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  • GooFy - Sunday, May 30, 2004 - link

    Could you somehow test some other memory modules with this board, i have a pair of Adata PC4000 that will not go over 230mhz @ original (Cas 3 8-4-4) or any other timings either yet they are stable @ 230 mhz fsb and Cas 2 6-3-3.
    I'm going to buy some new memory modules and i would like to know what options there are as it seems there are some other memories that will not go to 250+ fsb.
    Anyway i'm sure that it is the memory that's stopping me because i ran alot of tests with different timings and lower multiplier and so on.
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - link

    What the crap... lost my post. Grrrr.... Okay, here's a recap of what was supposed to be in that last one:

    You're cruel, showing us scores of 200 * 10 and 250 * 8 and then holding out on the scores for the "Extreme Overclocking" setups. I don't want a screenshot, but I would have been curious to hear what sort of performance difference there was between the 233 * 10 and the 345 * 6.5 setups. Do the asynchronous RAM timings hurt performance a lot, or can the integrated memory controller deal with that okay? Would be nice to find out. Oh, well...
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • MadAd - Sunday, April 25, 2004 - link

    thanks wesley, they did look nice and clear in this one, thats why I asked - ill wait for your review. Reply
  • NegativeEntropy - Saturday, April 24, 2004 - link

    cnq,

    I know if I had to program Cool'n'Quiet there would be, at minimum, a sanity check to make sure the Hyper Transport (~FSB) frequency was 200 MHz and the multiplier is where it should be for that model CPU prior to doing anything. It's what Cool'n'Quiet would do after that that is up in the air (or so goes my reasoning):

    1) abort any attempt to engage Cool'n'Quiet (most likely given ease of programmability and official disdain for overclocking)
    2) override any current settings, do its thing, and not reimpliment the pre Cool'n'Quiet settings upon an increase in CPU usage (thus effectively 'undoing' any overclock)
    3) note the current state, engage Cool'n'Quiet, and then return to the pre Cool'n'Quiet state when CPU usage demands it (this is the scenario we dream about :)

    As long as I get confirmation Cool'n'Quiet works on this mobo (even w/o overclocking), I may get it and answer the other questions myself :)
    Reply
  • cnq - Saturday, April 24, 2004 - link

    NegativeEntropy,

    Weird, I was about to ask the *exact* same question!

    ***This should be a FAQ.***

    Everyone likes to overclock the snot out of their boards, and everyone likes cool 'n' quiet to kick in when they are just web browsing. (Naturally, when we stop web browsing and resume gaming, we want the system to return, automatically, to the fully overclocked settings we were using before.)

    But is it technically possible for Cool'n'Quiet to coexist with overclocking? Just by reading AMD's technical docs (BIOS Guide), there is no answer on whether this will work. My fear is that overclocking can confuse the hell out of cool'n'quiet. Cool'n'quiet works by switching between P-states, which are combos of CPU frequency and CPU voltage. Problems could be:

    a) Cool'n'Quiet is ignorant of overclocking in general. The possible P-state transition values are supplied by the BIOS, who in turn gets them from AMD documentation. Naturally, there won't be a P-state setting for an overclocked system in the official tables. But it would be possible for this to work: the BIOS could use your overclocked settings to create an additional P-state that isn't part of the official docs.
    b) Even if this works, underclocking via Cool'n'Quiet is limited. P-states just define CPU speed and CPU voltage. There's nothing about FSB speeds in a P-state (and there should be, imo, along with RAM voltage). So, for example, when Cool'n'Quiet ramps down your CPU, does it also ramp down the FSB speed? If not, then it's pretty easy to see how things could crash here: a drop to (for example) 1000 MhZ might be done by setting the CPU multiplier to 5, on the (incorrect) assumption that your FSB is 200MHz, the "usual" value. But if you overclocked by lowering the CPU multiplier (already) and jacking up the FSB to outrageous amounts, then this CPU multiplier might actually _increase_ CPU speed rather than decreasing it. Not so much with a multiplier of just 5, but you get the idea.
    c) Even if this works (the CPU multiplier is set to 5 in the above example, your FSB is overclocked to, say, 250 instead of 200, so you get 1250MHz instead of 1000MHz)...fine, except that the P-state contained a CPU voltage that is only guaranteed to work well with 1000MHz. Such a low voltage (whatever it is) might not be enough to power 1250MHz, causing a crash. If it is enough to power 1250MhZ, it's just blind luck, and not very stable.

