While the VisionX 471D is a pre-built HTPC / mini PC, it can overclock! I discovered this when I went to take BIOS shots for the review, and I have been playing with it ever since. While the multiplier is locked to 35x maximum, the board does have the ability to engage BCLK multipliers for overclocking. There is even a built in 4GHz preset! I tested this preset out and found that it is pretty well optimized.
While you can't really run Prime95 at the risk of overheating, you can get away with basically all other tasks while the system is overclocked to the 4GHz setting (including my entire benchmark suite). Choosing the 4GHz profile will load in the 1.25x BLCK divider and set the CPU and Cache multipliers to 32x each for 4GHz on both. The profile also increases the VCore and vCache to 1.2v each through the override voltage mode.
There is one downside, the memory (or IMC) isn't meant to really overclock, so when you set the 4GHz profile, it down-clocks the memory from 1600MHz (default) to 1420MHz (because the next multiplier above produces 1776MHz) and sets timings 11-11-11-28-T1. I tried setting 1776 MHz and that failed to boot, terribly, but the system recovery was excellent. I then went to engage 1866MHz (because some multipliers work better than others for DRAM overclocking), it booted, but I lost one channel of memory. I ended up using the 1420MHz clock, but I was able to set the DRAM timings to 9-9-9-16-T1.
Do be forewarned, the fan will spin up all the time when you OC with the 4GHz profile, and it can be audible which kind of defeats the purpose of an HTPC, but then again, how many HTPCs do you know that can overclock? If you really want to overclock, I would recommend looking into modding the fan or heat sinks for better cooling, as the default configuration is of course not setup for overclocking.
I do want to mention that the automatic OC recovery was quite good; better than most custom built systems I have used. Obviously some thought was put into overclocking this system.
The UEFI is just like most ASRock enthusiast motherboards, which is quite nice. Performance wise, the UEFI is packed with features and ASRock doesn't really limit customization like many other vendors who sell pre-built/barebones machines tend to do. Overclocking is totally unlocked (except for CPU multiplier), just like you would expect if you built your own system. The only downside is that the CPU isn't a K SKU, so overclocking is more limited because of the platform's design.
There is one preset overclocking profile for a 4GHz overclock, and it seems to be very well tuned.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and System]
- Page 3 [Teardown of the VisionX 471D]
- Page 4 [Teardown of the VisionX 471D Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Test Setup and Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [Temperature and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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