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Guest r3d c0m3t_merged

Maximus Formula + Q6600 + Reaper HPC

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Guest r3d c0m3t

Finally got this beast of a machine up and running, I ran into a few snags along the way such as me not being aware that I somehow shorted out my Wi-Fi card, I couldn't get the board to read the optical/hard drives properly, but all of this is behind me, except the Wi-Fi...I'll be picking up a new one today. On to the good stuff, I was toying around with the CPU Level Up feature as it makes things incredibly easy whether you're experienced or not. At the moment I'm running at 2.93GHz (QX6800) without any problems whatsoever, eventually I'll overclock on my own accord, but for the time being until I get settled in and comfortable with the new platform jump, I'll continue with my QX6800 overclock.

 

I should mention that before I decided to go with the CPU profile(s), I was able to clock the Q6600 to 3.51 without much of a problem, so I look forward to messing around with this. This'll be a living review of sorts, so with that said I'll be posting pictures and such soon enough.

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Guest r3d c0m3t

Heh. Of course this isn't 975, it's X38, but you do with what you can, right? :nod:

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Guest r3d c0m3t

Alright, I've been messing around with the timings here and there, and I've got to say this is probably one of the best user-friendly performance boards out there right now, almost ever option under the Extreme Tweaker tab is accompanied by a short description, useful for those who aren't sure of what said option does and wouldn't want to risk a potentially fried BIOS ROM. There are a few things that deserve understanding, and I've noticed a few people on Newegg seem to have found ASUS' option to not include EPP support misplaced, which needless to say is not the case. ASUS boards, as in those aimed toward enthusiasts/gamers/overclockers don't need such support, because in essence ASUS has been utilizing "Enhanced Performance Profiles" even before such a feature was available. This option known as CPU Level-Up allows the user to easily overclock their AMD/Intel processors to the same frequencies of the more expensive models, in my case such options are as follows: QX6700 - 2.67GHz, QX6800 - 2.93GHz, QX6850 - 3GHz, and Crazy - 3.51GHz.

 

The same can also be said for the RAM, whether it has the EPP feature or not, because as I've already mentioned it isn't needed. The memory profiles can be achieved in three different ways - Go to the option Ai Overlock Tuner - Manual. From there go down to DRAM Frequency and your options are as follows: DDR2-779, DDR2-935, DDR2-975, DDR2-1037, DDR2-1170, DDR2-1245, DDR2-1297, DDR2-1559.

 

Also, the memory frequency can be adjusted, or rather it is adjusted automatically through the CPU Level-Up profiles: QX6700 - DDR2-742MHz, QX6800 - DDR2-783MHz, QX6850 - DDR2-800MHz, Crazy - DDR2-935MHz. However, that isn't even the tip of the proverbial "iceberg," because going back down to DRAM Frequency with said CPU Profile overclock chosen reveals even more options...

 

Auto/QX6700 Speeds (MHz) - DDR2-593, DDR2-711, DDR2-742, DDR2-789, DDR2-890, DDR2-948, DDR2-987, DDR2-1186

 

QX6800 Speeds (MHz) - DDR2-653, DDR2-783, DDR2-817, DDR2-869, DDR2-980, DDR2-1044, DDR2-1087, DDR2-1306

 

QX6850 Speeds (MHz) - DDR2-667, DDR2-800, DDR2-835, DDR2-887, DDR2-1066, DDR2-1111, DDR2-1335

 

Crazy Speeds (MHz) - DDR2-779, DDR2-935, DDR2-975, DDR2-1037, DDR2-1170, DDR2-1245, DDR2-1297, DDR2-1559

 

...Again, it doesn't even begin to stop there because it also automatically adjusts with the FSB set...

