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Normally we don't delve into overclocking, but we were curious to know whether all these settings were window dressing or
if you could actually accomplish a good overclock. We used an Intel Core 2 Duo
E6400 (8 x 266Mhz) with CPU voltage increased to 1.40V and multiplier lowered
to 6x and Corsair Dominator PC2-8500 memory. FSB frequency was raised in 5Mhz
increments until it would not boot into Vista.
With all other settings at default, the system booted into Vista at 435Mhz.
At 440Mhz, the screen would blink on and off indicating that it was causing
problems for the integrated video. Our suspicion was confirmed when it booted
up without any problems with a dedicated video card installed. After some more
testing we found that the GMA X3500 was only stable up to 385Mhz at 390Mhz
ATITool began to detect artifacts. Increasing the northbridge voltage helped
stabilized the GPU, but we didn't want to continue with the onboard graphics
485Mhz: the maximum FSB overclock we could achieve with a 0.10V bump in
Using a Radeon X1950XTX instead gave us a lot more headroom we reached
a limit of 450Mhz before the board failed to boot. Increasing the
northbridge voltage by 0.10V allowed us to push the board further to 485Mhz.
We did not try to go any higher as we only wanted
to provide a cursory evaluation of its overclocking ability without too much
The chipset heatsinks got quite hot when overclocked so we aimed
a Scythe 120mm fan at them, but it did not help us overclock any further. It
is possible that our E6400 had reached its limit, though we doubt this is
the case as most E6400's seem to be capable of 3.0Ghz, the CPU
voltage was raised quite a bit and it had more than adequate cooling. 485Mhz is already very
impressive, but it's probable that the board is capable of even higher speed
with more tweaking. If you plan on overclocking while using the onboard
graphics, we expect you will need to pump a lot of extra voltage into the northbridge.
AI Suite worked great until we tried to run it.
Users put off by BIOS overclocking can try it from the desktop using the Asus
AI Suite utility. Unfortunately we were presented with an error message when
we tried to run it in Vista.
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