Friday, January 9, 2015

Lenovo Z50-75 review Part 1 Physical Tour

The Z50-75 weighs just 2.2KG. The screen is a 1920x1080p glossy TN panel with really really bad color depth and reproduction. Simple put the blue channel is massively exaggerated on this screen this results in things that should be a pale green/yellow ending up light blue. The screen is connected to the body with 2 thin but extremely stiff hinges. The battery is a small 4 cell 2650mAh. The left hand IO is composed of 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI out, 1 RJ45 port and a VGA port. The right hand IO is 1 USB 2.0, full size SD card slot, 4 pole 3.5mm jack and an optical drive. The CPU is a FX 7500 that runs 2.1Ghz stock and 2.8Ghz Turbo. The integrated GPU has 384 shaders and shares the CPU dual DDR3 dual channel memory connection so it does benefit from having 2 sticks of RAM. The dedicated GPU is an R7 M260 with 384 shaders cores and a 64bit bus hooked up to 2GB of 900mhz DDR3 VRAM.

The keyboard is mostly OK being a scissor switch based design. The only real problem is the mess that Lenovo made of the right hand side of the keyboard.
I'm OK with the shape of the enter key since my last laptop had the same. However the decision to cram the backslash between the quotation mark and enter key has made it really difficult for me to hit either of them since I'm not used to the position.

 The bottom of the laptop is covered in holes for ventilation. The holes in the top right of this photo feed the single blower fan that cools the GPU and CPU. The bottom cover is attached with just 3 Philips screws.

Here's what you'll see when you open up the bottom. From here you can remove the optical drive
Swap out the HDD change the WiFi card(however Lenovo has a BIOS block on some WiFi cards) and swap out the RAM. My one came with 1 4GB stick because I bought the cheapest variation of the Z50-75 I could find.

This wouldn't be AHOC if I didn't look at cooling.
The cooler is composed of 1 blower fan 1 flattened heatpipe an aluminum fin array 2 copper contact plates for the GPU and CPU and an aluminum contact plate for the GPUs VRAM. It keeps the CPU and GPU bellow 80C when gaming or doing CPU intensive tasks as long as the intake holes for the fan aren't blocked up. It operates between 35 and 47C° with light usage(interner+music+dogecoin wallet) on batter power.
The default harddrive that the Z50-75 ships with is a 1TB Seagate SSHD that has 8GB of SSD cache. It has a rated power draw of 2.75W and is located directly below the right hand wrist rest and runs warmer than the top right corner of the keyboard where the heatsink is when idle and under load.
The Laptop has stereo sound provided by 2 of these
speakers. They are tiny and bassless but can get very very loud. The 4 pole 3.5mm out sounds pretty good and can get painfully loud with my Steelseries Siberia V3s.

I decided that publishing 1 massive laptop review was pointless. This is the objective part of my review once I get to performance and usage Lenovo will not be happy.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

AMD RAM Timing Guide

The usual DDR3 voltages for 24/7 are anything up to 1.725V actual(checked with DMM). For benching I wouldn't go above 1.85V on air cooling but if but if the sticks scale well with voltage 1.9V is still reasonable depending on what sticks you have.
With AMD chips the north bridge plays an important role in just how high clocks you can run so once going above DDR3 2400 you will need to raise the voltage. For 24/7 on 32nm and 28nm CPUs stay below 1.35V and for benching stay bellow 1.4V.

Primary Timings
The primaries behave like primaries on intel and depend entirely on your kit of RAM. You can run lower ones with more voltage.
The only rule for the primaries is that CL+tRCD+tRP=tRAS ±3

Secondary Timings
The Secondary timings have a massive impact on how high you can clock your RAM. Higher numbers will usually yield higher clocks but going to far will make your system unbootable so do not just max all of them out lower timings will get you more performance for a set frequency.
A free timing is a timing that you can adjust independently from all the other timings without losing stability for any other reason than being too low.

Gigabyte ASUS MSI Asrock Dependancy
tWR WIP WIP WIP previous*2±2
tWL WIP WIP WIP previous-3
tFAW WIP WIP WIP previous*4
Command Rate WIP WIP WIP free

AMD only settings

Processor on die termination.
Settings: 240ohms 120ohms 80ohms 60ohms.
Lower on die termination allows running higher frequencies.

Drive Strengths:
Higher drive strengths allow higher clocks and lower timings. The DQS and DATA drive strengths top out at 1.25x for me regardless of what I do. I set all the other settings to the absolute maximum of either 2x or 1.5x.

