In order to achieve a Base Clock of 4.7GHz and the potential for Turbo frequencies to hit the 5GHz mark, AMD chose only the highest leakage Piledriver CPUs for the FX-9590. As we saw in the previous pages, this results in a significant amount of heat being produced at default clocks. Add overclocking on top of that and things start to get a bit dicey, especially on air cooling.
Since our Corsair H80 and Noctua NH-U12S were both overwhelmed whenever Turbo Core was disabled and the system was left at idle (yes, you read that right: at IDLE), we decided to step things up a notch. Bringing in a Noctua NH-U14S with dual fans as a pinch hitter resulted in more acceptable temperatures and allowed for some overclocking. Though not all that much.
With Turbo Core disabled and a bit more voltage, we were able to achieve a constant frequency of 5.016GHz on ALL cores, regardless of the situation. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get this 300MHz to a point that we would consider 24/7 stable due to the elevated temperatures it caused but it was more than capable of running a few benchmarks.
The benefits were of course tangible since Turbo Core no longer stepped in to lower clock speeds or keep them at 4.7GHz. Unfortunately, even the U14S struggled to keep temperatures in the safe zone. In order to get any higher, the only solution would be to move to exotic forms of cooling, none of which we have in-hand right now but expect a follow-up article sometime in the future.
Throwing caution into the wind, we decided to push things even further and eventually hit nearly 5.2GHz. Unfortunately, while the system would boot into Windows, any multi-core load would shut the whole works down. No BSOD or OS freeze, just a complete reboot. It could be that at that point, we had reached the motherboard’s power limits but testing continues.