BIOS and Overclocking
The Asus P6T6 WS Revolution utilizes a standard issue Phoenix Award BIOS that has a wide assortment of options for enabling and disabling features and peripherals, as well as overclocking and voltage adjustments.
This BIOS also has the same basic individual per-core CPU clock ratio adjustments that we demonstrated in our Intel Core i7 video spotlight, as well as Intel's Turbo Mode, dynamic clock ratio adjustments that can be set. In the case of an Extreme edition processor, you can of course dial up the core clock multiplier to a higher setting, as well as turn it down, though we tested with a stock Core i7 920 and thus there was no ability to adjust its multiplier, only the base reference clock speed. As you can see, there are various memory multiplier settings as well as a myriad of DRAM timing settings to choose from.
Voltage levels of all the major interfaces around the CPU, chipset and system memory can be adjusted in very granular increments. As you can see we have the ability to to tweak CPU VCore, VTT, and PLL voltages, as well as QPI and IOH voltage levels. You also have the ability to individually adjust control and data line voltages for the DRAM system memory interface, on a per channel basis. We're not sure what sort of advantage this can offer but regardless, it's obvious this board's BIOS is setup for extreme flexibility.
If you got the chance to check out our initial Core i7 launch coverage, you'll know that Intel's new 45nm processor with integrated memory controller and QPI serial link, also has a lot of headroom with respect to clock speed. We set out to see what the Asus P6T6 was made of, overclocking our stock, retail Core i7 920 with only the help of a stock retail HSF cooler installed. Our results were rather impressive actually...
Core i7 920 2.66GHz - Overclocked to 3.99GHz
With only a small bump in core voltage to 1.35V, we were able take the reference clock of our retail Core i7 920 processor to 190MHz, up from its 133MHz stock speed. With its standard 20x multiplier and an additional 1X bump from Intel Turbo Mode technology in the BIOS, we realized a 3.99GHz clock speed with an overall multiplier of 21X. This is about as fast as we've seen any Core i7 920 hit to date in house, especially with a stock, retail Intel Core i7 cooler keeping things in line thermally.