Abit AT8 32X Crossfire Xpress 3200 Motherboard ReviewTue, Jun 13, 2006 - 12:00 AM
The Tests: Overclocking
When one thinks of abit, they often times think of overclocking as well. abit at one time was one of the best brands to look at if you were an overclocker. In recent times, DFI has pretty much taken that crown, with Asus right behind and abit being no where in site as the extreme overclocker was shopping for a board. abit is making a great comeback though, and has what looks to be a great lineup coming out for AM2 CPUs.
This ATI chipset has been known to be a good overclocking chipset, so we were anxious to get our hands on it and see what kind of results we could come up with. Sadly, we were disappointed with the results that our Opteron CPU obtained as we pushed this board. We did contact abit about getting a new bios that may address some of the issues. We thought that it might be an Opteron issue, as we had the same issue with the AN8 32X board that we reviewed earlier. abit was quick to get us a new bios then, and we were hoping for the same results here, but it did not happen. We were given a new bios, which is the latest release that you can now get, but it did little for our overclocking adventures.
We were able to reach a high HTT of 294, which is not bad considering our Opteron is maxed out at around 300 HTT (3ghz). But the issues were greater than just getting the HTT up to 300 at the processors default multiplier. We had to lower the HTT multi to 400 (2x) to be able to get these results. Now, there honestly is not much difference in perfprmance in using such a low divider for the HTT, but still it is the first time we havehad to go this low for our default multiplier testing. Usually we would just set it to 600 (3x) and then go at it. Fortunately we have a great amount of voltage controls on this board as well, as we needed to raise several of them to get to this level of overclocking. Both Northbridge voltage adjustments had to be raised, as well as the HTT voltage. Once we got to 294, which we did without raising the vcore, the thought was to raise the vcore a little and see how much more we can get. Well, our results were no different. We were stuck at 294 with the default multiplier. The board would not even post at 295 or above. So we lowered the multiplier on the Opteron and took another shot at it and… same results, leading us to believe we were dealing with some bios issue. Still, all in all this is not a bad overclock for this processor, but hte limitations of the board were certainly disappointing. Hopefully abit will look at this issue some more and have a solution soon, or, maybe we just got a freaky board!
I would have to say that overclocking was nice on this board in one aspect. There was never a time that we had to use the clear CMOS to get the board to post again after a failed overclock attempt. All we had to do was shut the rig off and then turn it back on and it would post at the last workable settings. Pretty nice!