Notes on 1100T 3.3/3.7 turbo AMD Phenom x6 on Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 w/8 Gb 1600 MHz DDR3 – S. Hanifl 28/11/11 Evening edited 26/12/11.
The processor has six cores and not many apps are written to take advantage of the threads, however when multitasking such as video+ games+music+background repair the machine functions without a hiccup except with heavy HDD use. The 3.3 GHz with turbo ensures that the single threaded games operate well and I think you would need an SSD to truly capitalize on resources on the processor. The system is now GPU bound on World of Warcraft (4870 Radeon HD) which is truly remarkable given the low cost of the cpu.
The processor does not have a sufficient heat sink for the processor. I highly recommend buying a separate high end air or water cooler for it. When Rift is running the processor approaches 65 degrees, despite the processor being very tightly seated. The heatsink was difficult to install and I doubt the processor and motherboard can take much more strain… Time will tell.
In combination with a Gigabyte 990FX motherboard and Radeon HD 4870 Dark Knight the performance is flawless. The motherboard has trouble on it’s high power usb connections when plugging into a powered usb 2.0 hub. I recommend for a newer system to purchase usb 3.0 hubs and replace your current 2.0 hubs, since you will see an overall increase anyway on the 2.0 connections. This was and old hub so mileage may vary.
Until multithreaded apps become commonplace most programs are compiled for a single thread, the major benefit of buying the 1100T is the high frequency it has per core with the short term turbo boost it provides. You still need to give a process a High priority when it competes with windows for time. I recommend a dynamic process thread priority program for best results. If you are running multiple very intensive tasks there are load balancing programs for process priority that help quite a bit.
The 1100T is a good upgrade and seems to fulfill average high end user needs. Go for a bulldozer 6 or 8 core if you want to overclock extensively, this processor seems to be close to its thermal limit already @ 3.3 Ghz with the stock cooler.
The stock cooler is quite large and hefty but is problematic to attach to the board. AMD needs to slightly rework their heat sinks with slightly more clearance since I worried that I would break tyre motherboard or processor when installing it.
The AM3 socket has seen it’s time. If you want to buy a machine with good future socket support I think an A8 processor would be a better idea. Then again the 1100T can be swapped out for a Bulldozer 6 or 8 core, so there is an upgrade path already available. I expect amd to discontinue this socket since the same pin arrangement since their first dual core athlon 64.
The motherboard is non UEFI however does have a 990fx chipset and boosted power on some USB connections. I will conduct a test on the charge times of my Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab android devices to see if the charge time is close to a wall socket adapter. I know an older mp4 player I had managed to charge itself in twice the time it would have taken on a standard usb port. One other note, the IO shim did not install very well, I think that was my fault but from what I can see I think my box came missing the EMI shim. Gigabyte is attempting to become a top of the line provider like ASUS and so far seems to be getting close to their goal. The motherboard box was bare compared to an ASUS board but I had enough parts with everything I purchased to build the system properly nonetheless. Before buying this board make sure you have researched your parts list well, I did not but was fortunate. The manual is actually useful for a change. You have to manually gang your memory, just load the defaults and then change the setting to ganged in manual without changing any other settings to enable this setting.