Question Why might my FX 8370 be in the top 96% in benchmark tests?

Jul 20, 2019
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So for the last couple weeks, I've been trying to figure out why my CPU is overheating. After running a benchmark on the CPU (multiple times), I noticed that the CPU was performing in the top 96%!
I checked (and double checked) for overclocking and I am 99% sure it is not. I wiped the drive clean and got fresh install of windows to make sure no software was controlling it. In the bios settings I made sure they were set to" normal". Is there anything else that might be controlling the CPU?

Extra info:
  • Benchmark I used was from userbenchmark.com.
  • I checked the core voltage, clock speed, etc.. from CPU-Z and HWinfo and both show normal values
I made a post on reddit, there is more info there if I forgot somethings here.
 
What's the thermal margin like? Keep in mind for those older AMD CPUs the temperature reading of other software tends to be inaccurate, which is why AMD Overdrive should be used.

Not entirely sure about your experience with Userbenchmark. The obvious response to what you see is the vast majority of owners have overclocked theirs.
 
Jul 20, 2019
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What's the thermal margin like? Keep in mind for those older AMD CPUs the temperature reading of other software tends to be inaccurate, which is why AMD Overdrive should be used.

Not entirely sure about your experience with Userbenchmark. The obvious response to what you see is the vast majority of owners have overclocked theirs.

AMD Overdrive reads the same for temp, and the thermal margin reads 0 at around 61 degrees C; so everything checks out.

In the past I have used Userbenchmark on other machines to get them tweaked up to spec, it seems to be really good and comparing the components with others. I think you meant on your last point that the vast majority of owners underclocked theirs. I would be more than happy to do that, if it would bring me back down into the average range of performance (not top 96%) lol! Then I could test to see if that is causing thermal problems.
 
Jul 20, 2019
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So... you're confirming your CPU has hit its thermal limit? That's what a 0 deg C thermal margin would mean.

And looks like forgot how Userbenchmark works (been a long time since I've used it).
Yup, I shut off all processes at that point to prevent temperatures from going any further.
 
Jul 20, 2019
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Any chance your MB's BIOS might have some overclocking presets that might be enabled?

Certainly, HWMonitor should show core clock speeds, allowing you to see what max multiplier is selected under various loads...
Bios has all overclocking features turned off, I've also checked for any overrides and couldn't find any. Clock speed under 100% load never exceeds 4,334.4 MHz.

I'm beginning to think, maybe it is possible that my cpu was sort of a one-off when it was manufactured? I am tempted to just take it as it is, but if anything comes to mind that I can try to fix it please let me know.
 
Does the clockspeed vary or is it stuck at the higher multiplier? Sounding very strange. One user mentioned uninstalling AMD Overdrive but the clockspeed was stuck on what they set it in Overdrive. (Might not be your case, but just an example of some weirdness with settings.)
 
Jul 20, 2019
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Does the clockspeed vary or is it stuck at the higher multiplier? Sounding very strange. One user mentioned uninstalling AMD Overdrive but the clockspeed was stuck on what they set it in Overdrive. (Might not be your case, but just an example of some weirdness with settings.)
Clock speed sort of varies, it just fluctuates between 4 MHz and 4.1 MHz ( I managed to lower it from before), mostly being on 4.1 MHz. It does this seemingly at random though, and when it reaches it's max temp it will still be at 4.1 MHz. Is this normal? I'm not sure if it is supposed to throttle down or something lol.

After lowering the clock speed (I just reset the BIOS), I noticed it heats up much slower, (takes approx 50% longer to reach max temp). So now I'm back on thinking, maybe it is supposed to throttle? But it isn't for some reason?

Previously I tried changing the max clock speed using the software the motherboard came with, to something like 3.8 MHz; but it didn't seem to affect anything. Same thing with setting the CPU max requirements in the Windows Power Saving Options, it didn't make any noticeable changes (even when set to something like 20%).

So assuming lowering the clock speed and voltage should reduce temperature, ideally I would just have it throttle down when it reaches a higher temp, but I'm not sure if that is possible. An alternative solution might be to have it permanently underclocked, but I'll have to look deeper to see how to do that.
 
As I understand it, throttling occurs when the CPU feels it's too hot to prevent damage. Modern CPUs tend to do this. If the CPU is kept cool even at high clocks then it wouldn't throttle at the same point (there's more of a thermal headroom).

Mind you, the FX-8370 is supposed to have a base clock of 4GHz, and boost clock of 4.3GHz. https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/fx-8370
The clockspeeds you mention shouldn't be an issue, but the 0 deg C thermal margin is. At this point I would suggest looking at reinstalling the CPU cooler or consider getting a new one (depending on what you're currently using).
 

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