Articles: Mainboards

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Testbed Configuration

We carried out our tests on a testbed that included the following components:

  • Foxconn P67A-S mainboard (LGA1155, Intel P67 Express, BIOS version A46F1020);
  • Intel Core i5-2500K CPU (3.3 GHz, Sandy Bridge, LGA1155);
  • 2 x 2048 MB DDR3 SDRAM Patriot Extreme Performance Viper II Sector 5 Series PC3-16000, PVV34G2000LLKB (2000 MHz, 8-8-8-24 timings, 1.65 V voltage);
  • MSI N570GTX-M2D12D5/OC graphics card (Nvidia GeForce GTX 570, GF110, 40 nm, 786/4200 MHz, 320-bit GDDR5 1280 MB);
  • Kingston SSD Now V+ Series (SNVP325-S2, 128 GB);
  • Cooling system: Scythe Mugen 2 Revision B (SCMG-2100) CPU cooler and an additional 80x80 mm fan for cooling of the area around the CPU socket during overclocking experiments;
  • ARCTIC MX-2 thermal interface;
  • CoolerMaster RealPower M850 PSU (RS-850-ESBA);
  • Open testbed built using Antec Skeleton system case.

We used Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64 bit (Microsoft Windows, Version 6.1, Build 7601: Service Pack 1) operating system, Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility version, Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver 266.58 graphics card driver.

Operational and Overclocking Specifics

We didn’t have any problems with the system assembly. The mainboard also worked perfectly fine in the nominal mode, it only took a little too long to boot. However, when it comes to processor overclocking, there were some problems, as the board couldn’t boot the operating system even at 4.6 GHz clock frequency, not to mention the 4.8 GHz maximum for our processor sample. We discovered that the board didn’t react to the changes of the processor core voltage and it always remained at its nominal setting. Luckily, our processor can overclock up to 4.5 GHz even with the default voltage.

In idle mode processor power-saving technologies kick in and lower the processor clock multiplier and voltage accordingly.

You can see that the mainboards lowers the base clock a little (by 0.2), but this is typical of many LGA1155 mainboards. Of course, this adjustment doesn’t have any serious effect on the performance, but we usually prefer to correct it, simply because we like solid numbers, especially since contemporary mainboards allow doing it just fine. We only failed to set the back clock to 100 MHz in two cases. For the first time it occurred with Intel DP67BG, because unlike other mainboards it doesn’t allow adjusting the frequency with an increment less than 1 MHz. and now is the second occurrence with Foxconn P67A-S mainboard: it turned out that when we increase this frequency in the BIOS, in reality it lowers from 99.8 MHz to 99.3 MHz, sow e had to give up this “correction” altogether. Luckily, there were no problems of any kind with the memory, which worked at 1600 MHz with 6-6-6-18-1T timings, just like on other mainboards.

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