Now it's down to where the action starts, the BIOS. ABIT has always used Award BIOS for its setups. ABIT in fact can be credited for starting the big BIOS overclocking phase.
ABIT was one of the very first motherboard companies to use a Jumperfree BIOS setups for its early Socket 7 boards based on the TX chipsets and while they weren't too good for overclocking, as they would reset to defaults too much, they were great for setting up the CPU and this has continued to this day, only with a lot better settings and stability. Softmenu was ABIT's first Overclocking BIOS, now they are calling it uGURU.
The uGURU menu is where ABIT houses its overclocking features.
FSB (QDR): 400MHz to 3000MHz in 1MHz increments
MEM (DDR2): 400MHz to 1400MHz in 1MHz increments
NB PCI-E x16 Clock: 100MHz to 200MHz in 1MHz increments
SB PCI-E x16 Clock: 100MHz to 200MHz in 1MHz increments
SB PCI-E x8 Clock: 100MHz to 200MHz in 1MHz increments
SPP MCP Ref Clock: 200MHz to 500MHz in 1MHz increments
CPU Core Voltage: 1.3v to 1.95v in 0.01V increments
DDR2 SDRAM voltage: 1.8vv to 2.95v in 0.025v increments
CPU VTT Voltage: 1.5v to 1.8v in 0.1v increments
NB Voltage: 1.35v to 1.55v in 0.05v increments
SB Voltage: 1.5v to 1.7v in 0.05v increments
Hyper Transport Voltage: 1.2v to 1.4v in 0.05v increments
Until now everything was looking really good for the IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi motherboard but this is where things get a little sour for ABIT.
We only managed to get 467MHz FSB stable out of the motherboard with the latest BIOS sent to us. Now this does sound good but we had to raise the voltages to get this far. But even all the voltages in the world that the board had we couldn't get it stable beyond this, in fact it was like a huge brick wall was put in the board's road.
We were told up front by ABIT that the digital PWM area of the motherboard requires additional active fan cooling if you are to go any higher than 450MHz FSB. We added a couple of extra fans to this area of the motherboard to try and aid in FSB overclocking but 467MHz was the maximum we could get out of the motherboard even with the latest and last ditched attempt tweaked BIOS from ABIT.
From our talks with ABIT, it seems as if that much man power has been put into tweaking the BIOS and that's about all you can expect to get out of the IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi. It's a mystery why this motherboard cannot match even the nVidia reference boards but clearly something went wrong with the BIOS or production of the motherboard. While over 500MHz FSB would have been nice, around 460MHz FSB might just be enough for some people, so just keep this in mind if you intend on buying this product.
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.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications]
- Page 3 [Inside the Box]
- Page 4 [Motherboard]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Memory Performance]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - PCMark]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - WorldBench]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Adobe Premiere Elements]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - PREY]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]
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