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EVGA nForce 4 SLI Mainboard Review - Page 5 of 13

BIOS

CMOS Setup Utility

The Phoenix-Award Bios used in the EVGA 133-K8-NF41-AX is not robust but then again it is really not lacking. All the necessary software controls are here making setup easy. Overclock settings are listed under Power User Overclock Settings making these easy to get to. Setting the ram timings are found in the Advanced Chipset Features section.

DRAM Timing Settings

DRAM Timing Settings consists of the basics with CAS Latency, RAS, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS, and Command Rate.

PC Health Status

PC Health Status contains what every system builder comes to know as the essentials in determining the systems condition. All the necessary output readings are found here.

PCIE Clock

CPU Ratio

The Power User Overclock Settings section brings a number of useful tools for the overclocker. First the PCIE Clock screen shows settings of 100Mhz to 145Mhz which provides the option of setting the PCI-E bus independently from the CPU. The next screen show the available CPU Ratios and can play a very important part for those seeking the highest front side bus obtainable. The available multipliers for the 3700+ are x4 through x11 with, of course, the default setting which on the 3700+ is x11.

CPU Vcore

CPU Vcore 7-Shift

CPU Vcore, in the case of the 3700+, offers CPU voltage settings from default of 1.4V up to a maximum of 1.55V. CPU VCore 7-Shift is another set of voltage settings I need to checkout. For some additional voltage applications in milli-volts the selections are from 50mV up to 350mV. The manual states that this offers selection of VCore voltages more than the standard value for precise overclocking in extra demanding performance applications.

VRAM Output

Northbridge Voltage

VRam Output lists my ram's default value and the ram performed well at this setting. But a notice to overclockers! Check out the maximum available setting in this Bios, 3.25V. This is well above most voltage offerings of the SLI boards currently out.

NB Voltage should be used sparingly but sometimes does help give stability when overclocking and you have the option of going 0.2V above default, 1.5V - 1.7V. Just remember adding voltage increases heat output so adequate cooling is a necessity. I could get 225 MHz HTT stable with tight timings (2-2-2-6) by increasing the voltage to 1.6V. I did not run it for long and the heatsink on the chipset was getting a little warm. Since not a lot can be done to the HSF on the chipset an additional fan may be warranted for extended periods running at a higher voltage than 1.5V.

While not the robust options of the DFI LanParty Ultra D and SLI boards this bios does offer a lot for the experienced overclocker. The plus is that for the less experienced it makes for an easy setup doing most of the work for you. Later, you can come back a tweak to your heart's content.
 

Next Page: Board Layout

Last Updated on August 23, 2005


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