The BIOS we find on the P55DE3 is the now familiar AMI bios. It has the same features for tweaking your system that we have come to enjoy on other ASRock boards like the X58 Extreme and the P55 Deluxe.
Two of the easiest features for newcomers to use are the CPU and Memory EZ OC Settings. These can automatically bump up your CPU or memory to the desired speed and also adjust all of the proper voltages to attain that speed. Of course, it is not a guarantee, but it is nice not to need to tinker with everything if you are in a hurry to get going.
One item that I personally found interesting was the list of optimized BIOS settings you could load. They had quite a few that we aimed at HDD performance.
Overclocking the P55DE3 was a snap; I went into the BIOS, set the EZ OC setting for the CPU to 4.2GHz and pushed upwards from there. Once I had the base values set in the BIOS it was very simple to tweak them to the right spot. I was able to boot into Windows at just over 4.4GHz (211x21), but nothing, not even CPU-Z was stable.
Stepping backwards on the BCLK got me to 206x21 for a final stable clock of 4.327GHz. This is excellent and manages just a little past my previous best clock on this Core i5 750 by about 20MHz.
You can see the validation here.
Windows Overclocking Tools
Of course, ASRock has also included some decent Windows based tools for overclocking. Although they are not the worst looking ones we have seen, they are still pretty tacky.
Although they might not look too great, they do offer fun.
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. 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. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.