Test Setup

Standard Test Bed
Performance Test Configuration
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
(2.4GHz, 4MB Unified Cache)
RAM: OCZ Flex XLC (2x1GB), 2.30V
(Micron Memory Chips)
Hard Drive: Western Digital 150GB 10,000RPM SATA 16MB Buffer
Seagate 750GB 7200.10 7200RPM SATA2 16MB Buffer
System Platform Drivers: Intel - 8.1.1.1010
NVIDIA - 9.35
ATI - 6.10
Video Cards: 1 x MSI X1950XTX , 1 x ASUS X1950CF for CrossFire testing
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.11
CPU Cooling: Scythe Infinity
Power Supply: OCZ GameXstream 700W
Optical Drive: Sony 18X AW-Q170A-B2, Plextor PX-B900A
Case: Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Motherboards: ASUS Striker Extreme (NVIDIA 680i) - BIOS 0505
DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G (AMD RD600) - BIOS 12/01
Intel D975XBX2 (Intel 975X) - BIOS 2333
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2
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A 2GB memory configuration is now standard in the AT test bed as most enthusiasts are currently purchasing this amount of memory. Our choice of DDR2-800 memory from OCZ offered a very wide range of memory settings during our stock and overclocked test runs. Our memory timings are set based upon determining the best memory bandwidth via MemTest 86 and test application results for each board.

We are utilizing the MSI X1950XTX video card to ensure our 1280x1024 resolutions are not completely GPU bound for our motherboard test results. We did find in testing that applying a 4xAA/8xAF setting in most of today's latest games created a situation where the performance of the system starts becoming GPU limited. Our video tests are run at 1280x1024 resolution for this article at High Quality settings without antialiasing; we test at 1600x1200 4xAA/8xAF for our ATI CrossFire results.

All of our tests are run in an enclosed case with a dual optical/hard drive setup to reflect a moderately loaded system platform. Windows XP SP2 is fully updated and we load a clean drive image for each system to ensure driver conflicts are kept to a minimum.

Overclocking

DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G
Overclocking Testbed
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Dual Core, 2.4GHz, 4MB Unified Cache
1066FSB, 7x Multiplier
CPU Voltage: 1.5375V (default 1.3250V)
Cooling: Scythe Infinity Air Cooling
Power Supply: OCZ GameXStream 700W
Memory: OCZ Flex XLC (2x1GB) (Micron Memory Chips)
Video Cards: 1 x MSI X1950XTX
Hard Drive: Western Digital 150GB 10,000RPM SATA 16MB Buffer
Case: Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Maximum CPU OC: 432x9 (3-4-3-9 1T, 866MHz, 2.44V), CPU 1.5375V
3893MHz (+62%)
Maximum FSB OC: 511x7 (4-4-4-12 2T, 1068MHz, 2.41V), CPU 1.4875V
3575MHz (+92% FSB)
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Click to enlarge

We were easily able to reach a final benchmark stable setting of 9x432 FSB resulting in a clock speed of 3893MHz. The board was actually capable of running at 9x451 FSB but would consistently fail our dual Prime95 test along with a few game benchmarks. We attributed this stability issue to the lack of proper cooling for our CPU and Northbridge at the voltages we were running. Vdroop was excellent on this board during overclocking with an average drop of .002~.003V during load testing. We operated our memory at 3-4-3-9 1T with all sub-timings optimized at a final speed of 866MHz. We are currently running our memory up to DDR2-1010 at 5-5-4-15 1T with the new 12/07 BIOS. However, we have found this chipset prefers high memory speeds (1100+) at fairly aggressive latency timings around 4-4-4-15 2T to 1T operation at memory speeds in the 800~900 range unlike the 680i that seems to thrive on 1T operation in this same range. Our initial tests indicate that 4-5-4-12 2T with tight sub-timings at DDR2-1123 performs about two percent better in applications than our 5-5-4-15 1T settings at DDR2-1010. We will have additional benchmarks results in our next article.

