We couldn't test the latest in computer hardware without venturing into the BIOS for a little Front Side Bus (FSB) action. It's worth taking note that this is a work station computer designed for graphic designers and a server solution. The kind of people purchasing this equipment won't be big overclockers but are more interested in a system that is completely rock solid.
While testing we had no problem with stability, so in a way it was a bit boring at times. We thought if we could get it to crash at least once we would feel some form of accomplishment. When raising the FSB to 215MHz on the 242 1.6 GHz Opteron, we instantly achieved a slight overclock. Getting into Windows was no problem and running around the desktop seemed just fine. Moving back into the BIOS we pushed the FSB up to 225MHz and to our surprise the system booted no problem - unfortunately we were greeted with a "Windows Corrupt Message" and we thanked our lucky stars we transferred the results over to the other computer before-hand.
Thankfully, the testing had been done and it was a sign to call it a day. Without the ability to adjust any voltage, we were surprised that we were able to boot at 225MHz, we did get a chance to jump into Sandra at 215 and found that the memory score was actually slower even though the memory was running at over 170MHz. While we cannot be definite, the conclusion floating around the room was that the ECC memory had to work harder as the memory was possibly creating more errors, since it was working harder, the overall memory speed was slower.
Overall, as far as tweaking went, there wasn't a lot we could do within the BIOS as it's not aimed at enthusiasts. We didn't have the chance to adjust voltage and for this reason we felt the higher overclock was attributed to corrupting our OS install. The motherboard we tested was a retail motherboard, from this we can assume the overclocking features will be limited and a maximum of 233MHz FSB will only be able to be achieved, although it may be quite difficult since you cannot adjust VCORE.
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