Since the introduction of the I9xx chipsets from Intel, it has certainly pulled in some controversy. Designed to be the next link for the PC revolution, it has caused a bigger stir with the end users, why? Overclocking.
Intel has attempted to virtually stop overclocking of its chips. Firstly Intel implemented a ratio lock, preventing the CPU's multiplier from being changed. This worked for a while, until FSB overclocking became easy. AGP/PCI divider locks to keep the buses that can't really handle the overclocking within stable speeds as well as overclocker friendly RAM gave the overclocker a bit more room to play with, so what can be done now? Simple, remove the divider locks.
Intel has attempted to remove or simply hide the divider locks for its PCI, PCI Express, DMI and SATA clocks. In short this means that every bus is being overclocked when you start to push the FSB. Now the FSB Netburst link can handle this, as can the memory. Even the PCI can handle up to nearly 40MHz, but what cannot handle it is the new serial links, that's right PCI Express and the Serial ATA start to complain when pushed even 5% out of spec.
This has now started to bring some of the crafty motherboard manufacturers to implement and experiment with finding the divider locks, after all, Intel has them on their own boards, when testing Intel's burn in you can adjust the FSB and keep the PCI and PCI Express within their ranges, so the dividers are there - it's just a matter of finding them and using them. A few companies like ABIT and ASUS has already proven they can get their dividers working; it's now up to the others if they want to keep up.
Today we are looking at the EPoX 5EPA+ I915P based motherboard to see what EPoX brings to the table for the PCI Express Intel users. Let's take a closer look.
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