Socket 939 Motherboard Roundup: ABIT, MSI, Gigabyte

Article Index

ABIT AV8: BIOS & Overclocking

In typical ABIT fashion, the AV8 is equipped with a Phoenix / Award BIOS that is chock-full of options for tweaking performance and managing all of the AV8's onboard features...

Typical ABIT Goodness



ABIT has built a reputation for configuring its motherboards with some of the most complete BIOSes in the industry.  The initial release of the AV8's BIOS is missing a few features that should be made available shortly, but even in its early stages, it is very good.  The standard BIOS menus listed above offer all of the tools necessary to enable, disable, or tweak all of the AV8's onboard peripherals, but it's in the uGuru Utility menu where things get really interesting.  Although the AV8 does also have an excellent assortment of user-configurable memory timings that should keep inquisitive tweakers busy for a while!

Overclocking Tools: ABIT AV8
Do You Guru?





The uGuru Utility menu is home to all of the AV8's overclocking tools, which are quite extensive.  In the uGuru Utility menu, users can manually adjust processor multipliers, bus speeds, and a slew of voltages.  Three ratios are available to tweak the AV8's AGP / PCI buses (8:2:1, 7:2:1, and 6:2:1), and the processor bus can be set to any speed between 200MHz and 336MHz, in 1MHz increments.  A whole host of voltages can be manually altered, as well.  The AV8 has the ability to alter the northbridge, southbridge, HyperTransport, DDR Memory, CPU, and AGP voltages.  CPU voltages between 1.5v and 1.85v in .025v increments are available, along with AGP voltages from 1.5v - 1.65v, DDR voltages from 2.5v - 2.8v, northbridge voltages from 1.5v - 1.65v, southbridge voltages from 2.5v - 2.65v, and HyperTransport voltages from 1.2v - 1.4v, all in .05v increments.  There are a slew of monitoring and shutdown options available, as well, which can be configured to shut the system down should any fan speed, voltage, or temperature reach a predetermined, user-configurable threshold.  This is definitely a BIOS geared to the hardcore overclocker.

Max OC=258MHz
Armed with an unlocked Athlon 64 FX-53 processor and some Kingston PC3500 RAM, we set out to see just how far we could overclock the ABIT AV8 while keeping the system stable.  We should mention that all of the overclocking tests in this roundup were performed using a stock AMD copper / aluminum heatsink and fan combo in an open air environment.  With more exotic cooling, our overclocking results would likely have been different.  Keep that in mind, as your mileage may vary.  We bumped the CPU voltage to 1.7v and the memory voltage to 2.8v and gave all of the other peripherals a .1v bump, as well.  Then we dropped the multiplier and lowered the speed of the HT link and raised the processor's bus speed until the test system was no longer stable.  In the end, we hit a maximum stable bus speed of 258MHz.  The AV8 booted with higher bus speeds, but we couldn't stabilize Windows until we dropped things back down to 258MHz.  We also focused on overclocking the CPU itself and found that the AV8 had no trouble hitting the same 2.6GHz+ speeds we had attained with this particular CPU when we first reviewed it back in June '04.


Related content