Robert Kihlberg over at Nordic Hardware has take a good, hard and rather early look at the ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe motherboard, which is based on Intel's unreleased P45 Express chipset.
It is designed to replace the now aging P35 chipset being based on a newer 60nm process rather than the 90nm of the P35. ASUS has packed a lot onto this board with yet another fancy cooling setup. Robert compared the P45 board against an ASUS X48 and P35.
495MHz FSB was no real problem, but 500 turned out to be more of a challenge. To reach it was no problem, but to run the system stable at this frequency took a whole lot of time. Finally, we managed to find the optimal voltages to run Folding@Home over a longer course of time. As we speak, we're past the 24 hour stability limit, which usually means that the system is stable to run for a lot longer if needed to. "This test was conducted with only air cooling on the CPU and the stock cooler on the northbridge. No extreme voltages were used either.
As mentioned above, it's hard to get all of the reference voltages just right, when you're overclocking a quad-core processor. In the same way, it's a challenge for the motherboard manufacturers to design the bus between the memory and northbridge, which includes the communication between different processes working at different voltages. At high frequencies and with relatively long physical distances between the actual memory modules and the northbridge it's important to match the impedances between all lanes. This problem is partly something the people doing the layout and partly something the people tuning the northbridge has to deal with. ASUS has been working hard on optimizing both of these things and now have a feature called Memory OC Charger in the BIOS, which is suppose to optimize the settings depending on the memory frequency. This is something we will investigate further in coming articles.
Head on and check it out in more detail over here. It's written in English.
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