The first time we fired up the machine, we entered the bios and were greeted with their UEFI overview screen. We received a new bios for the motherboard just as we were about to start testing.
The ‘5104’ bios was easily installed directly from a USB drive.
One quick reboot later, and we are running the latest ‘5104’ revision of the bios.
A quick overview of the system build. The AMD A10 5800K with onboard graphics. We are using 16GB of the latest Corsair Dominator Platinum 2,666mhz memory. The board initially defaults to a safe speed of 1,333mhz. You can read the standalone review of this memory running on a Z77 motherboard, over here.
The AI Tweaker is the main panel for all the overclocking settings. We will look at this shortly in more detail.
The Advanced panel is used to change settings for the onboard devices. The Monitor panel is used to check voltages, temperatures and fan speeds.
The Boot menu allows for various changes over the boot priority and devices, as well as USB support and USB support. The Tool menu is used to save and load settings, and to flash the bios to a newer revision.
These are the default settings for the AMD A10 5800k processor in the ASUS bios. There are many settings in here which can be used to gain stability at overclocked settings. Something we are about to attempt now.
This bios has a memory setting for 2,400mhz, however sadly we could not get the Corsair Dominator Platinum memory stable at these speeds, regardless of voltage or timings. It would post, but sometimes we would experience the dreaded ‘Blue Screen Of Death’.
As a side note, the latest BIOS revision adds a new D.O.C.P feature, which correctly adjusts the memory to the XMP profile, of 2,666mhz with 10-12-12-31 timings. Sadly this wouldn’t even post, regardless of voltage changes. There is a possibility it will work properly with other memory sticks, but we didn’t have time to test this thoroughly before publication.
We backed down to 2,133mhz.
We had to manually adjust the timings to 10-12-12-34 for complete stability at 2,133mhz. AUTO settings (9-10-10) were unstable.
We spoke with AMD’s Sami Makinen to discuss ‘safe’ voltages and he said that any higher than 1.475v was ‘risky’. In order to ensure we could complete the review today (and not kill the processor) we didn’t push past his recommendations for any length of time.
Pushing to 4.6ghz was easy enough so we tried 4.8ghz at 1.475 volts. Stability at 4.8ghz or 4.7ghz wasn’t 100% prime stable at this speed, but we found if we increased the core voltage to 1.52 volts that it was. We didn’t want to potentially damage the processor however long term under Sami’s recommendation, and backed down to 4.6ghz at 1.475v. Still a decent overclock.
System validation at our final settings, are available over here.
Before we head further into the review, it is worth pointing out that the ASUS bios has additional options for overclocking the onboard 7660D graphics part of the AMD A10 5800K APU.
Above left, the ‘default’ settings of the HD 7660D, running at 800mhz core and 1066mhz memory. Above right, the ‘Extreme Mode’ settings – overclocking the core from 800mhz to 1013mhz.