ASUS BIOS and Overclocking
Now we get into the Overclocking and BIOS sections, first up is ASUS.
The ASUS BIOS is the Award BIOS that has been used for nearly 2 years now, ever since the P3B-F motherboard came into service. This BIOS has been the benchmark for ASUS - it is simple to use and navigate with good options.
To get the Overclocking setup you need to navigate to the Advanced Tab at the top and open the Jumperfree sub menu. Once there to access any of the Overclocking options you need to set the AI Tuning option to Manual.
Now you get to see all the Overclocking features in their glory, we won't go into explaining all the features but we will give you the goodies. First off is the FSB which can be adjusted from your CPU default MHz Rate (266MHz for our Core 2 Extreme) up to a maximum of 500MHz in 1MHz increments.
PCI Express frequency can be adjusted from 90MHz up to 150MHz in 1MHz increments. It is best to leave the PCI Express frequency at 100MHz at this also runs the SATA clock and you don't want to toast your RAID array with all your important data.
CPU voltage ranges from 1.1v to 1.7v in 0.025v increments. DRAM voltage from 1.8v to 2.45 in 0.05v increments. FSB voltages from 1.2v to 1.45v in 0.05v increments, Northbridge voltage from 1.25v to 1.55v in 0.05v increments. PCIE-SATA voltage from 1.5v to 1.8v in 0.1v increments and lastly southbridge voltage at either 1.015 or 1.215v.
With all these setting we managed to hit an FSB of 443MHz (443 x 7 = 3101MHz) with DRAM at 1:1, CPU voltage at 1.385v, DRAM at 2.0v, FSB voltage 1.4v, and the rest of the voltages at stock. It looks like the 8 phase CPU power system is starting to pay off.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we don't have enough time to tweak the motherboard to the maximum and find the highest possible FSB as this could take days to properly find.
We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released or "burn in" time might come into play if you believe in that.