Vital Signs and Overclocking
Before we began benchmarking the QuadFX platform, we fired up CPU-Z to see if there was anything interesting to report with regard to the default CPU, motherboard, and memory configurations. We then took some notes regarding temperatures and overclocking.
Other than the Athlon 64 FX-74's clock speed, nothing much has changed since we last looked at the Socket AM2 Athlon 64 FX-62 a few months back. As you can see, the FX-74 processor is built using AMD's .09-micron manufacturing process and is clocked at 3.0GHz (15x200MHz) with 1MB of L2 cache per core. The other new members in the FX-70 series are all similarly configured, but with lower multipliers (14 for the FX-72, 13 for the FX-70). You'll notice in the screenshots above that CPU-Z can't properly identify any of the components used in the QuadFX platform currently, but the actual specifications listed regarding clock speeds and caches are all correct.
We also spent some time overclocking the QuadFX FX-74 platform and had some very interesting results. To overclock the processors, we used the stock AMD copper / aluminum heatsink and fan combo pictured on the previous page. We bumped the CPU voltage up by .15v and set the memory voltage to 2.2v. Then we raised the processors' multipliers and HT speed until the test system was no longer stable. In the case of the FX-74, because the CPUs are unlocked, we raised the multiplier first before cranking up the HT speed.
Ultimately, we were able to take the new FX-74 up to 3.215GHz, a 215MHz (7.1%) increase, raising the multiplier to 16 and the HT link to 202MHz. It seems AMD is getting close to hitting the virtual clock speed wall with their 90nm SOI manufacturing process.
Through all of our preliminary tests, we also monitored processor temperatures via the system BIOS. While idling at stock speeds, we found that the FX-74 processors' core temperatures hovered around 46oC. And under load temperatures peaked at around 67oC. Overclocking didn't drastically effect temperatures, but we did see a max of about 70oC at one point, at least according to the Asus L1N64-SLI WS' BIOS.