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After this discovery we got to overclocking with new enthusiasm. Controlling the frequency from the OS we got more impressive results. At x5 HyperTransport multiplier the system remained stable till the clock generator frequency reached 237MHz. With 4x HyperTransport, we raised the frequency to 292MHz. When we dropped the HyperTransport multiplier to x3, we managed to increase the clock-generator frequency to 305MHz. After that we encountered a new problem, this time a fatal one. As I have mentioned above, the chipset on Chaintech VNF4 Ultra VE mainboard is cooled by a passive needle-shaped heatsink of a medium size, and our supposition that this heatsink wouldn’t handle the chipset during overclocking came true at 305MHz clock generator frequency. When the mainboard was tested for stability in this mode, its nForce4 Ultra chip got overheated and burned out beyond repair. So, basing on our tragic experience, we have to claim now that nForce4 series chipsets require active cooling, at least the two top models of the series do. You should keep this fact in mind when choosing a mainboard for overclocking. For the owners of Chaintech VNF4 Ultra VE we recommend to mount a fan on the chipset heatsink. Just in case.

Summing up our overclocking experiments with Chaintech VNF4 Ultra VE we should say that even though its BIOS contains a lot of appropriate settings, the board is not a very overclocking-friendly product. First of all, it does not start up when you select a clock generator frequency above 221MHz in the BIOS Setup, and secondly, it lacks active cooling on the chipset. We hope that Chaintech engineers will see to these problems and will eliminate them in subsequent revisions of the mainboard and BIOS updates. The maximum frequencies we got during our overclocking tests are listed in the table below:

Chaintech VNF4 Ultra VE

HyperTransport frequency multiplier

5x

4x

3x

2x

Maximum clock generator frequency

237 MHz

292 MHz

305+ MHz

?

HyperTransport frequency

1185 MHz

1168 MHz

915+ MHz

?

Don’t forget that we achieved these results when overclocking from the operating system; the BIOS Setup couldn’t handle the same frequencies.

The last thing we feel like mentioning is that Chaintech VNF4 Ultra VE supports Cool’n’Quiet technology, but has no means to control the CPU cooler depending on the temperature of the CPU.

 
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