Asus Crosshair II AM2+ Motherboard
Test Setup & Overclocking
As I don’t have a reference to base this board upon I will have to take it on its own merits so with the abundance of settings available in the BIOS I set about seeing how far this motherboard could go
A fresh copy of Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit with SP1 installed along with the most recent drivers then applied. No applications/programs apart from the ones used in benchmarking were installed to ensure a totally clean fair environment to which you can base your comparisons.
Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• SiSoft Sandra
• EverestCPU & Motherboard stress test
• Prime95 ver25.6
• PC Probe IIFile Compression & Encoding
• ViMarkHard Disk I/O performance
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008cc3D Rendering
• 3Dmark 06
• 3Dmark Vantage
• Cinebench 103D Games
• Cod 4
It is common knowledge that the AMD CPU’s of late have not been great overclockers regardless of what motherboard has been used especially when compared to Intel, AMD already seem to have binned their chips at the max level. Add to that the fact that the CPU I have is reportedly very stubborn in the overclocking department should make this overclocking experience a very testing one. I will however, endeavour to get the best results possible on air cooling which hopefully will provide the end user with some insight as to the possibilities available with this motherboard.
I am particularly interested in the power regulation with the 8+2 phase design and while only having a mid-top end air cooler available which no doubt limits the amount of vcore available to use safely I will see how far I can push the vcore and what vdrop/droop I encounter when the cpu is under 100% load.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I expected a much bigger overclock but I guess the CPU I have really is nothing special and despite my best efforts which includes 2 days of fiddling with the many BIOS options, the most I could squeeze out of it was little over 2.5ghz. I had similar luck with the max FSB of the board despite raising the voltages past what I would normally recommend. Any more than 220FSB, regardless of CPU multi and voltages, simply refused to POST. Despite the many voltage, CPU and memory tweaks the Crosshair has, it made little effect on the max FSB, emphasizing the fact that this board and therefore my overclocking were crippled by the Phenom in this review. One good point to come out of this is that I didn’t notice ANY droop when putting the CPU under load – the vcore just didn’t budge – testament to the 8+2 phase power delivery the Crosshair II has.
It was a very frustrating couple of days testing and in the end I had to accept defeat. It’s a real shame especially as this board is crying out for a decent CPU.
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