Asus P5N7A-VM: Geforce 9300 IGP

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With effective third party heatsinks and the many low power CPUs available on the market, overclocking can improve performance without compromising the noise level of a silent PC.

A simple overclocking investigation was conducted with the CPU multiplier set to 6x and RAM to its lowest speed with an extra 0.3V. The CPU frequency was increased in increments of 5 MHz / 10 MHz until the system failed a 5 minute stress test consisting of Prime95 running simultaneously with ATITool 3DView, failed to boot, or showed other signs of instability. We then maximized the multiplier and increased the CPU voltage to a stable level for our final overclock.

3.33GHz: the maximum overclock on the P5N7A-VM

The highest stable FSB we achieved was 1480MHz, yielding a CPU speed of 3.33GHz, or 39% above stock. At higher frequencies, the system froze when ATITool was loaded. Note that this result was obtained without adjusting the chipset voltage, so it's possible the board can overclock further with a little extra juice. These are simply the out-of-the-box results.


To test the cooling on the board, we lowered the CPU cooling fan's voltage to 6V to reduce the amount of top-down airflow the nearby components received. We then stressed the system with Prime95 and ATITool and whipped our our handy IR thermometer to check the results.

After about 20 minutes of load, the MOSFETs and chokes around the CPU socket were in the 55°C to 65°C range. While this may sound high, we've seen VRM temperatures of 90°C and higher — these results are mild in comparison. The hottest point on the chipset heatsink meanwhile was only 58°C, also relatively cool. Also keep in mind this is on an open testbed with very little airflow. In a case with proper cooling, these temperatures should be lower.

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