AMD Overdrive 3.0 - Black Edition Memory Profiles (BEMP)
Black Edition Memory Profiles are a new feature to
AMD Overdrive. It's AMD's way of getting the most out of high-performance DDR3
memory paired with, you guessed it, a Black Edition processor. Working in
partnership with popular memory manufacturers, AMD has created an online
database with presets for the fastest memory timings for high frequency
memory modules. BEMP is exclusive to socket AM3 motherboards and the new Phenom
II 955 BE's improved memory controller.
BEMP works through AMD's Overdrive software.
Supported AM3 motherboards can detect compatible memory and connect to the internet
to download an XML profile with the appropriate memory timings - this
means profiles can be rapidly updated, revised and included.
Overdrive 3.0 software can tune the memory timings on the fly, as well as
automatically boost the CPU northbridge frequency and voltage.
The entire system is similar to Intel's XMP, but could potentially
be more versatile since it does not rely on the embedded SPD profile of the
AMD's BEMP remove a lot of the
guesswork of selecting balanced memory speeds and timings,
resulting in a one-click solution that simply boosts performance. Of
course, PCSTATS had to test this feature to see if AMD's claims about BEMP
translated into real-world performance gains.
Taking the Phenom II
X4 955 Black Edition CPU and socket AM3
Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard, a 4GB kit of Corsair CM3X2G1600C9DHX memory was
installed (one of the memory parts supported by AMD at BEMP's launch).
The system was booted into Windows Vista,
AMD Overdrive loaded up and the BEMP profile loaded. The PC restarted to lock in
the new memory settings, and was then run through WinRar, Cinebench and
PCMark Vantage's memory tests. BEMP was used to optimize memory settings,
and we also compared similar memory speeds as
configured in the BIOS by memory SPD settings, and with latencies
manually configured to find out if PCSTATS could exceed the BEMP scores.
setting, as downloaded from AMD for Corsair DDR3-1600 CAS9
Pre-set 'performance' settings are often very
conservative, or not performance-tuned enough. It was important for us to find
out if AMD's BEMP is A) actually useful and B) a time saver that offers up
a better end result.
|Memory Timings Performance Test vs. AMD
||BIOS / SPD
& CAS Latencies:
Memory Bandwidth Int: (GB/s)
Memory Bandwidth Float: (GB/s)
Memory Latency (Random): (ns)
Memory Latency (Linear): (ns)
Fighting with the BIOS over memory timings is not
fun... while it's possible to manually tune CAS values up to the levels that
BEMP selects, it took a while for us to get the PC stable and to the point
where performance exceeded the built-in memory profiles. While overall neither
approach resulted in huge gains, they are free gains, and very easy to unlock.
Free extra performance is becoming something
of a theme for the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition and the Dragon Platform as a
whole. BEMP makes it easy to get memory working at its rated speeds, and does a
better job than relying on the motherboard to auto-detect SPD settings which are
indeed conservative and don't push things very far.
The biggest snag so far for BEMP is the limited
amount of memory profiles currently available. AMD has told us it
is adding more support for other DDR3 kits and working with manufacturers
to introduce updated BIOS' for AMD 790FX chipset motherboards. At the time of
this writing there will likely be a lot of people who have DDR3 memory or
motherboards that aren't supported by BEMP, and they'll need to tweak memory
values the old fashioned way.
Contents of Article: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review
AMD Overdrive 3.0 and Dragon Platform
— AMD Overdrive 3.0 - Black Edition Memory Profiles (BEMP)
Overclocking an Unlocked 45nm Phenom II X4
Power Consumption Tests, Test System Specs
System Benchmarks: SYSMark 2007, PCMark Vantage
Synthetic Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra
Calculation Benchmarks: Super Pi, wPrime2.0, ScienceMark2, WinRAR
Rendering Benchmarks: Cinebench R10, Bibble 5
Rendering Benchmarks: POV-Ray, 3.7, SPECviewPerf 10
Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis, FEAR
A Timely Refresh?
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