    Naturally, I hope I'm wrong on all of these points, as the combo of serious overclocking and cool'n'quiet would be fantastic.

    Can someone speak from experience on this? In general, can you enable cool'n'quiet yet overclock huge amounts? Wes?
    Reply
  • NegativeEntropy - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Wesley,

    Does Cool 'n' Quiet work on this MoBo?

    If it works, does it still work when overclocking (or is it borked because of the lower than stock multiplier or for some other reason)?

    The reason I ask: looking to build an HTPC -- CnQ would come in handy to reduce power usage, and this board would be more fun than the K8V :)
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    #13 and #14 -
    Just skip Extreme Overclocking 1 and 2, then it's a standard motherboard review. ALL performance charts, like always, are at default speed and default ratios. Since this is the first A64 board we have tested with a working AGP/PCI lock and working ratios that are available on the A64, it was the perfect opportunity for a "how-to" and why of high FSB overclocking. These features will be the most important thing about this board for many Enthusiasts, and of little interest to others.

    #15 -
    I normally use a Pentax *ist D digital SLR with a 50f1.4 or 28-105f2.8 lens - at 800 ISO, no flash, and adjusted color temperature. However, most of the shots in this review were with a $300 Kodak 5 megapixel digital we will be reviewing on AnandTech in the next few weeks.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Its a bit of an OT question, sorry Wesley, what kinda of camera do you use to take the pictures of the board layouts/chips to use in the reviews please? Reply
  • retrospooty - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    By that I mean, there are so many levels of OC, so many different ways to look at it. I am unclear what was screenshot stable, and benchmark stable, and I am unclear exactly what speed the final tests were run at. Maybe its just too early in the morning for me. :D Reply
  • retrospooty - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Am I the only one that found this artcle hard to follow ? Its all over the place ... What the hell was being tested ? Reply
  • cowdog - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    Thanks for the information.

    BTW, I finally did get through to AOpen, and they have been very prompt and helpful. I must have fallen through the cracks or something earlier.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    Cowdog -
    I used our standard Mushkin/OCZ 3500 at default speed. Above 233, I used OCZ 3500EB to DDR500, and OCZ 4200EL to DDR550. if you look closely at the screen shots the memory is identified on the overclocks. As you state, BH6 can't reach these levels.

    AOpen tells us the board would require a revision to allow an increase in vcore, and with the nF3-250 near, a new rev will not appear with the 150. They can't modify the vCore on this board with just a BIOS update. vdimm and higher FSB may be a possibility - we have requested those changes - but it is more likely these will come with the 250 version.

    Reply
  • cowdog - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    FYI: This seemed as good a place to post this as anywhere else. Just came across a new bios, 1.07

    "For AMD recommended,memory clock will set to DDR333 when DIMM1 and DIMM2 plugged double side DDR400 memory."

    Two things:

    1. BIOS defaulted to 200x11 for me, which isn't a good thing for an A64 3200

    2. I have no option for DDR400 in the bios with 2x246MB Mushkin Lv II PC3500.

    3. When I tried to lower the multipler, the bios gave me an error at POST (safe mode or something like that). Then even if I selected bios defaults I had the same message. I reset cmos and it worked, although cpu frequency went back to the 200x11.

    Might want to be leary of bios 1.07, although my system may simply be whacked.
    Reply
  • cowdog - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    Wesley, I must admit that I haven't tried Dr. AOpen; I missed that. I did fill out their tech support form (with serial number, etc.) three times. This third time (last night) I did receive an automated reply for the first time. I kept screen shots of the previous forms, and I know my email was right. I'm not sure what happened. Anyway, I'll try Dr. AOpen as well, thanks.

