Upgrade: AMD FX-9590 & ASUS Sabertooth FX990 R2.0


It has been 6 years since I upgraded my pc. My previous setup was an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 which in all honesty has served me well throughout the years. The truth is that I am bit of a computer geek, I would upgrade my PC every 6 months, actually I was a FPS freak. I refused to own a PC that would drop below 60fps in my favorite games. Then Crysis came out and I gave up ;).

A week ago I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my PC to cope with the latest games:

CPU: AMD FX-9590
Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth FX990 R2.0
Ram: Kingston HyperX 16GB(2x8GB) 1600 DDR (KHX16C9T3K2/16X)

The icing on the top was an Intel SSD drive (300GB S3500)

AMD FX-9590

First impression is that it was blinding fast for Windows + apps. Probably down to the SSD in all honesty. The AMD FX-9590 is definitely a beast in terms of raw horse power. Bang for buck I can’t fault it. Performance, very satisfied… The bottleneck is now my graphics card (ATI Radeon 6870) that I will probably upgrade within a year or so.

However… I have had some trouble with this setup. The problem lies with the processor load temperatures. I am using an air cooler (Noctua NH-U14S): This is a beast of an air cooler, at the time of purchase it was the best performing tower cooler.

Noctua NH-U14S


I get around 42c idle & 72c load (bear in mind this is summer time in the UK, ambient temperature is around 24c).


The Problem

Watching movies, general ‘application’ usage I had no issues. When it came to gaming, my pc would completely freeze. No BSOD or restarts, just a frozen screen with no mouse cursor or keyboard feedback. A hard reset would remedy the problem.

After hours of scouring the internet for problems and solutions, tinkering with BIOS settings and so forth, the fix was to reduce the CPU frequency from the stock 4.7GHz to a mere 4GHz. I have put it down to overheating & excessive power consumption. That is a short term fix since AMD recommend sufficient cooling. I do not think an air cooler will suffice (ps I have adequate air flow in my case – one cold air intake in the front, 2 fans blowing hot air out from the top and side – cables are neat and do not hinder air flow).

A long term fix will involve a open loop water cooling solution and some fans over the motherboard chip-set heatsinks. That itself is another project!

The Good Bit

Okay so I am a website developer, I have my own VPS server along with what work offer in the likes of Linode and Digital Ocean (SSD based VPS). I also have my own 1U rack mount server that I used for local debugging at home when I have no Internet.

My new desktop BLOWS THEM AWAY. For instance, large Magento database restores from MYSQL dumps are noticeably quicker. Loading a Magento Page without any kind of caching enabled is probably at least 5 times faster than my developer boxes and faster than work’s live production server (Granted it’s a single user on a single machine but still I was pretty impressed).

I think this will definitely increase my productivity instead of waiting around for the likes of xdebug to kick in… We all know how slow that can be with Magento 😉


  • Hi, I’m a sabertooth fan for years now, I just upgraded my old sabertooth intel 1366 which never had a serious issue for years since I built it, I had a intel quad core 3.07hz processor which I overclock it to 3.73 hz with out problem, unfortunately I have to put it to sleep after lately it started acting up and miss diagnosing the problem (It was my PSU that failed). Anyway, with my new setup I go with AMDt his time with the Sabertooth fx990 R2.0 with AMD 9590 processor, 2 NVIDIA 760 GPU in SLI, also 2 Kingston 250gb SSD hard drive in RAID 0 for OS, and 2 westrn Dig 1TB in RAID 0 for files, 850 watt Corsair PSU and to insure everything run cool, I use Corsair Hydro 1000i water cooled.
    With stock setup CPU temp is ranging approx 35*C when playing heavy game (Call of Duty Advance Warfare), When I overclock the CPU to 5.5hz max temp 45*C. not too bad.

    My friend is you want speed,stability and reliability invest with water-cooling system.

    Energy cannot be created or destroyed, Just changes from one form to another, Speed requires a lot of electrical energy that is only converted to heat energy that needs to be removed.

    • Hello Laurence,

      Firstly my sincere apologies for the very late reply – my blog was swamped with spam comments.

      Yes you are right @ water cooling is definitely required for stability with overclocking with CPUs that run quite hot in general. Interestingly I have been running air @ stock for a while. My PC settled about 1 month after this post. It’s insane how much of a difference water cooling made to your CPU vs my air cooled cpu! Good job!

      Are you using the same rig now? I am.. It’s been 2 1/2 years and this badass 9590 hasn’t bottlenecked once. I did buy myself 2 Nvidia GTX 970’s though so that has helped the life of my pc. I figured I’ll upgrade once I can see the CPU starts to bottleneck the system.. Right now my GTX 970’s are just coping with new games – but replacing them will be the first thing I do once I notice them struggling hard to play games properly.

      I have a similar raid setup – although my main hdd is still a single SSD, but I added two raid configurations

      Raid config 1 = Raid 0 (two drives) for my games (600GB)
      Raid config 2 = Raid 1 (4 drives) for my files (600GB)

      I think I need to increase the disk space for games!

  • Nearly two years on and I’m running the same CPU/Motherboard. I have made an exception of upgrading my graphics cards to 2x Nvidia GTX 970 (in SLI). I game in 1440p and bottleneck is the GPU power.

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