I have a feeling that ASUS does not know how to make a product with no overclocking controls. Even in something that is clearly for the mid-range user we find the usual AI Tweaker page. Although the typical CPU LevelUP is missing we still get a pretty good deal of overclocking options handed to us on the P7H55D-M.
Inside the AI Tweaker page is the DRAM Timing Control page. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
The Advanced page contains the CPU configuration page. On this page are options for C-States, SpeedStep, Hyper Threading, and much more.
Also on the Advanced page is the Uncore Configuration. On this page you find all the adjustments for the HD GMA found on the Clarkdale CPU.
One thing that we want to mention again here (as it is very important to HTPC owners) are the Q-Fan controls. These things are great for someone looking to control all of the fans that can plug into the P7H55D-M EVO. The manual controls are exceptional. Although it was not part of the scope of this review we tinkered around with them at stock speeds and were very impressed.
Ok, it's an ASUS board. It overclocked like a dream. We started off high as we knew our Core i5 661 was capable of hitting at least 4.4GHz. So we began our overclocking journey at 176MHz BCLK and a 25 multiplier. This gave us a clock of 4.415GHz which is not bad at all. Getting over this speed was a little bit of an issue though. We found that pushing past this meant we had to bump the voltage over 1.35V at this voltage the GPU began to have serious stability issues. We saw artifacts on the desktop and even watched the display driver crash several times. This means that the motherboard is capable of much more, just that the CPU is not when you are using the IGP.
You can see the validation for the P7H55D-M EVO here.
The TurboV implementation on the P7H55D-M EVO is different from what you would normally expect. The Auto Tune and even the easy OC controls are absent. You only have the manual controls here.
You also have a GPU boost mode that lets you kick up the speed of the HD GMA. Although I have to be honest; I have no idea why you would want it. It is not going to get you much performance.
Another departure from the typical TurboV is that the Turbo Key functions have been broken out into a separate application. This is a little odd but nothing that would prevent you from using the software just like you would with the normal TurboV.
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.