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 Post subject: Undervoltable Motherboards: ADD to the list!!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2003 4:10 pm 
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Apparently most or all ASUS boards do not allow undervolting p3 and p4 CPUs, they only allow overvolting for overclockers (see the recent Asus P4PE thread).

Since most CPUs are now way overpowered for a home theater PC that's only doing playback, I was thinking of undervolting and underclocking.

Anyone know of p3 or p4 motherboards that undervolt and underclock? Have you done this yourself?

Of course I can always buy some old 815 / BX motherboard and a "slow" p3, but wouldn't an underclocked tualatin celeron 1.2 run cooler than a coppermine p3 or celeron at 800 MHz?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

ADDENDUM by MIKEC: Dave, sorry to hijack your thread, but I think you'll find the intent is perfectly in line with yours... :wink:

A new page called Undervoltable Motherboards has been added to the Recommended Section. This is a short starting list of undervolt-friendly motherboards that will be expanded over time. How quickly this happens depends on how much you help. You can each help a great deal. :)

The simple fact is that Vcore adjustments are usually not covered in specifications, and often, not even in manuals. In many cases, the only way to know for sure is to go into the BIOS of the motherboard and check the Vcore range available in the CPU frequency/voltage setup menu. Each and every one of you has at least one motherboard, the one in your computer. Most of you have two -- one at home and one at work. Just do a quick check on the BIOS CPU voltage adjustment range of your own PCs and report on any motherboard that provides at least a -0.2V setting from default Vcore setting.

Please submit the information to this thread. I will periodically collect the info and add it to the list below. With everyone's cooperation, we will soon have a large and useful list of undervolt friendly motherboards. If the list gets big enough, we may even divide it up into handy CPU and/or chipset categories. 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 6:13 am 
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Now this is a thread I can get into!

Good luck finding a PIII or PIV board that will undervolt.

I'm a big PIII Tualatin/Celeron Tualatin fan and feel that these are the perfect CPUs for quiet systems. They run really cool and are very low wattage. I've been wanting to try and run them undervolted. I've always used an Asus Tusl2-C MoBo for my PIII/Tualeron stuff, it's a great board. Very stable, good OCer and lots of features but it won't undervolt. Bummer.

I finally got ahold of a couple of Abit ST6's. These are pretty much considered the "Top-Dog" when it comes to PIII Tualatin/Celeron Tualatin OCing and they happen to be able to undervolt as well. With this board I'm running my PIII-S 1.4Ghz at 1.3V. Default Vcore is 1.45V so this is about a 10% reduction in Vcore. This runs 100% stable at 1.3v. I've stability tested it several times by running Prime95 for 24hr sessions with zero errors. The difference in the full-load temps between default Vcore and the lower Vcore is just about 6C! My max CPU temp under full Prime95 load at 1.3V runs about 43C, at default Vcore load temp is about 48-49C. Damn, pretty schweet, huh?

I'm quite certian that you could get similar results with a Tualatin Celeron running at lower Vcore too. I can run my 1.1A Tualeron at 133FSB (1.463Ghz) on default Vcore. Seems to me that it would run at default speed on much lower Vcore, right?

Rot's 'o Ruck finding an ST6 though. Like most Socket 370 I815 boards they're not made any more. They are not available new anywhere that I've seen for the last 4-6 months. You can occaisionally find a used one on egay but they're hideously expensive, usually well over $150. :shock:

Some 815 alternatives to look at (that are available new) might be the Soyo SY-TISU and the EPoX EP-3PTA. They are both overclockable but I can't find out if they undervolt.


Well, how about PIV stuff?

All these guys are getting 600+ mhz OCs at default Vcore, you'd think there'd be all kinds of headroom to run at stock speed + lower Vcore, right? Too bad you can't find out. I build a lot of PIV-based systems for people (it's my side-job) and have never found a Socket 478 board that will allow undervolting the CPU. Abit, Asus, EPoX, Gigabyte - no board that I've used from these manufacturers allows undervolting, and you can't even find out if it's an option in the BIOS even if you look at the pdf manuals available online.

There may be a way to for undervolting by default on both PIII/Celeron Tualatins and PIV Northwoods. The guys over at Overclockersforums have done a lot of experimenting with raising the default Vcore by wrapping the CPU pins with fine wire to short-together various combinations of pins. By doing this they force a higher default Vcore so they don't have problems as they're first booting up. I think there may also be pin combinations that give a lower Vcore as well. There's some big, stickied threads in the OCforums Intel section about this issue. It's known as "vidpinning" It might be worth a read if you're serious about doing this but can't find a board that will undervolt. If I hadn't got an ST6 I'd be messing with it myself.

