AMD 890GX SB850 Chipset Debut: Phenom II X6 Ready

Overclocking and Overdrive

AMD is also using the 890GX launch to release new version of the OverDrive utility as well. The AMD OverDrive utility seen here is v3.1 of the tool...

AMD Overdrive v3.1

Overdrive v3.1 offers all of the features of previous versions of the tool (pre-3.0), in addition to fan speed controls, Black Edition Memory Profiles, and smart application profiles. Fan speed control is self-explanatory. Black Edition Memory Profiles, however, require some explanation. Like EPP or XMP, BEMP polls the SPD in certain high-frequency DDR3 memory modules and applies the intended frequency and latency settings from within AOD 3.1. The feature requires BIOS support, which at this point has been properly implemented on the Gigabyte board we used for testing, and memory kits that are compatible with the feature. Those kits include products from Corsair, Kingston, Mushkin, and OCZ. Which brings us to the smart application profiles. The smart profiles tool gives users the ability to alter system parameters on a per-application basis to either increase performance, like in games or content creation applications, or to lower power utilization, say while playing back digital media files.

We also did some overclocking with the 890GX and found it to be perfectly capable in that department. Using either the BIOS or Overdrive, we were able to take our Phenom II X4 965 processor up to 3.8GHz with the Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H using either HT base clock adjustments or a combination of HT and multiplier manipulation. We were also able to take DDR3-memory speeds to over 1600MHz with little more than a bump in voltage. We're sure mileage will vary from board to board, but with regard to overclocking the 890GX appears to be as capable as any other AMD chipset to date.

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