ASUS M5A99X EVO AM3+ Review

Value & Conclusion »


Overclocking AMD Phenom II X6 CPUs on the M5A99X EVO proved to be a real treat. We weren't expecting too much, given that the ASUS M5A99X EVO is a mainstream-level product, but the ASUS DIGI+ VRM design really helped this board compete with much more expensive products, leading to a near 600 MHz overclock across all six cores. We also overclocked the memory fairly high, 2000 MHz with 8-9-8-24 1T timings, a bit better than what we got with the M5A97 EVO. We even tried adding another two sticks to see how well the DIMM VRM held up, and held up it did, not losing a single MHz. We also manged to stabilize an additional multiplier for the memory controller, allowing for 3000 MHz instead of the 2750 MHz we got on the M5A97 EVO, while the higher quality components found on the M5A99X EVO allowed us to use significantly less CPU voltage as well, with 1.40V used on the M5A99X EVO, while we needed 1.45V on the M5A97 EVO.

Of course, like other ASUS products supporting AI Suite II, auto-overclocking is available in software. Although the results are a little bit higher than what we achieved manually, they did not prove stable due to heat concerns. We also noticed that intensive loads would cause the system to reboot, with the Phenom II 1100T pulling over 275 watts, causing the board shutdown. After experiencing this behavior, we investigated the board's VRM closely, to find no damage, telling us that the board's over-current protection works very well indeed. Showing higher results than we noticed with the M5A97 EVO really highlights just what you get from the M5A99X EVO, however we did use the same overclock settings as with the M5A97 EVO, albeit with lower voltages needed on the ASUS M5A99X EVO to maintain stability.

Overclocked Performance Summary

Cinebench provided a substantial performance increase when over clocked, something that resounds true through the entire series of Phenom II-based products.

Likewise, SuperPi 32m results proved the same as Cinebench, with substantial performance increases that are noticed on previous AMD platforms.

WPrime 1024M numbers further the results, showing that there is true power available when overclocking the ASUS M5A99X EVO.

For a bit of 3D action, we fired up CodeMaster's F1 2010, to be impressed with the performance boost offered, compared to the other products. This does highlight the weakness of the Phenom II platform, but at the same time, noticing a near 25% performance boost was much more than we expected.
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