BIOS and Overclocking
Now we get onto the overclocking features of the motherboards. First off we will look at the DFI motherboard. This time we aren't doing any images of the BIOS to streamline this review as much as possible.
- DFI Overclocking
DFI uses the same setup as we saw in our nForce 5 review; Genie BIOS is the location for the overclocking features.
CPU ratio can be controlled on unlocked processors and Core 2 Extreme. FSB options range from 133MHz up to 533MHz in 1MHz increments. CPU voltage ranges from default to +787.5mV in 12.5mV steps.
DRAM voltage also has a good rage from 1.8V to a max of 2.65V in 0.05v increments. CPU VTT or the voltage for the FSB can be adjusted from 1.2V to 1.35v in 0.05V increments. Lastly Northbridge voltage can be adjusted from 1.6v to 1.7v in 0.05v increments.
Using one of the latest BIOSes directly from the engineers at DFI, we managed to get 378MHz FSB with DRAM 1:1, CPU at +100mV, DRAM at 2.2V, VTT at 1.3v and chipset voltage at 1.65V - a very impressive result for the Intel 975X chipset which is known to not overclock as far as P965.
- MSI Overclocking
Now we move onto the MSI motherboard where you will find the entire clock options under the Core Cell Menu again.
MSI's board doesn't have as many overclocking options as the DFI board. First off CPU ratio can be adjusted but only shows up if you have an unlocked CPU like a Pentium Extreme or a Core 2 Extreme. CPU FSB goes from 100MHz up to 550MHz in 1MHz increments and CPU voltage goes from 1.2v up to 1.5V in 0.025v increments.
DRAM voltage goes from 1.8v to 2.35v in 0.05v increments. Lastly is PCI Express voltage which goes from 1.5v to 1.8v in 0.05V increments.
With the latest BIOS on the MSI website, we managed 362MHz FSB stable with DRAM 1:1, DRAM voltage at 2.3v, CPU voltage at 1.4v and PCI Express voltage at 1.6V. In all we had to raise the CPU voltage and RAM voltage higher than DFI and still the results weren't as impressive as the DFI motherboard.
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