Click to enlarge

We dropped the multiplier on our E6600 to 7 and were able to reach the maximum BIOS allowable FSB of 511 without an issue. Due to the clockgen controller utilized the current BIOS is limited to 511 although the included AMD System Manager allows you to soft overclock the FSB within windows. However, we were never able to go above 518FSB without encountering lockups or system shutdowns. Still, we were extremely impressed with the stability of this board at the maximum FSB level. The system did not behave any differently whether it was at 511 or 266 which is a testament to the engineering effort put forth by DFI into this board. However, to reach these settings we had to run several of the Northbridge voltages near their maximum that resulted in additional air cooling being required for the heatsink along with Northbridge temperatures increasing from 30C to 58C during testing. We will use an alternative Northbridge cooling unit in our follow-up overclocking tests.

We will provide our BIOS settings in the next article but for now this board makes for an excellent overclocking platform due to its stability and flexibility. Achieving high overclocks with stability took some time and effort when dialing in the proper memory and voltage settings. Once that was accomplished the results were certainly impressive, so for users that have the inclination to invest time tweaking their systems for maximum performance, the DFI ICFX3200-T2R won't disappoint.

Basic Features General Performance
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42 Comments

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  • lplatypus - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    umm isn't that why the article was called a "quick performance preview"? Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    quote:

    DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R: ATI's, err, AMD's RD600 finally arrives


    Perhaps you should look again.
    Reply
  • lplatypus - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    I was referring to the description of the article on the anandtech.com front page:
    quote:

    We provide a quick performance preview of DFI's latest LANParty motherboard and wonder what will become of the RD600...
    Reply
  • Goty - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    Perhaps you should read the article again and realize that they're going to do a few follow-up articles. There's also the fact that the last section is called "Initial Thoughts". Reply
  • Avalon - Saturday, December 16, 2006 - link

    511FSB max for $229 doesn't sound that impressive to me. I can get a $110 Biostar 965PT to do that. Hopefully a newer BIOS will allow much higher FSB clocks. Nevertheless, I don't think this board will be for me anymore. Reply
  • Goty - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    That is possibly the most shortsighted comment I've heard in the past week. You aren't buying this motherboard just for the stated maximum FSB, you're buying it for the amazing feature set, you're buying it for the memory clock that's not coupled to the FSP, you buy it for the fact that it performs about the same as the other high-end chipsets (not the midrange P965), and you buy it for the incredible tweaking possibilities. The Biostar board is that cheap because it has NONE of these things going for it. Reply
  • Avalon - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    You are full of crap. Just because a board has more features than another doesn't make it the best out there. The networking features I won't use, and a decoupled memory clock doesn't seem to do squat for REAL WORLD performance. At the end of the day, it's all about the CPU clocks, and this board AT THIS TIME (note I said I'd be looking forward to future BIOS releases, please try reading my posts before exploding into DFI ass kiss mode) does not seem to offer any significant advantages over other good boards.

    So again, I ask why I should spend $229 for this board when I can get similar CPU overclocking performance for $110-$115? Sorry, but memory and FSB tweaks that account for a few percent in benchmarks are not going to sway me from the $100+ savings. Not worth it IMO. This board will not be for me, but for the benchmark enthusiast.
    Reply
  • Goty - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    Oh, and another thing, I'm interested in finding out how you can say the decoupling the memory clock from the FSB seems to provide no performance gain when benchmarking of different memory speeds at a constant FSB hasn't even been done yet. Reply
  • Goty - Sunday, December 17, 2006 - link

    Not once did I say that this board was the best out there, I said it had the best feature set. You're telling me the board isn't worth the money because you can buy a cheaper board that overclocks similarly. I say that there are people out there who genuinely want the features of this chipset (me being one of them) and people who will use them. Just because you won't use the features doesn't mean that the board is not worth the money, it's just not worth it to you. Reply
  • Avalon - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    Funny, I don't remember telling YOU that YOUR opinion should be the board isn't worth the money. I said it isn't worth it to ME. Way to restate what I said. Reply

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