BIOS and Overclocking
The ASUS BIOS setup hasn't changed in nearly two years. The layout of some of the features have moved, however the tab based Award setup is still used. It's similar to what Intel has used for its boards for about 5 or 6 years, even the early Intel boards used this setup, though not as refined, its still the same basis.
ASUS placed all of the overclocking features for their board under the advanced tab section and from there you can access the primary overclocking setups - the Jumperfree configuration and CPU Configuration sub menus.
Looking under the Jumperfree Configuration menu you first need to set the AI tuning to manual in order to access any of the overclocking settings. Once set you are then greeted with all the options you see before you. Here is a brief rundown of the settings:
CPU Frequency: 100 to 650MHz in 1MHz increments
DRAM Frequency: DDR2 533, 667, 800, 1066MHz
PCI Express Frequency: 90 to 150MHz in 1MHz increments
Memory Voltage: 1.8v to 2.45v in 0.05v increments
CPU VCore: 1.100v to 1.700v in 0.0125v increments
FSB Termination Voltage: 1.2v to 1.45v in 0.05v increments
NB VCore: 1.25v to 1.65v in 0.1v increments
SB VCore: 1.5v to 1.8v in 0.1v increments
One thing we will state that even though the board does have memory dividers for 1066MHz through some fancy work, we couldn't get the board to load Windows with these setting, no matter what voltages we used, however, if we overclocked the memory using the DDR-2 800MHz and pushed the FSB up, we managed to pass 1066MHz, it looks to be a quirk of the board and the dividers used.
Lastly we have a look at the CPU configuration menu. This is where you can change your CPU multiplier as well as disable the thermal monitoring functions if you want to prevent the CPU from throttling itself back due to excessive heat output.
We managed to hit an FSB of 468MHz, which we used the memory ratio at DDR2-533 or 1:1, RAM voltage at 2.2v, CPU voltage at standard, NB Core at 1.5v and the SB core at 1.5v. CPU multiplier was lowered to prevent the CPU being the bottleneck. In all it falls short of the 487MHz which we hit with the Gigabyte DQ6 but in all not that bad.
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.
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