Undervolting my PIII-S has been a very satisfying experience. It's allowed me to run a very powerful CPU with very quiet cooling at very low temps. I'd recommend that more people look into this area.

/end rant.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 12:20 pm 
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D'oh! But thanks for the information. Hunting for a ST6 gives me one more option to choose from along with slow coppermine and the new C3 Epia boards.

It's a shame there isn't enough of a market for slower / quiet motherboards, then we might see the P3-M and Centrino available on desktop boards.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 2:00 pm 
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Ralf Hutter --

Thanks for the great info!

Your comment about Asus boards being undervolt-unfriendly extends to their socket-A boards, at least if the A7V266 is any indication. I had a chance to examine this board in detail recently. The lowest Vcore that can be selected for any socket-A cpu is 1.675V, which is hardly 0.05V below default. Pretty pathetic.

My old ABIT KT7A-R board has a Vcore range from 1.1V to ~2V in 0.05V increments. Have not seen what current ABIT boards do.

I think you are right about many P4 boards. An MSI board I tried 6 mos ago (can't recall which), an Asus board and an Intel board (of course) all had no undervolting capability.

However these do:

AOpen AX4GE Max -- 1.1V to 1.95V
Gigabyte GA-81RXP -- 1.1V to 1.85V

Whether this means other models in the above lines generally provide undervolting is not clear. Certain, it is not often mentioned in literature or manuals.

The oc-friendly BX-based boards generally allowed undervolting, though as Ralf mentioned, they are difficult to source now.

Can others please share their experience about undervoltable motherboards here? The info gathered could be used to assemble a recommended mobo list, which would further PC silencing for everyone. :)


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 Post subject: The Soyo SY-TISU motherboard provides cpu undervolting.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 11:05 pm 
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This is a very interesting thread.

I have a Soyo SY-TISU motherboard, which I am using with a PIII-S 1.26 Ghz chip.

The Soyo SY-TISU appears to have a default cpu voltage of 1.40 volts.

This motherboard allows cpu voltage adjustments in 0.025 volt steps from 1.050 to 1.775 volts.

My current chip appears to be stable down to 1.20 volts. Reducing cpu voltage from 1.40 volts to 1.20 lowers idle cpu temperature from 54°C to 47°C in a virtually-silent, very low airflow system. Ambient temperature is 22.7°C.

I agree that the PIII series, especially the S variation, offers great opportunity for low-noise systems.

John Coyle


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 Post subject: Re: The Soyo SY-TISU motherboard provides cpu undervolting.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 4:43 am 
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johnc wrote:
This is a very interesting thread.

I have a Soyo SY-TISU motherboard, which I am using with a PIII-S 1.26 Ghz chip.

The Soyo SY-TISU appears to have a default cpu voltage of 1.40 volts.
John Coyle


Intel says default Vcore for the PIII-S is 1.45V. Are you taking your Vcore reading from BIOS hardware monitor or Windows software? If so, maybe this board undervolts.

johnc wrote:
This motherboard allows cpu voltage adjustments in 0.025 volt steps from 1.050 to 1.775 volts.


Very cool. The TISU is one of the few i815 Socket 370 boards that is actually available (for $65 with free shipping from Newegg). Sounds like this would be a great start to a silent PC project. This board plus a $45 1.1A Tualatin Celeron with the retail heatsink fan running at 7 or 5 volts and you're on your way.

johnc wrote:
I agree that the PIII series, especially the S variation, offers great opportunity for low-noise systems.

John Coyle


You betcha! That's why I took the opportunity to buy another PIII-S 1.4 CPU yseterday. It's the exact same stepping as my current CPU that runs so well at low Vcore. You never know when Intel will stop production of these.

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 Post subject: The Soyo SY-TISU motherboard provides cpu undervolting.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 6:08 am 
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<<Intel says default Vcore for the PIII-S is 1.45V. Are you taking your Vcore reading from BIOS hardware monitor or Windows software? If so, maybe this board undervolts. >>

The "1.40 volts = default" idea came from the fact that MotherBoardMonitor indicated that the cpu core voltage was 1.39 volts before I made any modification. With the cpu core adjusted in BIOS to 1.20 volts, MBM is reading 1.16 volts. It is surely possible that either the motherboard undervolts slightly or that the Windows monitoring software (MBM) is slightly inaccurate.

