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Socket 939 Motherboards - MSI and nVidia vs. ABIT and VIA - MSI Overclocking

Mike has served us up some AMD related content today where he compares two Socket 939 Athlon 64 motherboards. The first is the MSI K8N Neo 2 Platinum which is based on nVidia's nForce3 Ultra chipset and the second is the ABIT AV8 3rd Eye which is based on VIA's K8T800 Pro chipset. We tested with an Athlon 64 FX-53 along with a whole bunch of benchmarks over a whooping 24 pages.

By: | Socket 939 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 10, 2004 4:00 am




A new fad in overclocking lately seems to be what is called "Overclocking On The Fly". While this has been tried in the past with different boards, it has just recently become a successful endeavor. Above is a screenshot of the CoreCenter utility panel that comes with this board. In short, it allows you to make adjustments to key BIOS values while using the system under Windows.


From within the utility you can adjust voltage levels and FSB speeds. You can also monitor the fan speeds of attached fans and keep an eye on temperatures as provided by the onboard probes. If you happen to crank things up a little too much (yeah, I did it), the system will just lock down. A simple reboot and your original speed settings will be brought back to life as the utility will forget the settings you tried that did not work out. If you come across settings you like, you can save them through the utility, but I will always prefer making the hard settings within BIOS for this stage of the operation.


As far as success in overclocking goes, I was able to maintain a stable system with no problems with the FSB set to 220MHz. And yes I realize that FSB is a term that is being phased out of modern overclocking, but the concept of its use is still a valid manner to increase the overall speed of the processor. To make sure I didn't run into the top capacity of the processor, I reduced the multiplier from a value of 12 to a value of 10.


While many will say this is a meager speed increase, you should keep in mind that the processor used for testing is an Athlon 64 FX-53, which happens to be one of the world's worst overclocking processors. When we begin receiving more processors in for testing that utilize the Socket 939 design, we'll take another look at overall overclockability.




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