CrossFire Xpress 1600 Motherboards: DFI, Asus, ECS
LANPARTY UT RDX200 CF-DR: BIOS & Overclocking
As usual, DFI did a great job configuring the LANParty RDX200 CF-DR's BIOS. They've incorporated all of the tools necessary to tweak performance and overclock a system well beyond spec, along with a myriad of proprietary features that make it extremely easy to experiment with different configurations and recover from aggressive overclocks.
In the RDX200 CF-DR's standard BIOS menus you'll find all of the common tools necessary to enable, disable or tweak all of the motherboard's integrated peripherals. And as you can see,most of these menus look just like any other motherboard that is equipped with a similar Award / Phoenix BIOS derivative. It's in the "Genie BIOS Setting" and in the "CMOS Reloaded" sections, however, that you'll find all of the options that make the RDX200 CF-DR an enthusiast class motherboard.
Looking through the "Genie BIOS Settings" menu, it was clear DFI wanted to cater to the overclocking community when they were designing this board. In the "Genie BIOS settings" section, users have the ability to set the CPU core VID voltage as high as 1.55v, and then bump that voltage up an additional 4% - 36%. Users are also able to adjust the HT clock speed up to 500MHz, in 1MHz increments, and alter the PCI Express clock speed in 1MHz increments as well. The Northbridge voltage can be raised up to 1.5v, the Southbridge to 1.9v, the HT voltage can be set to any value between 1.2v and 1.5v (.1v increments) and the memory voltage can be raised up to over 4v in approximately.1v increments. The RDX200 CF-DR also has the ability to alter the CPU multiplier when using an FX CPU, and lower multipliers are available for all Cool'n'Quiet enabled Athlon 64s.
The "CMOS Reloaded" menu is home to another very useful BIOS feature. With CMOS Reloaded, users can store different BIOS configurations, and load them by simply selecting them from a menu. You could have one configuration set up to underclock and undervolt your CPU to keep the system running quietly, and another set up with tweaked memory timings and an overclocked CPU for a hardcore gaming session, for example. With CMOS reloaded, there is no need to set each option manually every time you want to change your configuration.
To see how the DFI RDX200 CF-DR faired in the overclocking department, we dropped our Athlon 64 X2 4800+'s multiplier to 4x, increased the core and chipset voltages, and raised the HT clock speed until the system would no longer boot reliably or became generally unstable. We left the HT multiplier set on auto, and also raised the memory divider to keep our Corsair RAM running reliably. When all was said and done we hit a peak clock speed of 272MHz. While overclocking, we also experimented with our processor's multiplier and system memory clocks to see how high we could take our particular CPU. And in the end, we hit a peak of just over 2.7GHz, with a 10x multiplier. We have seen higher HT overclocks than this in the past with competing motherboards, but the RDX200 CF-DR should please all but the most hardcore of overclockers.