BIOS and Overclocking
Now it's into the BIOS section of the ASUS M2NPV-VM. Being a budget board, we aren't expecting too much in the way of overclocking options.
ASUS uses its traditional Award BIOS using the same menu system that Intel uses for its motherboards. This menu system was first used by ASUS back when the Pentium 3 Slot 1 was the king CPU. While it did fall back to the original blue menu a couple of times, this is now the BIOS setup that defines ASUS. We upgraded our BIOS to 0405 from the Beta BIOS that board was shipped with. Like all of the ASUS boards to get to the overclocking features, you need to access the Jumperfree sub-menu under the Advanced tab.
When in the Jumperfree section you see how few overclocking options we have. There are only three major ones - FSB, DRAM voltage and CPU multiplier. Your FSB range goes from 200MHz to 400MHz in 1MHz increment, DRAM voltage goes from default to 1.9v only and CPU multiplier, well that's explanatory.
With all these settings we only managed a 213MHz FSB clock. This was likely because there are no voltage changes for the CPU, HT links or any multiplier adjustments for the HT link, causing instabilities above 213MHz FSB. It goes without saying, the ASUS M2NPV-VM motherboard will not land you any new world record overclocking results but at the same time it was designed to sit next your TV and not be running 3DMark.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we don't have enough time to tweak the motherboard to the maximum and find the highest possible FSB as this could take days to properly find.
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 or "burn in" time might come into play if you believe in that.