BIOS Features and Overclocking
Now we get down to the BIOS. ASUS has used this Award 6 version for nearly 3 years now, since the P3B-F series of boards. To get to the Overclocking features, you need to scroll to the advanced tab.
Once there you will find the two major overclocking features menu lies under the Jumperfree sub menu and the CPU Configuration menus.
Once under the Jumperfree menu you need to set the AI Overclocking feature to Manual to get any control over the configuration settings. Once this is done the Frequency and Voltage control sub menus become active.
First the frequency control sub menu. Under this menu you can adjust the FSB, memory clock and PCI Express frequencies. ASUS allows you to control the Northbridge PCI Express and Southbridge PCI Express clocks independently. Range for both goes from 100MHz to 150MHz in 1MHz increments. Best to leave these at 100MHz as overclocking of the PCI Express bus is not recommended on the nForce 590 SLI chipset.
Next you need to set the System Clock Mode to manual. Once done you can select the FSB and DDR2 frequencies. Unlike the Intel chipsets, you can clock the memory and FSB independently. This in theory means you can clock the memory at any speed and leave the FSB at its default. FSB ranges from 133MHz to 600MHz in 1MHz increments however it is highly unlikely anyone would ever even come close to 600MHz using the aging C19 chipset. Memory frequency can be adjusted from 400MHz to 1600MHz in 1MHz increments.
Voltage control menu gives you all the voltages you need to overclock the board. Here there is Memory voltage, 1.2v HT Voltage, CPU Voltage, SB and NB Voltages.
Memory voltage ranges from 1.8v to 2.55v in 0.05v increments. 1.2V HT voltage from 1.2v to 1.35v in 0.05v increments. CPU VTT from 1.2v to 1.55v in 0.05v increments. NB Core voltage goes from 1.4v to 1.75v in 0.05v increments. SB Core voltage goes from 1.5v to 1.65v in 0.05v increments.
With all these settings, we only managed a very mild overclock. 304MHz FSB was the maximum achievable with memory voltage at 2.1v, Southbridge and Northbridge at 1.65v, HT voltage running 1.4v.
The overclocking result is not impressive and is a clear sign that the aging C19 is no good when it comes to OC. nVidia: sell your excess C19 chips and then forget about it forever.
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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