Enthusiasts Use Mainboards with Integrated Graphics to Set Overclocking Records

AMD Phenom II Reaches Beyond 6.0GHz Clock-Speed on Biostar’s AMD 790GX Mainboard

by Anton Shilov
02/19/2009 | 01:20 PM

Sometimes inexpensive does not mean cut-down of feature-lacking. It looks like AMD’s latest platform with built-in graphics core as well as the company’s latest Phenom II chips can do wonders by improving computing performance by roughly two times.


For years platforms with integrated graphics cores have been considered as entry-level products not aimed at enthusiasts. However, Advanced Micro Devices is promoting its AMD 790GX core-logic as a solution for enthusiasts in budget. Surprisingly, pragmatic mainboard makers have followed the initiative and produced 790GX-based motherboards with rich overclocking capabilities. Apparently, on some of such mainboards AMD’s new chips can even set speed records.

Representatives for Biostar have pointed out that the company’s TA790GX2 A2+ mainboard enabled an overclocker from Japan named PcCI2minal to set AMD Phenom II 940 BE processor with 3.20GHz nominal frequency running at approximately 6.0GHz with the help of dry ice. Moreover, enthusiasts from MadShrimps web-site have managed to set AMD Phenom II chips running at 6.20GHz on DFI's AMD 790GX motherboards.

Biostar TA790GX2 A2+ motherboard in ATX form-factor is based on AMD 790GX + SB750 core-logic and features integrated ATI Radeon HD 3300 graphics core with 64MB of SidePort memory, two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, four 240-pin DDR2 memory slots, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio and a wide range of other features. In order to make the mainboard more popular among enthusiasts, Biostar added support for processors with up to 140W thermal design power and equipped its product with rich overclocking capabilities.

Obviously, hardly a lot of users acquiring mainboards with built-in graphics adapters will ever attempt to overclock their central processing units. Moreover, since the vast majority of AMD 790GX motherboards come in ATX, not microATX, form-factor, hardly a lot of system integrators will adopt them for their systems. Nevertheless, the fact that overclocking capabilities have reached the entry-level segment means that there are consumers seeking for such features even in the low-end products. In addition, it shows that AMD is greatly interested in attracting overclocking crowd to its products, which cannot beat Intel Corp.’s high-end central processing units at nominal frequencies.