ECS KA1 MVP Extreme: BIOS & Overclocking
ECS' KA1 MVP, like the DFI RDX200 CF-DR, is equipped with a Phoenix / Award BIOS derivative, that's been customized to support all of this motherboard's integrated peripherals. And keep in mind, that thanks to the included "Top Hat" flash accessory, flashing to new versions is safe and easy, because a backup is always available. Recovering from a bad flash is only a matter of installing the Top Hat accessory and re-starting the system.
The standard BIOS screens referenced above will likely look familiar to all of you by now. The screen shots above represent all of the standard options necessary to enable, disable, or tweak all of the KA1 MVP's on-board peripherals, set the time and date, boot order, etc. There is also a decent assortment of overclocking options available on this board.
The KA1 MVP's overclocking tools are available in the "Frequency / Voltage Control" section of the BIOS. Through this menu, users have the ability to enable Cool'n'Quiet, alter the processor's multiplier (Labeled "Hammer Fid Control"), and configure a number of voltages and clocks. Processor voltages as high as 1.725v were available, and the memory voltage can be maxed out at a healthy 3.0v. Unfortunately, that was it as far as voltage manipulation goes.
HyperTransport clock speeds can be altered by changing the multiplier, or by increasing / decreasing the CPU Clock option. The KA1 MVP offers HT clock frequencies of up to 500MHz, in 1MHz increments. And there are also quite a few options available to tweak memory timings under the DRAM configuration menu.
We attempted to evaluate the KA1 MVP's overclocking abilities by following the same procedures outlined earlier with the other boards we tested in this round-up (lowering CPU multiplier, raising the CPU and Memory voltages, and increasing the HT clock). When all was said and done, we were able to hit a reliable 268MHz HT clock without any stability issues to speak of. Anything higher than that caused instability within Windows or errors during the POST.