.27 fps ( +0.72 or +9.5% )

Unigine Tropics v1.3 @ 1920×1080:  24.29 fps ( +1.12 or +4.8% )

Unigine Tropics v1.3 @ 1600×900:  29.47 fps ( +1.92 or +6.9% )

Well, they’re not as pretty as I’d hoped, but it’d be good to get more non-Unigine data.  I’ll see what I can do to get TF2 running properly, maybe CS:Source, at least..

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