BIOS and Overclocking
ASUS hasn't changed the design of their BIOS in nearly four years now. Since the introduction of the P3B series of boards that supported the now archaic Slot 1 architecture, the grey background BIOS has been ASUS's signature, while other boards do use it, no one has keep it longer than ASUS.
Normally ASUS places the overclocking features under the Advanced Menu under Jumperfree section. This time is under the Extreme Tweaker main menu; all your overclocking wishes are located here.
The Extreme Tweaker menu holds a bunch of sub menus and a few settings. To overclock the system manually rather than rely on the ASUS A.I feature you need to set the A.I Tuning feature to "Manual". This then opens up access to the system clocks, FSB and memory config, overclocking and over voltage menus.
First on the list is the system clocks menu. Here you can adjust the PCI Express frequencies for all PCI Express x16 slots as well as the reference clock for the SPP to MCP connection. For best stability when overclocking, leave these at their defaults.
Next on the list is the FSB and Memory config menu. This is where the action is. Being nVidia 680i based, you can overclock the FSB and memory independent of each other or asynchronously, as it is known. To do this you need to set the FSB - Memory clock mode to "Unlinked", this then allows you to change the FSB and memory clock at different rates to each other, a truly overclocking friendly feature we which the rest of the chipset makers would follow. ATI has done it to some extent, but not quite like nVidia has.
Rather than the old "200MHz FSB", it is expressed as 800MHz QDR, ASUS allows from 533MHz (133MHz FSB) to 3000MHz (750MHz FSB) in 1MHz increments, a generous setting range indeed.
The memory is also expressed in terms of DDR speed so rather than 400MHz you get 800MHz - you can set from (200MHz) 400MHz DDR to a max of (1300MHz) 2600MHz DDR in 1MHz increments, giving you plenty of room to push your memory a long, long way.
Lastly we come to the over voltage menu, where all the voltage settings are available to you for your tweaking. ASUS has done a great job with this and gives a huge range of settings. Here we will give a list of the settings and their ranges to save some time and reading:
Vcore Voltage: 0.83125v to 1.9000v in 0.00625v increments
Memory Voltage: 1.8v to 3.245v in 0.025v increments
1.2v HT Voltage: 1.2v to 1.95v in 0.5v increments
NB Core Voltage: 1.2v to 2.75v in 0.5v increments
SB Core Voltage: 1.5v to 1.85vin 0.5v increments
CPU VTT Voltage: 1.2v to 1.55v in 0.5v increments
With all this we managed an FSB of 510MHz with memory clocked at 1008MHz DDR (unlinked), DDR-2 voltage at 2.45v, HT voltage running 1.5v, NB Core and SB Core both at 1.6v and the CPU VTT at 1.35v.
Overall it's a super impressive result from ASUS but just 1MHz shy of the DFI RD600 motherboard in the FSB department.
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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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications]
- Page 3 [In The Box]
- Page 4 [Motherboard]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Sandra]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - PCMark]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - WorldBench]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Adobe Premiere Elements]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - PREY]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]
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