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  • DragonStefan - Tuesday, June 09, 2009 - link

    Hello all.

    I have:
    - motherboard: ASUS Rampage Formula (Intel X48) (logical) and
    - Corsair XMS2 Dominator Series 2x2048MB Kit PC2-8500 CL5-5-5-15 (TWIN2X4096-8500C5D)

    Should i go for the following setup in bios:
    FSB: 400
    tRD: 5
    Trd: 12,5
    Divider: 3:2
    tCL: 5
    VDDR: High
    Allowed: Yes.

    Or should i go for a different setup?
    If i understand correctly, this is possible..
    What do i forget?
    I made the calculation, and the answer of the Question if it is possible Yes or No, is 1,67 > 1,33. 1,67 is higher than 1,33. So yes..

    Greets From DS
  • danderson00 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link


    I realise this article is quite old now, but found it very useful for tuning my Rampage Formula. Have achieved significantly increased memory performance from this setting. The board seems to configure them fairly well on the auto setting, but there are some cases where manually tweaking them can give a good performance boost.

    I am curious about one thing - I would have thought that running a 1:1 divider would allow the lowest tRD value as the two clocks are running at the same speed. Data should be able to be passed between the two buses without delay, whereas if the memory clock is running faster, it might need the delay to prevent 'overlapping' with the previous data transfer. However, according to the formula (and indeed a couple of quick tests confirm it), a 1:1 divider is actually the worst for tRD, the wider the ratio the better.

    Any ideas why this is?

    Great article anyways!

  • Maxxxx - Sunday, June 14, 2009 - link

    Yes, you are right about 1:1 divider and tRD. This article incorrectly describes work of the memory controller. Reply
  • geok1ng - Sunday, August 03, 2008 - link

    I have a P5WDH a 975X mobo. if i am understand correctly this chipset would apply the TRD from the basic table and my best options would be a Trd of 6 or 8? Is there any way of knowing what Trd number is being applyed? I am running an E4300 at 9x329Mhz and 4 1GB sticks of DDR1100 at 987Mhz Cas 5/6/6/18/21. everest gave me a memo latency of 55.5ns ( better than quite a few 45nm/P35 owners here). Any use going for the Trd 6 option (8:5 divider i believe) since neither my my mobo can reach FSB above 1333 nor my memo can go above 1000mhz and keeping CAS 5 ( it is rated at cas 5/7/7/25/32 but the P5WDH just cant go above 5/6/6/6/18/21). Using a 8:5 divider bellow 1000Mhz memory mean runing the CPU at 2,7Ghz...and using crazy DDR/MCH voltages. Reply
  • Sarsbaby - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    Wow, I just learned alot, I think.
    Very nice article! Well written and presented.
    I'll definately have to clear my CMOS for this one.
  • jamstan - Friday, July 11, 2008 - link

    I would have liked a review of the board itself instead of page after page about clocking. I have this board ready to build my rig today with 2 4870s in CF and I would have liked to read about the crossfire setup, the sound card, etc instead of page after page about clocking. Althou informative I feel the review should have remained focused on the board itself and the clocking crap should have been in a different article. It's a nice feature on this board but its like doing a review of a Corvette and wasting the whole review on its transmission. Reply
  • Sarsbaby - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    You know, this is only one of many reviews for this board, and only one of many on this forum.
    Try some more searching, and maybe educate yourself more before calling most of this article "Crap". This is probably one of the most useful articles on this motherboard I have found.
    With all these new options open to ROG owners, i'm glad someone is taking the time to explain what they mean and why we have paid for them.

    And have you ever re-built a transmision? Or tuned an LSD? It's alot more complicated than you think apparently.
  • DEFLORATOR - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    Why does the author says that the board revision is 1.03G while it is clearly seen on the photoes that it's 1.00G (imprinted between PCIe slots)? Please owners of the board confirm that 1.00G is the latest revision of Rampage Formula (gonna order that tomorrow) Reply
  • viqarqadir2 - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    I am very new to this stuff and havent been able to make a lot of sense of the configurations despite reading the article several times.

    I have the following setup:
    Intel Q6600@2.4 Ghertz
    Kingston Ram 8500 (5.5.15) 1X4 Gigs - 1066Mh
    XFX Geforce 8800GTX XXX edition. (I guess this doesnt matter)

    What sort of configuration should I apply?

