Test System Setup
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3200+
Motherboard: Asus K8V Deluxe Wireless Edition (Supplied by ASUS)
Memory: Corsair 2x 512MB TwinX3200LLPT (Supplied by Corsair)
Video Card: HIS Radeon 9600XT - 750MHz memory (Supplied by HIS)
Hard Disk: Seagate Barracuda 7,200 RPM 160GB (Supplied by Seagate)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP1
Drivers Used: ATi Catalyst 3.10
ASUS has long been known for their overclocker-friendly BIOS's and temperature-monitoring software. Heck, we're starting to believe ASUS is recommending you overclock your computer! In the following tests, we plan to take ASUS's K8V to its max with Thermaltake air-cooling.
ASUS's overclocking prowess does not break its reputation with this product. As with the SK8V, the K8V Deluxe offers five modes of operation (operable through the BIOS): Safe, Standard, Turbo 1 (200MHz FSB), Turbo 2 (205MHz FSB) and Turbo 3 (201MHz FSB). Simply put, these modes directly result in either increments or declines in your motherboard's FSB. And, unlike the SK8V, we were able to get each Turbo mode stably booted and running PCMark for twenty-four hours straight with no hiccups along the way.
In addition to these operating modes, through the BIOS you're directly able to access the 'Jumper-Free Configuration' menu. Here you can configure settings, mostly voltage-related, which used to be commonly only accessible through physical jumpers on the motherboard. If in doubt of your current overclocking work, ASUS handily provides a system status utility which clearly outlines the temperatures of various components, and current voltages running throughout your motherboard. We were able to hit a maximum of 220MHz FSB with standard voltages before we started running into stability issues.
For those looking to manually install a high-grade air-cooler (heatsink and fan) to increase potential overclocking range, ASUS has kindly pre-installed the metal back-plate, located directly behind the ZIF socket and HSF. Unfortunately however, those looking to gain even better performance and use one of many watercooling methods, you'll have to remove the backplate.
Let's move onto the benchmarks now!
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