Recently, more and more information has been received about the availability of overclocking AMD Athlon 200GE with a multiplier on motherboards from various vendors. MSI and Gigabyte boards were mentioned in the news, recently ASUS solutions have been added to them. Some tend to associate this phenomenon with the AGESA bootstrap protocol version 220.127.116.11. According to some reports, even the number of PCI-E lanes has been increased. In an attempt to understand what was happening, the editors of the resource turned to AMD directly for comments, but the answer was obvious — the developer was «out of business.» Which of the motherboards has magical properties remains to be learned empirically. Well, let’s hope that over time, manufacturers will not change their decision to open the possibility of overclocking on a processor with a locked multiplier.
Unfortunately, at the time of the last testing, overclocking in this way was not available on existing motherboards. ASUS Crosshair IV Hero had support for AGESA 18.104.22.168, and changing the multiplier had no effect, there was no overclocking by default on Biostar, due to the use of the AMD A320 chipset. According to reports, overclocking allows Athlon 200GE processors to reach frequencies up to 4 GHz. The increase is very significant, but how much will the productivity of such a budget worker increase and is such an opportunity capable of decisively changing the balance of power? In this material, which serves as an addition to the previous testing, we will try to answer this question.
Overclocking Athlon 200GE
Last time we considered the possibility of overclocking by increasing the reference frequency. Today we will explore overclocking by a multiplier, we will not limit ourselves to budget components, we will provide our test subject with conditions close to ideal. To do this, we urgently found a suitable motherboard in the face of the MSI B450 Tomahawk, we will also check this possibility on the ASUS ROG Crosshair IV Hero. The G.Skill TridentZ F4-4266C19D-16GTZR kit, based on selected SEC B-die chips, will improve the performance of the memory subsystem, and the liquid cooling system circuit will take the place of the stock cooler. We have two processors at our disposal, from which we will choose the best one.
From the markings of the form AN 1804SUS and AN 1807SUT, we see that APUs were produced at different plants and weeks in 2018. For selection, we use a board from ASUS — according to the previous material, we remember that it was deprived of the opportunity to increase the multiplier, and we had to be content with increasing the reference frequency. After installing the latest firmware (UEFI 6401), it becomes possible to change the multiplier above the limits set by the manufacturer, while the number of PCI Express lanes remains unchanged and equals four.
Let’s move on to overclocking. Now Athlon overclocking differs from Ryzen only in the impossibility to increase the RAM frequency above 2667 MHz by changing the multiplier, otherwise everything is completely identical to the rest of Raven Ridge, the overclocking nuances of which can be found in the corresponding material.
According to the selection results, the CPU marked AN 1804SUS became the best — it turned out to be able to successfully pass the LinX 0.7.0 test at a frequency of 3.95 GHz at a voltage of 1.45 V. The processor produced later was able to master only 3.85 GHz at 1.45 V , and it was not possible to take at least 3.9 GHz even after increasing the voltage to 1.5 V. The memory worked at the manufacturer’s 2667 MHz with delays of the form 10-11-11-10-24 1T and a voltage of 1.45 V.
Since the ROG Crosshair IV Hero does not have a video connector, the MSI B450 Tomahawk motherboard was used for comparative testing, which, with the latest microcode version, also has everything you need to overclock budget AMD solutions, moreover, it allows you to use an additional four PCI-E lanes, unlike from an ASUS product.
Partly, AMD’s response to the unlocking initiative, primarily by component manufacturers, is confirmed, as different manufacturers have activated hidden features in different ways.
The test stand for overclocking Athlon 200GE looked like this:
- processor: AMD Athlon 200GE;
- cooling: LSS circuit EK-Supremacy EVO — Full Copper, Laing DDC + Top Phobya Nickel Edition, EK-CoolStream RAD XTC (420);
- motherboard #1: ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero (AMD X370; UEFI 6401, AGESA: PinnaclePI-AM4 22.214.171.124);
- motherboard #2: MSI B450 Tomahawk (AMD B450; UEFI 7C02v13, AGESA: PinnaclePI-AM4 126.96.36.199);
- memory: G.Skill TridentZ F4-4266C19D-16GTZR (2×8 GB, 4266 MHz, 19-19-19-39 2T, 1.4 V).
- graphics card: XFX RX 570 4GB OC+ (Radeon RX 570);
- storage: Crucial CT250MX500SSD1 (250GB, SATA 6Gb/s, AHCI mode);
- power supply: Raidmax Cobra RX-850AE-B (850 W);
- operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64 (10.0.16299.371);
- драйверы: AMD APP SDK 3.0, AMD Chipset Drivers 18.10.1018, PhysX 9.17.0524, Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.10.1, Intel Graphics — Windows 10 DCH Drivers 188.8.131.5244.
Applications have not changed from previous material involving a junior representative of the Zen architecture, with the exception of online projects, which cannot be avoided.
The increase in the frequency of computing cores and the decrease in RAM timings affected the performance of the memory subsystem, allowing it to get closer in reading and copying to the results of the Ryzen 3 2200G. The latency has noticeably decreased, but it is still far from the main competitor.
The classic performance test favorably accepted the increase in frequency, allowing the overclocked Athlon to overtake its older relative in terms of architecture and come close to the Pentium. The increase in performance was proportional to the increase in frequency.
Overclocking allows a beginner to break out of an outsider and become a leader among dual-core and dual-module solutions, there is no talk of competition with Ryzen 3 and Core i5.
If you have a desire to build a 3D scene in one thread, then Athlon 200GE with a frequency of 3.95 GHz is a good choice, in this discipline it outperformed all opponents. When using all available threads, the accelerated baby also does not give up, yielding a little more than ten percent to the stock Core i5-3570 and significantly outperforming the Pentium G4560.
The situation is similar in the POV-Ray ray tracing program. In one thread, the younger APU is more productive than all the processors that took part in the test, in four threads it is the best of the worst.
In encryption, the improvement in memory latency and the increase in the frequency of the cores made it possible to symbolically bypass the A8-7670K. Kaby Lake behind, quad cores ahead.
Encoding video streams with the H.265 codec is noticeably faster on an accelerated processor; for Full HD, the increase in frame rate was 25%. The Pentium G4560 running at stock frequencies is noticeably weaker.
Additional megahertz did not allow the newcomer AMD to give out the minimum acceptable 24 fps when decoding high-definition video with a bitrate of 25 Mbps. Only Ryzen 3 and Core i5 can do it.
Here is the first victory, the increase in power and optimization of memory delays brings the newcomer to the lead, the core frequency turned out to be a priority for the browser test.
The overall performance assessment of the PCMark 10 test package brings the «steroidal» Athlon 200GE closer to rivals with a large number of full-fledged cores. In the Essentials and Productivity tests, it is almost as good as Ryzen and Core, which cannot be said about Digital Content Creation. Still, for photo processing, rendering and video editing, multi-core solutions are preferable, and the more cores, the better.