BIOS and Overclocking Performance
Much of the BIOS that drives the SDXi Barebones kit is standard fair. The Advanced BIOS Features section covers much of the basics such as device boot order, security options and hard disk priority. The OnChip IDE Device page focuses on drive settings including Block Mode options and On-Chip SATA settings that cater to the types of devices connected. Power Management Setup contained common power control options and PnP/PCI Configurations offered finer control over IRQ settings if the need arises.
The PC Health Status window provides controls over CPU fan behavior while giving a one-stop status of key system voltages, temperatures and fan speeds.
The Frequency/Voltage Control screen was a bit spartan in our opinion, but it did offer what was needed to tweak and enhance system performance over and above stock settings. The CPU Clock ranged from a minimum of 133 to a peak of 355MHz. CPU Voltage setting offered finite control, moving in increments of +25mV up to +800mV. DDR2 voltage was lacking, with options of 1.9, 2.0 and 2.1v. There were also options to adjust the memory CAS Latency, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge and Memory Frequency.
With basic overclocking options and minimal DDR2 voltage control, we stepped into the overclocking segment with relatively low expectations. When it came to squeezing out any extra horsepower, our methods with this system were straight forward, raising the memory voltage to 2.1v, adding +100mv to the CPU voltage and raising the FSB until the system stalled. In the end, we managed to peak the FSB as high as it would go, topping out at 355MHz. This was a solid gain that pushed an E6400 CPU from 2.13GHz up to a stable 2.84GHz, resulting in an increase of 33%.