 

400MHz FSB Speeds (MHz) - DDR2-800, DDR2-961, DDR2-1003, DDR2-1066, DDR2-1203, DDR2-1280, DDR2-1334, DDR2-1603

 

450MHz FSB Speeds (MHz) - DDR2-900, DDR2-1081, DDR2-1128, DDR2-1199, DDR2-1353, DDR2-1441, DDR2-1501, DDR2-1803

 

500MHz FSB Speeds (MHz) - DDR2-1000, DDR2-1201, DDR2-1254, DDR2-1333, DDR2-1504, DDR2-1601, DDR2-1668, DDR2-2004

 

...This is where I decided to stop because as you can clearly see for yourself the speeds were becoming quite insane, and just to clear up any possible confusion, these are presets based upon the CPU Level-Up profiles, or the FSB that's set manually. All of this is done with the Ai Overclock Tuner set to Manual. The final way to adjust the memory frequency is to change the Ai Overclock Tuner option from Manual to Super MemProfile, you'll have the same presets as mentioned if you were to just set the Ai Overclock Tuner to Manual, leaving the rest at Auto, also the CPU must be overclocked/overvolted manually.

 

That's all for Update No. 1....:nod::nod::nod:

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Guest r3d c0m3t

So I've been working with this board for the entire week and here's what I've devised thus far: If you intend to use the "Crazy" profile you may very well just clock to 3.5GHz+ on your own accord, because at least on my board, it refuses to POST and/or boot into Windows. The DDR2 profiles are quite extravagant for the better half of anything exceeding the range of DDR2-800, and just as the Crazy profile goes, you might as well just manually overclock/overvolt everything to guarantee stability.

 

Here's a few things I've noticed and have come quite accustomed to: Cleverly included is the rear Clear CMOS switch which makes returning everything to their default values easy, although you'll rarely use it thanks to ASUS' own C.P.R (CPU Parameter Recall), if you're unfamiliar with this feature it simply saves you the trouble of having to reset the CMOS settings should an overclock fail. EZ-Flash is yet another gem, all that's required is downloading the BIOS update intended to be flashed over the previous saved to a USB flash drive and simply accessing the EZ-Flash option from BIOS menu, namely the Tools menu.

 

You get some pretty nifty bundled software with the board too, such software includes - Acrobat v 7.0, DirectX 9.0c update, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, 3DMark 06, WinDVD Copy5. Perhaps the biggest attraction, at least to me was 3DMark 06, although it's not the full version and I never understood why you'd pay (in my case) $291.00, including tax and not get the full version of 3DMark or any of the bundled software for that matter. In any case, on to my results thus far...

 

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff100/S...e95v255Test.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff100/S...e2QuadQ6600.jpg

 

As far as the CoolIT Eliminator handling a quad core goes, I'd say it's quite capable. I've never seen the temperatures rise above 60C, which is definitely a lot higher than my old X2 4400+ pushed, but this is a quad core and it does exert a considerable amount of heat, and for the Eliminator to handle it this well I'd love to see what the Freezone can pull off.

 

More results to follow shortly. :cool:

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Guest r3d c0m3t

Well, I've been spending even more time with the board, and I've come to the realization that this board is absolutely horrible in every conceivable way possible. Alright, enough of the joking, onto the most recent results...

 

Toying with extensive options in the BIOS even further, I've been able to overclock to 3.6GHz using a 400MHz FSB, however at these settings the board does boot into Windows and everything seems to be running quite smoothly, needless to say, that's not the case. When I begin testing with Prime95, only after several minutes does the system mysteriously restart, and what's funny about that is I'm never around when it happens. Furthermore, whenever I use a higher DRAM frequency other than 800MHz, the board will not POST. When I set the FSB strap to 333 or 400MHz the board will not POST, even if the DRAM frequency is set to auto.

 

A possible error on my behalf? It's possible, but it could also be the BIOS revision I've flashed to. I've noticed in Raj's review that build 0505 was used, whereas I'm using build 0602 ( 0701 beta won't even boot into Windows) I'll re-flash to build 0505 and see if I can progress in my venture of supreme Q6600 overclocking.

 

Not to mention since Image Shack doesn't time out anymore (possibly due to my signal strength) I can finally post a bunch of pictures.

 

More to come in the coming hours, not to mention those pictures....

