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DFI LANPARTY "B" Canterwood and Springdale - Head to Head - Overclocking

By: Steve Dougherty | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Dec 3, 2003 5:00 am

Overclocking Abilities


All of DFI's LANPARTY motherboards have a menu within the Award BIOS named "Genie BIOS". This is where all the common overclocking features can be found. Both of these motherboards are identical in terms of the overclocking options available to you.


They allow for CPU/DRAM overclocking in 1MHz increments ranging from 100MHz through to 400MHz. The AGP/PCI/SATA clock can also be locked at various frequencies. In terms of voltage ranges, the CPU voltage can be adjusted from 1.55v through to 1.975v, although any voltage over 1.8v would require excellent cooling such as a peltier or water. The memory voltage ranges from 2.6v to 2.9v. It would have been nice to see a 3.2v limit but that's a bit high for most people's liking anyway. The AGP voltage can be adjusted from 1.5v to 1.8v, although this is fairly useless nowadays with the inclusion of AGP locking abilities.


We used an Intel Pentium 4 800MHz FSB 2.4GHz CPU paired up with a very nice set of Mushkin PC4000 modules (operating in Dual Channel mode) to find out the ceiling of both motherboards. Unfortunately, the maximum stable FSB we were able to reach with the 865PE was quite a dismal 225MHz but we must take into account the room temperature of which was around 33c at the time (which would have no doubt hindered performance somewhat).


Enabling the "Super Patch" PAT-like function resulted in even further decrease of stability such as random lockups and blue screens. However, we were able to keep it stable whilst enabled at an FSB of 220MHz. We have already ruled out other hardware coming into play with the limitation of our overclock, and are certain it's the motherboard at "fault". The only other thing that comes to mind is the motherboard doesn't like the Mushkin memory, although I would tend to doubt this is the case as the memory is rated for 250MHz. In addition to that, the timings were completely relaxed at 2.5-8-3-3 and to help things along we pushed 2.8v through the sticks.


As for the overclocking potential of the Canterwood Pro875B, it was almost no better with a maximum stable rate of 225MHz. Once again though, the room temperature was pushing 33c at the time so it certainly wouldn't have helped us here.


All components used for these tests are proven to operate at much higher FSB's on other platforms; I sadly feel the motherboards themselves are just not capable of producing the kind of results a lot of overclockers would be hoping for.


Although the results of our overclocks were considerably poor on both motherboards, we've still decided to use them in a few of our benchmarking tests of which you will see shortly. This is just so you can get an idea of the performance increase one can still expect within a slightly overclocked environment.


Finally it's time to see just how well Springdale is performing these days in comparison to the Canterwood chipset, at least as far as DFI goes.


On to the benchmarks we go!


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