    I also wanted to know if someone has had problems with the MB temperature and whether 51 Centigrades after playing STALKER for about one hour is normal. Any help will be appreciated.
  • viqarqadir2 - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    I dont know if I've done something wrong but for some reason, 3dMark is showing the memory at 1.9 Ghertz. It's a DDR2 rated at 1066 and I am running it at (according to my calculation) 1000.
    The pc feels ridiculously fast. All MB lights are green. The 3d Mark app is giving a score of about 11000. I am not a techie but is it possible that I have discovered something? Is there a way to post screenshots in the comments area?
  • dallas - Monday, March 24, 2008 - link

    I was wondering how this chipset and Windows Vista 64-bit handles IRQ ? I have a Creative X-fi and it has had a lot of problems with PCI-latency and shared IRQ. According to the manual PCI slot 2 is the only one of the two that does not share IRQ with the graphic cards. Do you guys have any experience of this ?

    Second question is related also to IRQ. I have a Razer Deathadder mouse which I use at 1000Hz polling rate and it seems to cause quite a bit CPU-usage (average of 10% with AMD64 3500+ when moving mouse at desktop without overlapping anything). I guess it would be ideal to connect it to a USB-port not sharing any IRQ. Rampage Formula has 12 USB-ports total, but reading the manual it says there is USB controllers 1 to 6 and USB 2.0 controllers 1 and 2. How do I relate these figures to the actual layout of the board ? USB controllers 2 and 5 are the only ones not sharing IRQ.">

  • nitemareglitch - Friday, March 07, 2008 - link

    My older DFI nForce 4 board had fully adjustable tRd among other things. Asus taking a play from their book? Reply
  • rge - Monday, February 18, 2008 - link

    Granted I am using gigabyte p35 dq6 board, but I thought loadline simply was a sensor adjustment? Anyone know what is meant by induced power instabilities? measured by?

    I thought (and may well be wrong) that with loadline disabled, if I choose 1.25v bios as vcore, idle would be 1.23 volts (Voffset), load (dual core) would be 1.22v (Vdroop), when load stops, overshoot to 1.25v before decreasing back to 1.23 idle. Thus when you are choosing 1.25 volts in bios, you are choosing max volts ie, overshoot max, and not idle volts.

    I thought loadline was simply a ~.02v sensor calibration, so when enabled, and you choose 1.25 volts in bios, you are then choosing the idle volts (instead of overshoot max) and thus it idles at 1.25V. During load you still see vdroop to 1.24v, and overshoots to 1.27v.

    In other words no difference between loadline enabled 1.23v and loadline disabled 1.25v, just personal preference of making bios vcore set idle volts or max overshoot volts.

    If I am wrong can someone please inform me what loadline is, and what is meant by power instabilities...mean ?greater fluctuations in volts or what?
  • Nickel020 - Saturday, February 16, 2008 - link

    Firstly, great article! Got me a long way in increasing my memory speed and understanding the underlying factors.

    What I don't understand though is why the X48 is better than the X38. I already have the option to change tRD on my Gigabyte P35 DQ6, and I'm getting much better memory perfromance after manually setting it to 6.
    As I see it, the option to adjust tRD is only a BIOS issue and it can be done on P35 and X38, so how does this make the X48 a better chipset?
  • kjboughton - Sunday, February 17, 2008 - link

    The difference comes in the voltages required to run equivalent speeds/tRD settings. In fact, the X48 board are capable of running stable at much higher speeds, using tigher MCH Read Delay (tRD) values at lower voltages. More to come soon... Reply
  • Holmer - Monday, February 18, 2008 - link

    Thanks for an excellent article.
    I would just love to know how well the Rampage formula handles overclocking with 4x1 GB RAM? How large is the performance hit as compared to 2x2 GB and can it handle 1200 MHz (with two 2x1 GB kits rated at this speed).
    Roughly when can we expect the loon awaited X48 roundup?
    Thanks a lot on beforehand.
  • Holmer - Friday, February 22, 2008 - link

    Another question: Is is possible to manually set tRFC > 42 in BIOS? If yes what is the maximun value of tRFC?
    I would be very grateful for an answer.
  • The Ghost - Saturday, February 02, 2008 - link

    With 400Mhz, tRD of 4, CL of 4 and 3:2 ratio I get this:
    1,334 > 1,333

    Is that enough to post or is 0,001 to little to "allowed" ?
  • Vikendios - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    It's all very fine, but as long as ATI/AMD GPU's are outclassed by Nvidia's, the gamer scene which drives the $300+ motherboard business has little interest in non-Nvidia-SLI solutions. It's bizarre that Intel focuses on chipsets that can apparently only handle well (correct me if I'm wrong) their arch-competitors AMD's GPU's in (Crossfire) arrays.