At any rate, this motherboard does provide very flexible cpu voltage adjustment.

John Coyle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 6:38 am 
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i think intel has stopped makin them, or given a last date or similer
the 800mhz fsb p4s might be useful
drop bus to 533/400
but they will be expensive
hearin good things about amds cpus now :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Soyo SY-TISU motherboard provides cpu undervolting.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 5:00 am 
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johnc wrote:
<<Intel says default Vcore for the PIII-S is 1.45V. Are you taking your Vcore reading from BIOS hardware monitor or Windows software? If so, maybe this board undervolts. >>

The "1.40 volts = default" idea came from the fact that MotherBoardMonitor indicated that the cpu core voltage was 1.39 volts before I made any modification. With the cpu core adjusted in BIOS to 1.20 volts, MBM is reading 1.16 volts. It is surely possible that either the motherboard undervolts slightly or that the Windows monitoring software (MBM) is slightly inaccurate.

At any rate, this motherboard does provide very flexible cpu voltage adjustment.

John Coyle


I suspect that your MoBo is undervolting. Some boards undervolt (a lot of Abits have this tendancy) and some overvolt (Asuses are known for this). It's no biggy unless you're near the min or max Vcore for your CPU. Just use a software monitoring program to keep track of Vcore in Windows and you'll be fine.

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 Post subject: Undervolting Motherboard: AOpen AX4GPRO for P4
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 8:07 pm 
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Add this one to the list:

AOpen AX4GPRO, with continuous cpu core voltage control from 1.10 to 1.85 volts in 0.025 increments. $99, delivered, from NewEgg.

Supported CPU: Intel Pentium 4 socket 478 CPU
Chipset: 845G chipset
FSB: 533MHz
RAM: DDR SDRAM for 184pin DIMM*3 Max. 2GB
IDE: 2 Channel E-IDE Ultra DMA 33/66/100 Support)
Slots: 6 PCI slots +1 AGP slot + 1 * CNR
Ports: 1xCOM,1xVGA,1xLPT,2xPS2,1xLAN, and Audio
Onboard VGA: Integrated 2D/3D Graphic Engine on board
Onboard Sound: Realtek AC’97 CODEC
Onboard LAN: Realtek 10/100

http://www.aopen.com/products/mb/AX4GPro.htm

John Coyle


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 Post subject: Soyo Underclocking Motherboard for P4
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:30 pm 
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Here’s another motherboard for the list:

CPU Vcore Select 1.100- 1.850 at 0.025 intervals

Available at Newegg for $105, delivered.

SOYO SY-P4I-845PE LITE ATX Motherboard for Intel Processors Retail
Specifications:
Supported CPU:Socket 478 up to: 3.06GHzP4, and 2.0GHz Celeron
Chipset:Intel i845PE
FSB:533/400 MHz
RAM:3x 184-pin 333/266 PC2700/PC2100
IDE:UDMA 66/100 up to 4 devices
Slots:6 32-bit PCI, and 1 AGP slot (support 2x/4x mode with 1.5v)
Ports:2xPS2,2xUSB,2xCOM,1xLPT, Lan and Audio ports
Onboard Audio:4 channels AC97 Codec audio solution
Onboard LAN:10/100 Intregrated Lan

http://www.soyousa.com/dl/manuals/p4/mp4i845pel10.pdf

John Coyle


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 Post subject: AOpen AK77-333 - AMD motherboard - underclocking
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 6:53 pm 
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For AMD aficionados, the AOpen AK77-333 motherboard supports Athlon, Duron and Athlon XP+ (1500+ to 2800+), with core voltage adjustment 1.1v-1.85v at 0.05 intervals.

I didn’t see SilentBios or SilentTek with this board. It is $81, delivered, from Newegg.