I do not have any pictures because different motherboards have different timing table layouts so you'll just have to read them all anyway.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Razer Blackwidow Ultimate just died GJ Khail

So I was doing a little bit of Unigine Heaven benchmarking so I openend up the windows in my room and let the place cool down to 12C°. The benchmarking was really bad I think I broke something on my benching windows 7 install because I was scoring in the 2200pts range which is way bellow the 4000pts I got when I first did Unigine on my R9 290X. I also found that my R9 290X has VRAM overheating troubles(black screen in the middle of  a perfectly stable run when above 1575mhz) so I'll probably get a full cover water block for it and volt mod the VRM to get over 1.53V VRAM voltage. Either way at the end of this benching session I left the basement to let it warm up. When I cam back to start my computer up again my Razer Blackwidow stopped lighting up on boot and was recognized as 2 hubs instead of a keyboard and a hub. The control chip of the keyboard must've had one of it's connections fail due the cold.

So the Razerblack widow review is getting an update and this keyboard an RMA.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday bench day: 5.16Ghz FX 6350 Cinebench Rampage

This is the secondary computer I have at my grandma's house. Based around an FX 6350 8GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM and a ASUS Sabertooth 990FX motherboard. And since it finally started to snow a little I decided it was the ideal time to do some benching on low ambient temperatures.

So after a few hours of having both windows in my small tower(seriously it's a tower) room open the temperature reached around 8C° at the intake of my Phanteks heatsink.
Cinebench was the first benchmark I ever used and since it's the only benchmark I have installed on this computer that doesn't greatly benefit from a clean install of windows I did Cinebench 15 and Cinebench R11.5. In R15 I got 624points at  5.16Ghz. That's a nice 3rd place on the FX6350 leader board. 
I'll be honest I'm proud of my efficiency on this run because I was running on my Corsair Vengeance sh*t sticks.

I managed to get another 0.2 points in Cinebench R11.5 over my 5Ghz score. Unfortunately the cold got to me and I forgot to do a second run and so the score is ever so slightly lower than it could be.
I'll be doing another session soon on my 2333 9-11-10-32 G.skill Pis. Also it looks like this CPU could run 5.16Ghz all day everyday if I just had a good cooler because all these runs were done on just 1.6V with High LLC settings.
Here's a challenge to all my readers who have an FX 6350. The first to beat my score in either Cinebench R15 or R11.5 by the 27th of January 2015 and I'll give you 10,000 DOGE. !NO LN2 and leave a link to a pic of your system and your dogecoin address in the comments!

BTW I updated the support this blog page to include sources of free dogecoin. If every time someone goes on this blog they went to this site and set the dogecoin to this blog I could get or buy a fan to review every month and it just takes a few clicks.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Posts might be delayed to Monday

I found out I forgot to pack some stuff for my stay at my grandma's house for X-mas and new years so I'll have to go get it and so the testing I wanted to do tomorrow is getting delayed.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ASUS now has it's own external VRM!

This is the new external VRM from ASUS. It's built for up to 500A on 8 phases and a maximum voltage of 2.5V.
You can follow all updates about it in this thread.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The RAM and FAN test bench overview

 Built on an IKEA pine wood wine rack. For low weight.
 With WiFi for easy screenshot uploading and maximum portability.  (Mounted with zipties)
 Based on the Gigabyte F2A88X-D3H I reviewed ages ago.
(Also mounted with zipties)
 Insulated for use with LN2.

and with a crocodile clip for reading CPU core voltage directly

Running an Athlon II X4 750K cooled by a cooler master Seidon 120V closed loop cooler.
(The rad really is just sitting there)

With video provided by my modified R7 260X
(The cooler is mounted with zipties)
(If I get a bigger PSU and another CPU cooler I will replace it with the water cooled GTX 590)

 The RAM currently in this beast is the G.skill ECO 2x2GB 1333 7-7-7-21 1.35V kit I previewed some time ago.

 The HDD is a 350GB WD blue.
(Mounted with even more zipties)
The PSU is an EVGA 430W 80+ unit.
(Held in place by zipties)
This is built from scrap parts from other projects(GPU MB and CPU Cooler) and my friends old PC(wifi and HDD). The reason why I built this is that my 3960X is never ever going to boot with RAM above 2500mhz so I can't use it for RAM reviews. This 750K already managed to boot 2520mhz on these G.skill sticks so it can do a better job with RAM than my main system. Ideally this would be a Z97 system but good Z97 boards cost about 1.5-3X what this board cost and an i5 4690K is about 3X the price of the 750K. Yes I know there is the Pentium G3258 but IMO pairing a 3000czk MB with a 1700czk CPU is stupid. Plus AMD CPUs are funner to OC.
The idea for using the wine rack from IKEA is that. It can hold as much stuff as a full tower, cost only 199czk(10$) and weighs less than any other case you can buy.
I used the cooler master Seidon for cooling because it allows me to easily swap fans for fan reviews.
If I had to change any things I would get a better PSU(750W Seasonic/EVGA) and a better MB(Crossblade Ranger).