Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2 - HotHardware

Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2

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The Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2 is equipped with an Award / Phoenix v6.0 BIOS derivative, like most other motherboards shipping today.  Foxconn has done some tweaking, however, that gives the 925A01 some fairly unique features and capabilities...

The BIOS: Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2
It's Fairly Complete

          

          

          

Most of the BIOS menus contain options that are commonly found on a multitude of other products.  The Standard, Advanced, and Chipset Features menus are home to common features for tweaking memory timings, assigning the boot order, and setting the time and date, etc.  On the "BIOS Features" menu though, we found some Foxconn specific options that aren't very common.  These "BIOS Features" are dubbed SuperBoot, SuperBIOS-Protect, SuperRecovery, and SuperSpeed.  SuperBoot basically trims down the POST routine on warm-reboots to shave a few seconds off of the boot process and SuperBIOS-Protect prevents unwanted programs, like a virus for example, from overwriting the BIOS and damaging the board.  Nothing revolutionary, but very useful nonetheless.  SuperRecovery is a bit more interesting, however.  SuperRecovery uses a hidden hard drive partition to backup data that will allow users to recover from a fatal error.  Think of SuperRevoery as a basic version of Drive Image or Norton Ghost built right into the system BIOS.  SuperSpeed is essentially a link to the "Frequency and Voltage Menu" where all of the overclocking tools are located.  Speaking of overclocking...

Overclocking Tools: Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2
Getting Better With Age...

          

          

We've had experience with a few other Foxconn motherboards, and found their overclocking options to be somewhat limited.  Initially, the 925A01-8EKRS2 left is with the same impression, but over time Foxconn seems to have turned over a new leaf.  We've had this board on the test bench for a quite a few weeks.  The initial BIOS revision that shipped with the board had overclocking options to alter the FSB and to raise the CPU voltage, but other than that where wasn't much else available.  In June a newer BIOS revision was released that added more voltages, but in mid July yet another BIOS revision was released that added quite a few useful tools.  When equipped with this latest BIOS revision, the 925A01-8EKRS2 has overclocking tools available that rival some much bigger names in the business. System memory can be clocked asynchronously from the FSB at DDR2400 or DDR2533 speeds and the PCI clock can be clocked at 33.33MHz, 36.36MHz, 40MHz, or in reference to the PCI Express clock.  The PCI Express clock can be set to any speed between 100MHz and 200MHz, in 1MHz increments, provided your card can handle the increased clock speed (which it probably can't! ATi and NVIDIA's PCI Express cards usually malfunction once the PCI Express clock hits about 115MHz).  The FSB can be set to any speed between 200MHz and 350MHz, also in 1MHz increments, and CPU, Memory and Chipset voltages can all be altered.



CPU-Z
Pentium 4 @
3.91GHz
18x217MHz

CPU-Z
Pentium 4 @
3.53GHz
14x252MHz

SANDRA CPU Benchmark
Pentium 4 @ 3.91GHz
18x217MHz

When we actually go to overclocking our processor, we had some very interesting results.  We used an engineering sample CPU, so we have two sets of numbers to digest here.  First is the maximum stable clock speed we were able to hit with our particular CPU, which turned out to be just a hair below 4GHz.  We hit that speed with a multiplier of 18 and a Front Side Bus speed of 217MHz - PCI Express and PCI clock speeds were locked at 100MHz and 33.33MHz respectively, the memory was clocked at DDR2400 speeds, and we raised the CPU core voltage by .1v.  We should also note that Foxconn has a "built-in" overclocking recovery tool with this board's BIOS.  Select an FSB that's too high, and that system will fail the POST, and automatically revert to an FSB of 200MHz without having to manually clear the CMOS.

Then we set out to find the highest FSB the Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2 could utilize.  We dropped the multiplier on our CPU and raised the FSB until the system would no longer POST and had some interesting results.  First we raised memory and chipset voltages by .1v (the maximum available in the BIOS), and with the PCI Express clock locked at 100MHz, the highest FSB we could hit was a paltry 217MHz (we tried both ATi and NVIDIA video cards).  

We did some experimenting though, and found that as we raised the PCI Express clock, we could hit higher and higher FSB speeds.  In the end, we found the highest PCI Express clock that worked reliably with our video cards was 116MHz.  At this PCI Express clock speed, the highest FSB we could hit was a rather impressive 252MHz.  It seems that with the serial point to point connections of PCI Express, i925X owners should do some experimenting with their PCI Express clock to find their highest stable speed, before raising the processor's FSB.  The reason for this may be that timing characteristics of the i925X chipset are significantly more relaxed when interfacing to higher speed PCI Express links, afording more margin on its on the front side bus speed. We'll be experimenting further with some other motherboards and will update you with more information on this in the near future.

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