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You need to set transaction booster manually for some of the divider combinations. The 333 strap requires setting Transaction Booster to disabaled and a relax setting of 0 or 1. For the 400 strap enabled and boost level 0 works fine with the 0505 bios.

 

I am currently running a beta bios (not cleared for public use until testing is over), that runs just as well, actually a little better.

 

regards

Raja

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Guest r3d c0m3t

I've flashed to Build 0505 and for the most part things remained the same, the board refused to POST with a DRAM frequency higher than 800MHz. I even increased the DRAM voltage to 2.24v and the board still refused to POST. However, earlier this morning around 5-something I had an epiphany of sorts, I realized something that should have been apparent to me from the beginning...

 

...Was it really the fault of the BIOS revision, or was the problem much more simpler? If you're thinking the latter, you couldn't be more on point. No, it wasn't the BIOS revision, it was the RAM slots I had chosen, once I switched from Channel A (blue) to Channel B (white) the problems seemed to have become non-existent with one slight exception which I'll get into.

 

So, I've switched from the blue slots to the white and everything seems to be working well, better even. I stroll into the BIOS and proceed to the Extreme Tweaker section, and away I went. Not only did everything seem to be more efficient, or should I say proficient, I could now set the FSB strap to 333 or 400MHz, enable the Transaction Booster and Boost Level to 0, but I could finally set an appropriate DRAM frequency, and so I did. I set the FSB strap to 400MHz and I set the DRAM frequency to 1066MHz (FSB was also at 400MHz), and the board would finally POST. Granted, it had done so after I had adjusted several of the voltage options accordingly, but nonetheless the board would finally POST.

 

Onto the new problem that has arisen, stifling my conquest to the venture of 3.6GHz for 24/7 use, and such a cumbersome annoyance should be familiar to all of us here; the dreaded stop error (BSOD). Not much of a problem because BSODs usually sprout about when a voltage is either too low or too high, or a frequency pertains to the same nature. Of course I ventured back to the BIOS to rid myself of this annoyance, and I would do so several times until finally booting into Windows without a problem. I opened up Prime95 and proceeded to test and after only several minutes it became unresponsive which hinted at instability, it was at this juncture that I decided to back down from 3.6GHz/1066MHz for the time being and settle for a much more modest overclock of 3.2GHz/800MHz. I'll continue this adventure for the next few weeks or so, but for today I'll settle for this.

 

By the way, thanks for the review and the help Raj. :rolleyes:

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Guest r3d c0m3t

Playing around with this board has been an absolute treat, and I'm nowhere near done messing around with it. Here's my progress so far...

 

400 x 8 @ 1.3v - 3200MHz

core2quadq66003200mhzwz5.th.jpg

 

417 x 8 @ 1.3v - 3336MHz (3DMark06 single card performance)

core2quad3336mhzhd5.th.jpg

 

aquamark3benchieht7.th.jpg

 

Even more pictures/results to come...

IMG%5D

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Guest r3d c0m3t

Here's the Aquamark 3 benchie in Crossfire....

 

aquamark3benchiecrossfivm4.th.jpg

 

...The results would be even better if I had a damn X1900XT Master Card. :sad:

 

From this point on, all graphic benchmarks will be done using a single X1900XTX to minimize errors and/or any performance haphazards.

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Guest r3d c0m3t

Been pushing the CPU even further since getting the H20-220C, and this board boots up without batting and eyelid, it runs very (very) stable. One of the best boards I've ever owned since my CFX3200...

 

Here are some more recent tests...

 

425 x 8 @ 1.312v - 3400MHz

core2quad3400mhzg0hw1.th.jpg

 

450 x 8 @ 1.39375v - 3600MHz

core2quad3600mhzg0kc3.th.jpg

 

Aquamark 3 benchie with the HD 3870

hd3870wf3.th.jpg

 

...Notice how the 3870 scores so close to both of the 1900s. :tooth:

core2quad3400mhzg0bi5.th.jpg

 

Another Aquamark benchie just taken...

hd3870core2quad3600mhznw7.th.jpg[/url]

 

Definitely bang for the buck, it exceeds both of my 1900s combined.

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