    Couple of things to add:

    1. As far back as the official 1.06 bios, I was able to change multiplers (only downward, of course) using Clockgen. I found that clockgen would work if I set the multiplier lower in the bios, even though that did not change the multiplier at post. 1.06 m bios now changes the multiplier at post, as you note. Funny thing too, after I updated to 1.06m, the default multipler was 4.

    2. I don't understand why AOpen won't open up the cpu and dimm voltages as they did with the AK86-L. As you note, the AK89 Max is their current A64 flagship. Why add features via bios update to the AK86-L but not do similar for the AK89 Max? Unless, of course, those features can't be added with a bios update. Do you know?

    3. When you overlclocked the memory 1:1 to 250Mhz, were you using the OCZ or Mushkin memory that you referenced earlier in the article? I am unable run some Mushkin BH-5 memory 1:1 at anything higher than 230Mhz (clockgen) and 210Mhz (bios) with the multiplier way down and LDT at 3 or 2.5 even though I can run the same memory at speeds higher than 250Mz on another board. Same thing with some Corsair LL v.1.1 memory. Just curious. Perhaps the cpu is the limiting factor; is there that much variability?

    Anyway, thanks for a really nice and thorough review. I am trying very hard to like this board (and AOpen) and your review renewed my motivation.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    #7 - The Asus K8V is based on the VIA K8T800 chipset which has no capability at all for a PCI/AGP lock. We have found the performance of the VIA and nForce3-150 to be about the same at stock speed, but the VIA is simply not cpable of avchieving the overclocks we have reported in this review.

    The K8V performs about like the MSI K8V Neo which is included in our benchmarks.
    Reply
  • Modal - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    I wish you would have done some comparisons with the ASUS K8V Deluxe as well, as this seems to be quite a popular board for Athlon64 machines (plus, I'm thinking about using it for my next build...). Oh well... Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    #5 - Have you tried Dr. AOpen on line? If nothing has worked please email me your details and I will forward your email to contacts at AOpen.

    Both Evan Lieb and I have had very positive Support expereinces with AOpen. If others are getting different treatment it is important to know that and report it in our reviews.
    Reply
  • gimpsoft - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    is this a Real AGP /PCI lock ???
    i heard there way to mod the bios to lock but not the same as hardware Agp/pci locks

    well something like a sofmod ill see if i can find the link


    may be a this must buy board i got a via KT800
    i can do 3000+ 10 X 250= 2500MHZ but my radeon 9800pro & audigy bitch they say to high =) PCI: 41 APG: 83




    Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    2-I was quite impressed by te FSB's the AOpen was able to hit and did feel the review was there just to show what the board is capable of.

    I also have this board and i would say 1:1 will be pretty limited due to 2.8V vdimm max.

    Also it was nice to see a comparison of 3dmark although i know this is not a bench Wes uses.

    Overall i think the review showed the board has awesome potential and proved that boards can become awesome with a "tuned" bios ;-)
    Reply
  • cowdog - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    I have had a very different tech support experience with AOpen and my AK89 Max. I have filled every online tech support option through the AOpen website over the past 4 weeks or so and have yet to receive any kind of reponse. I have additionally sent email and posted on the AOpen support forum.

    My negative AOpen customer service goes back to buying the board with an AOpen rebate. After numerous calls trying to obtain the rebate form, I twice talked to someone at AOpen who took my email and promised to reply. They never replied.

    I have to wonder about your glowing comments about AOpen's tech support. Either that or I have simply had the worst possible luck.
    Reply
  • Pumpkinierre - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    Good review Wesley. You should include 3mark 2001 results for the FSB275 (1:1) and 347 async.. I suspect the asynchronous would be disappointing as the RAM is the bottleneck not the ondie mem. controller. Also the FSB200 and 250 results should be run at the same mem. latency (the looser one- CAS3) so that we can see how FSB increase alone affects performance on the a64. Sorry if I sound like your mother but you were missing her anyway.

    Reply
  • Pumpkinierre - Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - link

    test again Reply

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