3-way nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition Boards Shootout
ASUS employed Phoenix-Award BIOS this time round instead of AMI
BIOS for many of their older boards. Over the CPU configuration, the multiplier
can be adjusted if you have an unlocked version, C1E thermal technology, Execute
Disable Bit, HyperThreading can all be enabled or disabled. The LDT (Lightning
Data Transport) frequency multiplier which is none other than HyperTransport
link can be adjusted with options 1x/2x/3x/3.5x/4x/5x.
Moving on to the more interesting feature, the Jumperless
configuration where you can tweak the CPU and memory for better performance.
There is an overclocking profile option available for different users
preferences and technical expertise; manual for the experts, Auto for optimal
settings determined by ASUS, Standard for default stable settings, AI overclock
for optimal parameters for stability during overclocking, AI N.O.S (Non-delay
Overclocking System) for intelligently determines the system load and
automatically boost performance and of course Safe mode if all else fails. If
you choose manual mode, you can adjust the CPU frequency from 1066MHz all the
way to 1600MHz and DDR2 frequency from 400MHz to 1200MHz.
The PCI Express frequency can be adjusted too up to 150MHz but
it is most recommended to leave it at 100MHz default. On the memory timing
configuration, you can tweak the timings of the DDR2 memories manually or just
leave it to SPD (Serial Presence Detect) which set the timings according to the
suggested memory rating. The DDR2 memory voltage can be increased from 1.8V
default up to 2.3V to improve stability during overclocking of memories. The
chipset core voltage which control the voltage supplied to the nForce4 SPP
Northbridge can be increased from 1.5V to 1.65V to improve FSB stability during
overclocking. There is also the MCP-04 Southbridge voltage option available but
it is pretty insignificant for overclocking. ASUS always includes a CPU
termination voltage option into their BIOS which is quite unique to other brands
but it helps CPU overclocking in some ways. Lastly, the VCore voltage option
allows up to1.6V and if you enable VCore overvoltage of 100mv, you will get a
further boost to 1.7V. This will definitely help in CPU overclocking.