My understanding is that the AMD Thoroughbred chip comes unlocked and ready for undervolting. The Thoroughbred XP1700+ (0.13 micron process, 1.5v core, 49 watts) sells for $49.99, delivered, from Newegg. This is the OEM chip only, with no fan or heatsink.

http://www.aopen.com/products/mb/AK77-333.htm

AOPEN AK77-333 Motherboard ATX RETAIL
Specifications:
Socket: AMD Athlon / XP & Duron Socket
Chipset: VIA Apollo KT333
Frontside Bus: 266MHz/496
Memory: Max. Max. 3GB DDR333/266 SDRAM for 184pin DIMM*3
EIDE: 2 Channel E-IDE (Mode 4 and Bus master Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Support)
IO:2 Serial 1 Parallel 1 FD 2 USB 2 PS2 and Audio Ports
Slots:5 *PCI slots +1* AGP slot + 1 * CNR
On Board Sound: Realtek AC’97 CODEC Model#: AK77-333

John Coyle


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 Post subject: AMD motherboard with SilentTek and underclocking
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 4:48 pm 
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Even more for AMD aficionados: underclocking and SilentTek!

cpu core voltage of this motherboard is adjustable 1.1v to 1.85v at 0.05v intervals

AOPEN AK77-8XN

Currently available from Newegg for $86, delivered.

AOPEN Motherboard for Socket A Processors, Model# AK77-8XN
Specifications:
CPU Supported: Socket A AMD Athlon/XP/Duron processors, 266MHz(EV6)
Chipset: VIA KT400
RAM: 3x DDR DIMM, supports DDR333/266/200 (PC2700/2100/1600), 3GB max
Slots: 1x AGP(8X), 6x PCI, 1x CNR
Ports: 2x PS/2, 4x USB, 1x RJ45, 1x LPT, 2x COM
Onboard LAN: Integrated Realtek PHY
Onboard Audio: Realtek AC'97 CODEC on-board 5.1 channel
ATX Form Factor Model#: AK77-8XN

John Coyle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:15 pm 
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Thanks very much for the info johnc. One of my friends is ready to buy a system, and this tips the hand strongly towards Aopen for us. We have been thinking about underclocking/undervolting for a while. Now it's too bad you can't set the clock/vcore on the fly from inside Window$. Bios still kinda sucks in some respects.
I like the looks of Aopen's software support, it really looks like they're trying to support past product. My Asus is still under warranty and they have given up with driver support. BOOOO. Thing locks up all the time, they acknowledge the driver problem, but no fixee. Might as well have bought a cheaper i815 based board, the Nvidia does me little good. When Aopen is retro-tweaking fancy new utils to apply on prior product, I get impressed. I hope their reputation can make them some profit, it would be a welcome break from the bigger-faster-every-week ratrace.


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 Post subject: Underclocking motherboards
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 10:22 pm 
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There are many nice options.

If your friend wants a P4 with on-board VGA, sound and LAN, the AOpen AX4GPRO would be a good choice.

It offers continuous cpu core voltage control from 1.10 to 1.85 volts in 0.025 increments AND SilentTek. $99, delivered, from NewEgg.

Add a 1.7 GHz P4 for $54 (delivered, from Newegg), and a rather powerful, inexpensive and quiet machine is well on its way.

John Coyle


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 Post subject: Re: Underclocking motherboards
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 5:54 am 
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johnc wrote:
Add a 1.7 GHz P4 for $54 (delivered, from Newegg), and a rather powerful, inexpensive and quiet machine is well on its way.

John Coyle


The CPU above is NOT a P4 Northwood. It is a P4 Willamette-based (can you say castrated!) Celeron. It's built on the .18µ process and only has 128kb of cache. Warning: It is a dog! Stay away from it.

What you'd probably want is the 1.8A which is the P4 Northwood with 512kb of cache built on the .13µ process. These are currently $142 from Newegg.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:16 am 
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An addition to the list:

MB: Abit KD7
CPU: Socket-A
Vcore: 1.100-2.325 V in 0.025 V increments

The KD7-RAID should have the same specs but I'm not sure of that.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 7:04 am 
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The Abit KG7-RAID (AMD760) can use voltages from 1.1-1.85.

It is a bit outdated, however.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:07 am 
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i was just about to post a question about undervolting.. thanks guys

MB: Asus A7N8X
CPU: Socket A (462)
VCore: 1.100-1.850 V in 0.025 increments
Features: Q-Fan (supposedly only works in beta versions of bios), CPU Overheating Protection

UPDATE: the manual states the lowest cpu vcore is 1.100. after going into my cmos, the lowest setting i saw was 1.65V. this is with an XP 2600+ 333 FSB. im not sure if the manual was misprinted or its CPU related. sorry for any confusion.


Last edited by L4177312 on Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:26 am 
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Just to confirm Asus boards don't undervolt.

