ECS KN1 SLI Extreme: SLI on a Budget
The BIOS for the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme was the standard Phoenix Award BIOS commonly found on the majority of today's motherboards, along with a few personal touches. There were the standard settings screens to configure hard drives, peripherals, integrated components and power management as well as a PC Health Status window that reports various temperatures, voltages and fan speeds. The thrust of the performance settings were located under the Advanced Chipset Features screens. This is the main destination for configuring the system for optimal performance as well as overclocking.
When it came to overclocking, the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme was fairly well equipped for the task. The CPU frequency range could be adjusted in 1MHz steps from 200MHz to 400MHz while the HyperTransport multiplier was adjustable from 1x -5x or could be set to Auto. The DDR Frequency settings were adequate, ranging from 100MHz up to 250MHz and the CAS setting ranged from 2, 2.5 or 3. The system also offered a CPU throttling mechanism based on the thermal reading of the processor. CPU voltage could be adjusted from +25mV through +375mV in .025mV increments. DDR Voltage topped out at a decent 3.11MHz but like its predecessor, there still was no voltage option for the Chipset, although ECS did add the option to enable/disable 1T/2T Command rate.
When we put the board to the test to see the highest stable CPU speed we could hit, we lowered the HyperTransport link to 3X, set the memory at 400MHz DDR and raised the clock generator to the highest stable frequency. When all was said done, we managed a peak of 242MHz, pushing our CPU from 2.2GHz to 2.66GHz, a gain of 460MHz. Thus far, this is the highest speed we've seen with our Athlon 64 3700+, resulting in a boost of 21% which is a respectable increase.