While in the weeks since the launch of the AMD FX "Bulldozer" processors we have looked at many areas of computing performance for the FX-8150 CPU, from the compiler tuning to multi-core scaling, one area that hasn't yet been covered under Linux is the AMD FX-8150 overclocking. But this article changes that.
Bulldozer overclocking has not yet been covered on Phoronix, since things do not change much compared to all of the Windows results you can find on the Internet with the excellent overclocking abilities of the FX-8150 and others. The only difference is that you do not have the AMD overclocking/tuning Windows applications available on Linux nor any of the other motherboard-specific utilities for monitoring and overclocking the hardware from within the operating system. If you are a Linux user, you are just left to traditional overclocking from the UEFI BIOS.
However, there are some monitoring abilities. If using a recent enough Linux kernel, there is CPU thermal monitoring support from the AMD hwmon driver. Some motherboards also have the LM_Sensors support for monitoring the system temperature and other integrated sensors.
The Bulldozer CPUs can also internally estimate their power consumption, with there already being the mainline "fam15h_power" Linux kernel driver to tap these registers for reading. However, as I have mentioned in other articles, the readings are usually inaccurate and just show 125W constantly (the rated TDP for the AMD FX-8150). Nevertheless, in terms of any clock speed manipulation or other performance tuning, these enthusiast-oriented features are still not available to Linux desktop users.