I have A7V8X it runs at 1.7v instead of 1.65 of XP2200+ CPU which makes it even worse. :cry: :cry:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:29 am 
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L4177312 wrote:
i was just about to post a question about undervolting.. thanks guys

MB: Asus A7N8X
CPU: Socket A (462)
VCore: 1.100-1.850 V in 0.025 increments
Features: Q-Fan (supposedly only works in beta versions of bios), CPU Overheating Protection


It probably says that in the manual but have you actually tried undervolting it?

I bet it's impossible, it only sets the default voltage of the actual CPU and will not run lower. I hope I am proven wrong..


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:02 am 
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yea.. youre right ez2. i couldnt get it to go under its default :oops:. i added an update to my post above.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:27 am 
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Both the iWill XP333 and iWill XP333R allow undervolting and bus underclocking.

Adjustable in BIOS:
Vcore settings 1.2-1.85
Bus speeds: 100 to 233 MHz (DDR so effective 200 to 466)

If you set the Vcore too low, and the board can't get the CPU going, it resets the CMOS to defaults for you.

BTW: I went from 1.46 GHz (1700+) @ 1.77v @ 111 F idle to 1.10 Ghz @ 1.7v @ 104 F idle. It seems only a little difference in voltage can make a big difference in heat...

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Last edited by TheMuffinMan on Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:49 am 
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ASUS A7V333 w Socket-A, USB 2.0, FireWire and RAID.

VCORE can be set in range 1.10-1.85Volt but lowest is 1.75Volt from Bios then you have to use undocumented jumper settings on the board. Default VCORE is 1.75V.

I've been running my AMD Athlon XP 1800+ at 1.50V@133MHz without stability problems. 1.45V also seemed to work for some time but then I had some random reboots and thought I'd increase a little. Later I've found out that the early revisions of this board can have problems when you have two memory sticks in mem slots 1&2. If you instead use 1&3 it is more stable. Some kind of impedance match problem on slot 2 according to some usenet sources.

The undocumented VCORE jumper settings for jumpers VID 1-4:

1.60V, VID2 1-2, VID4 1-2
1.55V, VID1 2-3, VID4 1-2
1.50V, VID4 1-2
1.45V, VID1 1-2, VID2 1-2, VID3 1-2
1.40V, VID1 1-2, VID3 1-2
1.30V, VID1 1-2, VID2 1-2
1.20V, VID2 1-2
1.15V, VID1 1-2

I'm pretty happy with the card but be sure to get later revisions since they fixed some problems from the earlier ones.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:57 am 
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My EPOX 4G4A (845G based) P4 motherboard allows undervolting. Not sure how much, but its 0.025V increments.

I'll have to check next time I reboot :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 1:48 pm 
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I know that my Soltek SL75-DRV4 MB (for Athlons) has extensive undervolting, but I'm not sure of the details. I'll have to look when I get home.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 3:24 pm 
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Asus A7V133 supports low voltages, all the way to 1.1V. (I successfully ran 1700XP at 1GHz @ 1.15V for a while, as described in my article).

Too bad Asus completely screwed everyone over with their new products. I contacted them about P4B533's lack of undervolting, and they passed my request to their engineers. Then nothing happened.

What's worse is that Asus forcibly overvolts in some cases. P4B533's DDR memory voltages start from 2.6V and up. The normal voltage is 2.5V and you cannot even use it!

PS: Undervolt-capable P4 motherboards should be perfect for P4-M chips. For example, a P4M/1.8 running at 1600MHz (533fsb with 12x multiplier) at 1.1Vcore would produce only ~20 watts of heat. It might run fanless, because even at full speed/1.3vcore it can tolerate 100C! Underclocked/volted, it could tolerate even higher temps.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 2:08 am
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Location: Sheffield, UK
It would seem that most of the albatron 845GE and PE range allow voltage changes from 1.100-1.850v from the bios. i would suspect that this applies to most of the albatron boards as they all seem to have the same over(under)clocker aimed system.

i will test it on a reset, unfortunatly that may be a few days before its necessary. am i the only one who thrashes a winXP setup thats stable?

hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 3:49 am 
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On the Atlon side I have a Palomino P 1800+ running at stock speed well under 1.6v, about 10% below recommended voltage using a Soltek SL-75DRV5 KT333 board. Dirt cheap, cost me about £75 in th UK


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:49 pm 
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Posts: 428
Location: San Francisco, CA
The Iwill KK266/R is an outdated AMD Sdram mobo (arguably the best Sdram mobo for socket A) that has vcore down to I believe it was 1.125vcore.

-Ken


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