It simply wouldn't be a worthwhile review if we didn't go into the overclocking and tweaking options that the board offers, and Sapphire have given quite a few options spread over the BIOS.
There are two menus' you will want to look at when you are thinking of overclocking the board. First is the advanced chipset features menu. Sapphire has placed the controls for the Hypertransport links between the CPU and Northbridge here along with a few other options you may find useful. Not only are the Hypertransport link controls here but also the PCI Express controls. There are quite a few options you can tweak to your hearts content including the PCI-E 100MHz lock, which is necessary to overclock any PCI Express system.
Since AMD Athlon 64's don't have a traditional FSB link between the Northbridge and the CPU, you need to adjust the Hypertransport link multiplier when overclocking.
To find the rest of the overclocking options you simply scroll down to the Overclocking Features menu, very simple and affective, no fancy names, just straight to the point. From this menu you have access to voltages, multipliers, bus speeds as well as control of the DRAM speed and timings.
First in the setup is the CPU FID option. AMD Athlon 64 CPU's allow you to lower your multiplier from its default (depending on the speed of your CPU) down to a minimum of 4x. AMD obviously saw the overclockers in this as you can overclock the system bus while keeping the CPU at a saner clock speed.
CPU VID is next in line. You can adjust the CPU voltage from its default by changing the option from Startup to User Defined. When user defined is set the CPU voltage offset option is available. You can then adjust the voltage from 0.00v to a max of +0.25v in 0.025v increments.
Next we have the CPU/HTT link clock. This is actually the FSB of the CPU to Hypertransport controller on the CPU and it defaults at 200MHz. This is what you change in order to get your overclock. The range is from 200MHz up to 400MHz in 1MHz increments.
Crossfire 3200 and HT Link Voltages is next. These are the voltages supplied to the Northbridge and the CPU to Northbridge. You can set it from 1.22v up to 1.5v.
DRAM voltage comes on the list last. You can set the range from 2.5v to a max of 3.0v in 0.1v increments.
With all these settings we reached a modest overclock, though we were hoping for more, we could only manage a FSB of 279MHz with the HT Link at 3x, DRAM at 2.8v, CPU at 1.6v and HTT and Crossfire voltages at 1.3v. We are hoping that a further BIOS will allow some better stability above 280MHz.
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