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Albatron officially said it had added a feature to increase overclocking potential of its mainboards based on i915G core-logic after a web-site revealed that Albatron’s PX915G Pro mainboard is capable of running faster than the rivals.

“Albatron mainboards have been known for their generous BIOS overclocking options and with the PX915G Pro mainboard, this was no exception. It was a setting in the PX915G Pro’s BIOS utility called the “NB Voltage” option that revealed the trick to breaking through the 915G’s clock barrier. It was found that gradual increases in this setting allowed the system to maintain stability as the system stepped up to the higher FSB settings,” Albatron said in its statement.

Albatron officially calls the feature “FSB Booster”.

New Chipsets Limit Overclocking

The new family of core-logic sets from Intel – i915G, i915P, i925X Express and derivatives – bring dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM memory, PCI Express x16 and x1 lanes for next-generation add-in cards, the industry’s first integrated graphics core with DirectX 9.0 support – Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (i915G only), 4 Serial ATA-150, High-Definition 7.1 Audio as well as some other important capabilities, such as integrated WLAN or promising RAID technologies.

The Intel’s i925X Express core-logic delivers a bit higher performance compared to the i915P Express chipset-based platforms due to optimizations of memory controller. Additionally, the i925X Express cannot work with previous-generation DDR memory, while the less expensive and fast i915P maintains compatibility with more widely-spread DDR SDRAM memory standard.

Some reviewers and enthusiasts noted very poor overclockability of the new chipsets, which was attributed to a special feature called “overclocking protection”, which would limit maximum overclockability to threshold designated by Intel. Earlier this week PC Ekspert web-site assumed that there is no such feature, but the overclockability is limited by chipsets’ (G)MCH chips themselves. It is pretty natural that when voltage of the North Bridge components is increased, overclockability gets higher.

The web-site noted that at this point Albatron supplies mainboards that allow to boost the voltage of (G)MCH chips by 0.1V, 0.2V or 0.3V. Maximum processor system bus clock-speed rises from 230MHz to 260MHz when the (G)MCH voltage is increased by 0.3V.

Intel Indirectly Confirms “Overclocking Protection”

An Intel representative told X-bit labs there is a feature to limit maximum processor system bus setting in the company’s latest chipsets.

“Intel has done extensive evaluation of our i915G/P and i925X chipset products and have designed them to run robustly at 800MHz processor system bus. Any use or operation of these chipsets beyond their specifications, including overclocking, has not been evaluated or validated by Intel. If a mainboard provider decides to overclock their platform, they do so at their own risk, since this action will void the warranty for the Intel products. Additionally, from time to time, Intel may choose to implement functionality that helps to ensure that the Intel product experience is not degraded by those who may try to run our products out of spec,” an Intel spokesman said.

More Overclocking Ahead

Another factor that could limit overclockability of the new platforms may be inability of the vast majority of available mainboards to lock PCI Express x16 slot’s clock-speed to 100MHz. Higher than 100MHz frequencies may not be handled by modern graphics cards.

“This startling revelation will undoubtedly open new doors for Intel 915G chipset mainboards and significantly increase the potential for overclocking,” Albatron said in its statement.

PC Ekspert web-site also reported citing Albatron’s officials that future BIOS releases for its i915G and i915P mainboards will allow better overclocking because of locked PCI Express x16 speed along with booster (G)MCH voltage.

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