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ABIT back in the game, AN8-32X scrutinised

By: Cameron Johnson | Socket 939 in Motherboards | Posted: Apr 11, 2006 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.5%Manufacturer: Universal ABIT



ABIT continues to impress with overclocking features as well as its unique layout of their BIOS. An Award 6 BIOS is used, as ABIT has been a fan of this BIOS for some time due to its tweak-ability, There are two major menu's you will want to visit, first is the uGURU menu where your major overclocking is done. The second is the Advanced Chipset Features menu where DRAM timings as well as the Hyper Transport link speeds can be adjusted.


First on our list is the uGURU menu. When you open this baby up, you are confronted with the first option of CPU Operating Speed. This is determined by what CPU you install, for us it was an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+. So our options here were Athlon 64 4200 or User Defined. Setting User Defined allows you to manually set your bus speeds and voltages.


Next is the CPU Multiplier Factor. All AMD Athlon 64 CPU's allow you to adjust the frequency multiplier from its default (depending on what CPU you have) down in 1x steps to a 4x multiplier. Only Athlon 64 FX CPU's allow you to go up from the default CPU multiplier.


Next come External Clock. This is the bus speed that the CPU multiplier refers to in order to get its final speed. All Athlon 64 CPU's use a default of 200MHz. ABIT has set the range from 200MHz up to 400MHz in 1MHz increments. This is more than enough, as 400MHz is still not reachable even with LN2 cooling.


The last of the options for Frequencies in the uGURU menu is the PCIE Clock. PCI Express at default runs at 100MHz and should be kept there for maximum stability, as PCI Express does not respond well to high frequencies. While you are given a range from 100MHz to 145MHz, leave this at 100 for stable overclocks.


Now we come to voltages. There aren't as many voltages to adjust as you see in ASUS boards, but there should be enough to keep your board stable. First is the CPU voltage. ABIT provides from 1.5v up to 1.9v in 0.025v increments


DDR voltage is next on the list and is in fact the last also. The range for the DDR is 2.5v to 3.2v in 0.1v increments.


Now we take a look at the Advanced Chipset features. When you enter this menu you are confronted with seven options overall, only the first three really make any difference to the Overclocking, apart from the DRAM timings, which you can adjust according to your RAM specs.


First is the CPU to Northbridge Up/Downlink multiplier. You can adjust this from 3x up to 5x in 0.5x increments. Next is the Northbridge to Southbridge Uplink speed, this can be changed from 2x up to 4x in 0.5x increments. Lastly is the Northbridge to Southbridge Downlink speed which has the same options as the uplink speed.


With all these settings, we managed to get an FSB of 375MHz with our CPU running a 4x multiplier, DRAM at 2.9v, CPU at 1.65v and the HT links all running 3x to keep the Hyper Transport speeds happy - in all, this is a very impressive overclocking result from the folks at ABIT.

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard


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