ASUS M2R32-MVP vs ECS KA3 MVP Extreme: CrossFire Xpress 3200 Shootout
BIOS and Overclocking - ASUS M2R32-MVP
The MR32-MVP comes outfitted with an American Megatrends BIOS v2.58. The choices in this version are plentiful, although the structure of the menu system was a bit counter-intuitive. For example, virtually all of the performance options were in the Advanced menu under Jumper Free Configuration, yet to access the Memory settings, such as timings and frequency adjustment, one has to look under the CPU Configuration menu. Aside from this, and a menu structure that seems to go too many pages deep at times, the BIOS does offer a lot of options.
Accessing the Jumper Free Configuration menu unveils a fair amount of performance options. Here the board's AI Overclocking can be configured for Auto, which gives the system full automatic control of the process. The Overclocking Profile option lets users choose from preset profiles ranging in automatic overclocking of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30%. Standard and Manual options provide more hands on control of the process, making for a totally user driven experience.
In Manual mode, the CPU clock can be set from 200 to 400MHz in 1MHz steps. PCIe frequency is also adjustable in 1MHz increments starting at 100MHz and topping out at 150MHz. CPU multiplier options ranged from x4 though x12 in full x1 increments. CPU voltage ranged from .8000v though 1.5625v while DDR Voltage could be set from 1.80 to a maximum of 2.15v in .05v increments.The HT Link could be set from defaults at Auto and can also be set manually for x1-x5. The Northbridge voltage can be tweaked from 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5v for the HT link as well as the Core PCIe Voltage independently.
Under the CPU Configuration screen was the Memory Configuration menu which offered a whole host of memory performance settings. The Frequency can be set to 200, 266, 333 or 400MHz as well as Auto. CAS Latency ranged from 3, 4, 5, and 6 while TRCD and TRP CLK settings followed the same range. Between the Memory Configuration screen and Jumper Free Configuration screen, ASUS offers up a fair amount of options for tweaking stock performance or overclocking the hardware.
Overclocking the ASUS M2R32-MVP was about as smooth a process as we've seen. To start, the memory was locked at 400MHz DDR and the CPU multiplier set to x5. Next, the CPU clock was increased until the system was no longer stable. To our surprise, the ASUS M2R32-MVP hit 310MHz without a single voltage adjustment whatsoever. Next, we set the DDR and CPU voltages to their maximum and managed to top out at an impressive 325MHz.
Next, we reset the CPU clock and multiplier to their defaults and began raising the CPU clock in an effort to see how high we could go with this particular processor. In the end, the highest stable CPU clock was 228MHz, which took our 2.4GHz Athlon 64 X2 4600+ and pushed it to an impressive 2.73MHz, which is in the high range for what we've seen with our test CPU in the past.