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Thread: FM2 new build story

  1. #1
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    FM2 new build story

    Searching the web there isnt a whole lot of info on basic FM2 builds, so thought i would share my experience. May post pics at a later date when things are sorted.
    Going from a Windows XP Pro socket 939 system, that is 6+ years old i decided that a main component upgrade to a FM2 build would save electricity, be faster and quieter. Read some articles, got help off here and purchased the following:

    MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 mb
    http://uk.msi.com/product/mb/FM2-A75MA-E35.html
    AMD A6-5400k CPU
    http://shop.amd.com/uk/All/Detail/Pr...#ComparePrices
    8gb Crucial Ballistix elite 1600mhz (got a very good price off Amazon)
    http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/part...D1608DE1TX0CEU

    A new build for less than £130, about the same price as i paid for my old processor.

    The build itself wasnt entirely straight-forward. I didnt want to use the small stock AMD HSF (a 70mm fan??), but keep the AC Freezer 64 pro i had. On this mb the fan overlaps the 1st dimm slot (the Elite Ram has tall heatspreaders) in the standard front to back configuration. The only way possible to mount was with a back to front fan direction. Once this was established everything went in the case nice and easy.
    Next is when things got tricky, i use a Dell CRT monitor with only a VGA connection. Upon POST and entering the BIOS i can only see a fraction of it on the screen and menus are overlapping. I managed to change the setting to use IDE instead of ACHI and went from there. The XP disc was found and recovery of my installation was going ok, until it rebooted and asked for my location/keyboard settings/language! XP was installing from scratch but keeping my programs and documents. Finally booted into windows and then many hours were then spent installing service packs and updates.
    Changed bios settings for the RAM to run at XMP profile and disabled settings i dont need.

    The whole system is noticeably faster, no real benchmarks run but SuperPi is a lot quicker (saved over 2 minutes at the 8M test), CoD2 runs brilliant with all settings maxed out including AA and AF, Youtube videos play at full screen without stutter or lag. Highest temperature i have seen on the CPU is 30 degrees, most of the time it is around 27 and the system is also a lot quieter
    My next tasks involve installing Windows 8 (disk on its way from Germany), trying to sort out the bios issue ( i am changing settings using MSI Click bios in windows atm) and to get my case cooling sorted with the new airflow direction. Once this is done i will then get round to seeing what overclocks i can achieve without increasing the voltage. One thing that is a big change since my Socket A and 939 oc days is the vast number of options in the bios. Everything appears to be changable! The one snag i can see with this mb is the FSB will only go up to 105 though.
    Any questions on the build i will try to answer!
    Last edited by hb904460; 31-12-2012 at 04:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bonebreaker777's Avatar
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    You have a AMD A6-5400k CPU, which means it has a unlocked clock multiplier. You don't have to rely on the old school FSB increase for OC.

    About the cost of the whole system. I would assume for the memory you paid around £30 what is a excellent price, but I wonder if it would't be more beneficial for you to have memory modules certified for a higher frequency with bigger latency instead of 1600Mhz/low latency.
    Could you post what frequency you managed with those memory modules?

    On the other hand nice to see you managed such a good temperature with such a old cooler. Congratulation.

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    • hb904460's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus A88XM-PLUS
      • CPU:
      • AMD A6-5400K
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3 @ 1866mhz
      • Storage:
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      • PSU:
      • Antec NeoEco 620W
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    I got the memory after reading a few reviews of it easily reaching 1866 with good timings and at the £30 i thought it was a good buy. Hopefully i will get the bios settings sorted and get a decent overclock out of it. I didnt realise the height of the coolers until i installed it, they are quite high. I know that Crucial have a temperature monitoring tool, will give it a look and maybe remove the coolers and re-orientate the HSF.
    The AC Freezer 64 is still a good cooler, Arctic Cooling reckon it can handle up to 150w so after laughing at the poor quality of the AMD stock cooler and fan i just gave it a clean, some new thermal paste and it still cools the CPU quietly.
    I need to do some more reading about APU overclocking as in the past i did mainly rely on FSB overclocks. I did some multiplier clocking back in the socket A days using a speedstrip on a Athlon XP
    Any links to overclocking a APU on an MSI board would be appreciated!

  4. #4
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    • hb904460's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus A88XM-PLUS
      • CPU:
      • AMD A6-5400K
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3 @ 1866mhz
      • Storage:
      • 120gb OCZ Vertex 3 + 500gb WD Caviar Blue
      • PSU:
      • Antec NeoEco 620W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone PS07
      • Operating System:
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      • Monitor(s):
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    Got the Ram to run at 1866 just by altering the timings to 9-9-9-27 :-)
    The bios is still a problem though; unable to export settings, disabling spread spectrum doesnt work, upon reboot it always comes back as enabled.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bonebreaker777's Avatar
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    Quote Originally Posted by hb904460 View Post
    ...I did some multiplier clocking back in the socket A days using a speedstrip on a Athlon XP
    Me too And I done the one with the pin-wiring as well. Good old days.

    Quote Originally Posted by hb904460 View Post
    Got the Ram to run at 1866 just by altering the timings to 9-9-9-27 :-)
    The bios is still a problem though; unable to export settings, disabling spread spectrum doesnt work, upon reboot it always comes back as enabled.
    New updated BIOS, or Google for other users experience? Did you try to OC from Windows-pretty sure MSI got a Tuning program for something like that.

