ASUS uses an AMI (American Megatrends Incorporated) BIOS for their boards. According to a few people at ASUS that I have talked to, this gives them a few more options for tuning than Phoenix or Award; I am not sure of the validity of this claim, but I do know that ASUS puts a lot of time and engineering into their BIOS revisions.
The place in the BIOS that should hold the most interest for the enthusiast and overclocker is the AI Tweaker. Here you can find almost every option you need to push your Core i5 or 1156 Core i7 to its maximum potential.
One of the interesting features in the BIOS is the CPU Level Up. This is similar to many "quick OC" functions that are becoming popular. You simply select the speed you want the CPU to run and the board will set the rest for you. It is a handy little feature that allows you to give a small boost to your CPU. It is great if you are new to the overclocking scene and do not want to spend a ton of time tinkering or are looking to get a little extra punch without wasting time. Unfortunately the speeds are not that impressive and the gain from them will be minimal.
Another place that will hold interest for the enthusiast is the UnCore Configuration. It is on this page that you can overclock (or underclock) the IGP on the Clarkdale. You can also adjust the amount of memory the IGP borrows from the system and the DVMT (Dynamic Video Memory Technology) settings.
Under the Advanced heading you can find a few tweaks for your CPU and information about your system.
ASUS has included their TurboV EVO software with the P7H57D-V EVO. This gives you more than a few methods for overclocking. If you are concerned about entering the BIOS and playing around, then the Auto Tune function is a great place to start. We ran this against our hardy little Core i5 661 which has been all the way up to 4.5GHz to see what the ASUS software would send our way.
The Turbo EVO software is very easy to use and provides options for easy, manual and automatic overclocking. ASUS has even provided an "in-OS" method for overclocking the GPU.
The Auto Tuning mode is very impressive and allows you to get a fast OC, an extreme OC or a custom one with your own settings.
The other options in the TurboV EVO software are less interesting to us, but can also allow you a few extra "quick" settings to get a boost from your CPU.
Giving the ASUS TurboV EVO a chance to overclock the CPU, we were happy with the speed it gave us in a very short amount of time.
This push gave us an impressive 4.2GHz in a little more than five minutes.
But, a simple overclock was not the only thing we wanted to see from the P7H57D-V EVO. We took this simple overclock and headed back into the BIOS. There we pushed the CPU a little harder. This time we were able to get a very decent 4428 MHz OC (185x24) at only 1.4V. As with all of our overclocking, we left Turbo and Hyper-Threading on.
You can see the validation for the i5 661 with the GMA HD here.
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary.
Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. 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. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.
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