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ASUS Z8NA-D6C (Intel 5500) Motherboard - BIOS and Overclocking

By: Sean Kalinich | Motherboards in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Aug 3, 2010 2:48 pm
TweakTown Rating: 84%Manufacturer: ASUS



The BIOS on the Z8NA-D6C is not like other BIOSes from ASUS (at least not the enthusiast BIOSes). It is meant for a server or workstation. These are systems that you want for stability more than clock speed. You are not going to find overclocking tools in here, but you are going to find the tools you need to get the Z8NA-D6C running at its best.




When you first enter the BIOS you are going to see the familiar AMI layout and a main page that looks like many other AMI based systems.




Even looking at the top portion of the Advanced CPU settings page there is not much that's different, at least not yet.




Once we move our way down to the lower half of the page we find all of the nice tweaks and extras that go with a real server or workstation board (and especially dual CPU boards). Two controls that are probably not familiar on this page are the DCU and DCA. These control how the cache on the CPUs operate. The DCU controls the mode of the cache (ECC or No ECC) and the DCA controls the amount of time the system delays (in bus clocks) from snoop to prefetch.




The Northbridge page also has some new items. You can tell the Z8NA to throttle the memory if it gets too hot, adjust the ECC mode, change the NUMA aware policy, and much more.






Under the server page you can setup the terminal access through that legacy serial port we showed you.






ASUS also gives you control over the USB ports and headers available on the Z8NA-D6C. Of course what ASUS motherboard would be complete without some nice fan controls? For our testing we left this set to generic mode.




There were no overclocking options in the BIOS and there was no utility provided (and there were none to be found online). Maybe later we can find a board (or ASUS will add a special BIOS) that will let us overclock a pair of these Xeons. For now, we will only present stock scores.


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.


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