  6. #6
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    • hb904460's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus A88XM-PLUS
      • CPU:
      • AMD A6-5400K
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3 @ 1866mhz
      • Storage:
      • 120gb OCZ Vertex 3 + 500gb WD Caviar Blue
      • PSU:
      • Antec NeoEco 620W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone PS07
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    I have updated the bios to the latest 1.41 beta and most of the problems have been fixed. Except now my simple Ram overclock doesnt appear to be 100% stable. Crashes occur when a program (AMD Overdrive, Sisoft SANDRA but not CPU-Z) tries to get Ram information but games, office and general web browsing are fine.
    The bios viewing problem at boot is due to my monitor defaulting to 640x480 (BIOS res is 1024x768) when it isnt in windows.
    I tried MSI's OC Genie, its idea of an overclock was to increase the FSB to 105 (board max) and up the multiplier to 40. No other changes were made, no overclock on GPU or RAM and no voltage increases. I will use this as a start point for further increases as most reviews of MSI FM2 boards have gone higher than the OC Genie tool.

  7. #7
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    tbh, with the lower power IGP in the A6-5400k you probably won't see *much* difference moving from 1600 to 1866 on the RAM (although you may get a small boost in games). Looks like a nice set up

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    • hb904460's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
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      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3 @ 1866mhz
      • Storage:
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    At last some photos, these include some of the mods i have done to my Chieftec BX case, adding 3x120mm fan cutouts in the roof and a 120mm fan in the side panel.

    Case:


    Top cutout with Aquacomputer grill


    Top cutout with rubber tubing


    Side panel with grill and Antec fan


    Internal photos




    The board looks lost in there! All cuts were done with my trusty B&D Wizard multitool.
    Last edited by hb904460; 04-01-2013 at 03:20 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    photo error....

  10. #10
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    you need to use the url of the image file, not just the flickr page, to make the img tag work! I'll try to fix it for you, but it'd be worth you checking on flickr if there's an easy way to do it (I had to go a bit round the houses to find a way to get it...)

    EDIT: I had to click the photo to view it in lightbox, right-click it in lightbox to get the "view all sizes" option and click one of those (in this case "medium 500" which was the only option), then right click the photo on that page to get the image url, which is: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8353/8...e9af7ebbc6.jpg

    and in an IMG tag:



    But I'm sure there must be a faster way of getting the image url than that...

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  12. #11
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    On it now! Thanks scaryjim!

    The clear Akasa blue LED fans on the back panel are no longer in use but i may mod the area to fit a 120mm fan in there.
    As you can now see the AC Freezer 64 Pro is back to front, could remove the stock fan and surround (38mm deep) and attach/mod a standard 92mm fan onto the heatsink...
    Last edited by hb904460; 04-01-2013 at 03:25 PM.

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    • hb904460's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • AMD A6-5400K
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3 @ 1866mhz
      • Storage:
      • 120gb OCZ Vertex 3 + 500gb WD Caviar Blue
      • PSU:
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    Just finished overclocking my GPU. Keeping everything else the same and with no increase in voltage. The stock speed of the HD7540D is 760mhz. Using Unigine Heaven DX9 benchmark as a quick test and to show improvement i was able to get a maximum of 1086mhz!

    Min FPS went up from 16.8 to 20.6
    Max FPS went up from 49.3 to 63.4
    Av FPS went up from 27.8 to 34.6
    Score up from 701 to 872

    The overclock was checked playing a massive battle at high settings in M2TW with no artifacts, glitches or problems.
    The settings on this motherboard don't allow 1 mhz improvement, they are in steps. Unfortunately the next step, 1169mhz crashed in the benchmark and then wouldn't reboot.
    Still a huge overclock, simple and one i am definitely impressed by :-) After running the benchmark i did notice the temperature had gone up to 32 degrees in the Bios but that is not an issue.

  14. #13
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    How much did you overclock the CPU and GPU??


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  15. #14
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    • hb904460's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus A88XM-PLUS
      • CPU:
      • AMD A6-5400K
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3 @ 1866mhz
      • Storage:
      • 120gb OCZ Vertex 3 + 500gb WD Caviar Blue
      • PSU:
      • Antec NeoEco 620W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone PS07
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
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    Re: FM2 new build story

    CPU speed and RAM settings were not changed from stock. The only entries altered in the Bios were amount of RAM for GPU (1gb up from 512mb) and GPU frequency, started at 760 and went 800, 844, 894, 950, 1013 and finally 1086 mhz. Each one benched on Unigine, no artifacts or problems then moved up the clock until 1169mhz and got the crash.



    The test settings were on my CRT monitor's native res of 1024x768@75mhz and DX9 settings.
    Last edited by hb904460; 08-01-2013 at 09:57 AM.

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  17. #15
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    • hb904460's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus A88XM-PLUS
      • CPU:
      • AMD A6-5400K
      • Memory:
      • 8gb DDR3 @ 1866mhz
      • Storage:
      • 120gb OCZ Vertex 3 + 500gb WD Caviar Blue
      • PSU:
      • Antec NeoEco 620W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone PS07
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Viewsonic VA2037m

    Re: FM2 new build story

    Have just replaced the AC Freezer 64 pro with a Thermalright True Spirit 120 BW Rev A. Temperature at idle and load have dropped by 4 degrees with the PWM fan set at a maximum of 12.5%. Near Silent and Cool!
    After hearing the horror stories about AsRock boards having VRM heat issues, i am slightly concerned by the lack of dedicated cooler on the VRMs on my MSI board. So after Payday i am going to get some cooling on them, probably the Thermalright cooler as the board has mounting holes for this.

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