Articles: Mainboards

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Of course we couldn’t help checking out the efficiency of Ai Clock Twister. Therefore, we decided to perform a short system performance test with different Ai Clock Twister settings. We tested a system based on Asus P5E mainboard with FSB increased to 450MHz. Core 2 Duo E6750 processor was configured as 8 x 450MHz, i.e. was overclocked to 3.6GHz. The memory worked as DDR2-1081 with 4-4-4-12 timings.

As we see from the results, Ai Clock Twister option has certain effect on performance and may help fine tune the system. However, it doesn’t have an overwhelming effect: the performance improves by just a few tenths of a percent. So, Transaction Booster remains the most valuable BIOS Setup function, just like for Asus P5K mainboard lineup. It has much bigger influence on the memory subsystem practical bandwidth and latency.

Asus P5E offers pretty rich variety of settings when it comes to voltage adjustment:

Moreover, BIOS Setup also offers options for setting CPU GTL Reference coefficient that may be very helpful during quad-core processors overclocking.

I have to say that P5E is not free from a classical drawback of all Asus mainboards: significant processor Vcore drop under Vdroop load. We performed some tests with a quad-core CPU running at 3.6GHz and revealed that the processor voltage drops by 0.048V. Luckily, there is useful advice online on how to modify the mainboard in a quick way to eliminate this unpleasant effect that can hinder successful overclocking. Asus, unfortunately, didn’t offer any solution of their own to this problem. The BIOS of P5E doesn’t have the CPU Voltage Damper introduced in the P5K series, and the available Loadline Calibration option didn’t prove efficient enough.

By the way, we noticed the processor voltage got simply reduced. For example, our mainboard sample sent 0.058V less to the processor than was set in the BIOS. You should also keep it in mind.

Besides the most important for an overclocker Extreme Tweaker section, there are a few other BIOS Setup pages worth paying attention to. For instance, CPU Configuration page allows you to manage processor technologies and get the general info on the system processor.

And this is Hardware Monitoring page. As you can see, the board allows adjusting fan rotation speeds depending on the processor and system temperatures.

You should also check out the EZ Flash 2 and O.C.Profile utilities integrated into BIOS Setup.

The first one allows refreshing the BIOS from floppy disks and USB drives directly from the Setup, while the second lets you save settings in profile format. The profiles can be saved in nonvolatile mainboard memory as well as files on the hard drive, which is very convenient in case you want to share your profiles with anyone else.

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