AMD Athlon 860K Black Edition CPU Review
This time we are doing a little more than what we did with out initial Kaveri Testing, this time we are overclocking the CPU and also seeing how far we can clock up the memory on this CPU. We will test this CPU at both stock and overclocked states and also running the ram at the CPUs default speed of 1866MHz and then try to run our AMD memory at it's maximum rated speed of 2400MHz.
On the graphics side we decided to use the R7 250. This is for one simple reason, an R7 250 and a 860K will cost around the same price as a A10-7850K APU, so it will be very interesting to see how AMD's APUs compete with this similarly priced AMD CPU+GPU Combo.
We will also test our A10-7850 with the R7 250 in Dual Graphics mode to see how powerful that config is compared to the dedicated GPU on its own.
|CPU||AMD Athlon x4 860K/760K|
|Motherboard||MSI A88X-G45 Gaming|
AMD Radeon Memory @ 1866
AMD Radeon Memory @ 2400MHz
|Graphics||Club3D Radeon R7 250|
|Power Supply||Corsair HX850|
|Storage||2x Corsair 60GB LS Solid State Drives|
MSI A88X-G45 Gaming
For our testing we used the MSI A88X-G45 Gaming, which aside from being one of the highest spec and best looking FM2+ motherboard available. At present it will as low as £75. Who says a cheaper system has to sacrifice on the asthetics?
Overclocking the Athlon 860K was breeze, both from memory and CPU clock standpoint. At stock the memory controller runs your ram at 1866MHz or lower, but simply use the AMD XMP profiles and BOOM the CPU ran with AMDs ram at its max speed of 2400MHz. We bumped up the core clock to 4.5GHz using the CPU multiplier with only +0.03V, but this will vary from CPU to CPU.
I decided against further overclocking as the stock voltage of this CPU is already a particularly high 1.5V, that being said the CPU ran nigh silently at stock when using the stock AMD heatsink. We believe that with a bit more time and effort we could overclock this CPU further, but we went for what we think is a good average attainable overclock that almost any chip should be able to match rather than go balls to the walls with insane volts.
When overclocking the Athlon 860K I found that one of the most important steps is to overclock the CPU Northbridge. Gains from increasing the CPU Northbridge clocks were mostly seen in scenarios where memory performance is important. We managed a tasty 2GHz from the stock 1800MHz with only a 0.04V boost on the CPU Northbridge.