Abit AW8-MAX i955X Motherboard

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Abit's uGuru Software and Overclocking Results

Abit's uGuru Software
Overclocking the easy way!

The ABIT uGuru software is provided on the included driver CD-ROM, and will actually be used to install the drivers for an unknown device that appears in Device Manager (the GURU chip).  The main purpose behind the uGuru suite is to provide up to the moment feedback on the system, such as fan speeds, voltages, and current status.  When the program is first run, the system's settings are displayed, mirroring choices that were initially made in the BIOS.  A quick check can determine whether or not the temperatures or voltages are running within normal operation limits, how long the system has been running based on cycles and/or time, and what the current clock speed is set to.


Besides reporting, the uGuru software can make changes to anything shown, including overclocking the CPU.  All one needs to decide is which area they would like to modify: temperature reporting, fan speed, or front side bus settings.  The first section we headed to was the OC Guru to see what tools were available for overclocking the AW8-MAX.  The screen is almost overly simplistic with a slider bar for choosing the clock speed, and drop-down menus for the individual voltages.  Similar to graphic card utilities, once a speed is chosen, clicking on 'Apply' performs a trial run, and if successful, changes the BIOS settings to the desired effects.  Unlike other programs of this type, however, these choices are immediately saved, and will remain in effect after restarting the system.


AbitEQ is the next section we checked, which determines how the uGuru status is displayed.  Here it can be determined which voltages or temperatures are to be monitored, and in what format, Celsius or Fahrenheit.  Finally, the Fan EQ allows for complete control over the system fans.  There are a few preset modes such as Cool, Quiet, and Normal which cover anything from full-speed cooling to nearly silent operation.  If set to User Define, the fans can be programmed to start or stop at certain cut-off temperatures, while the reference temperature can be determined from the CPU, ambient, PWM Average Temp or PWM Highest Temp. 

CPU-Z 1.30 Results
P4 550 CPU OC'ed to 4.0 GHz
SANDRA CPU-Arithmetic Results
P4 550 CPU OC'ed to 4.0 GHz

Using the uGuru OC Guru utility, we were able to take some of the chore out of overclocking the AW8-MAX.  We could pull the slider over to a higher front side bus, apply the settings, and test our benchmarks for performance gains and stability.  Should the need arise, we could raise the voltages and try again.  Although the system crashed a few times, even after the speeds has been verified, we never had any problems getting back into the BIOS and lowering our settings to get into Windows and try again.  Unfortunately, even with the extensive cooling and handy utility that Abit offers, we couldn't get over 236MHz for the FSB and remain stable.  We had the voltage set at 1.525V in the BIOS, although the AW8-MAX repeatedly reported the voltage about a half Volt lower.  RAM dividers were set to AUTO, which changed the ratio from 3:5 to 3:4, and had the memory running at 312MHz.  While this FSB speed is in the range of what we've become accustomed to with this particular CPU, it was actually lower than what we had achieved on the Asus P5WD2 Premium (239 MHz).  It's still a decent overclock, adding an extra 600MHz to our CPU speed, and we increased our SANDRA CPU results by nearly 1700 MIPS.


Tags:  Motherboard, Abit, board, W8, AR

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