    Intel should hurry to develop competitors to 790i that are really neutral as to which twinned or tripled video cards are used.
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    The last time I tested it, X38 ran SLI faster than 680i. The problem is not the chipset, it is simply a decision by NVIDIA (and/or Intel) not to "officially" license SLI on the Intel chipset platforms, except for the upcoming Skulltrail board.

    This whole SLI/Crossfire debate has gone on long enough, the technologies accomplish the same purpose (are practically identical from a technological viewpoint) and setting up a board/BIOS to run either is actually very easy. CF runs just fine on the NV680i/780i and SLI runs just fine on the 975X/X38/X48 if driver support is present and the proper switches are enabled in the BIOS. Personally, I would like to have the ability to run (unhindered) AMD or NVIDIA GPUs in multi-GPU configurations on either chipset platform. I just wish they would let the market determine the best multi-GPU solution, but that is pie in the sky thinking. ;)
  • Vikendios - Thursday, January 31, 2008 - link

    Very Interesting. But I believe that AT is also guilty of perpetuating the chipset/multiple GPU incompatibility (or non-optimization) myths, by not giving us systematic reviews of X38/48 and 680/790i using both ATI and Nvidia twinned cards.

    And if some BIOS adjustments or driver updates are becessary to twin Nvidia cards under Intel chipsets, or ATI/AMD cards under Nvidia's, kindly tell and guide us.

    I'm not a conspiration theorist, but I think there is more than meets the eye in the present situation.

    The apparent paradox of Intel (chipsets) pushing AMD (Crossfire) solutions is just marketing cycle hysteresis from the days when ATI was still an independent canadian company.

    But both Intel and AMD resent video card chip manufacturers forcing their way into hard-wired motherboard real estate thru the multiple GPU concept, with attendant slot and chipset modifications. With the demise of Via, Intel and AMD believe they can own the chipsets, as long as the motherboard manufacturers are only assemblers.

    For Nvidia, multiple GPU is an easy way to extend the life of a good graphic chip until the next generation comes up, but mostly it provides for a temporary proprietary claim on the motherboard design. 3dfx first tried that years ago in Voodoo days and it worked. It worked again when ATI couldn't follow up fast enough on SLI and had to fall in AMD's arms.

    Nvidia gambled that SLI would allow it to impose its own chipset business, either by technical or marketing (SLI endorsment) means. What next ? Special gaming CPU's ? That's a dangerous taunt, although Intel doesn't yet dare buy them, or compete directly with them with their own GPU's, out of anti-trust concerns in Brussels.

  • Holly - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    Excelent description of memory timing magic. Thumbs up :-) Reply
  • FSBastrd - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    I may have come off a little brash with my first comment. The article is pretty sweet, and I was able to read through it without the pictures, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to view them. It's not just this article either. Pictures pretty much never load on this website for me. Reply
  • kjboughton - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    Do you run some type of ad blocker? It may be causing problems by incorrectly blocking images from our servers... Reply
  • FSBastrd - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    I'm basically running a stock version of Firefox, so no. Ironically, the ads are just about the only pictures that do load for me. Also, all of the picture for the AnandTech homepage load for me, it's just the pics in the articles This is the only website that really gives me problems. One last thing, some (rare) pictures do load for me from the articles. All in all, it's quite strange, and I can't figure it out. Reply
  • FSBastrd - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    Am I the only one who can't get pictures to load from this site. It would sure make this article a whole lot easier to follow along. Reply
  • sje123 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    Excellent review as ever!

    Quick question with regard to Watercooling blocks for this board. It looks more or less identical to the X38 apart from the different chip in the NB, therefore I'm wondering if you could tell me whether or not you think an ASUS X38 NB block would also fit the ASUS X48 Rampage?

    is the NB under the cooler the same size etc and are the mouting screws in the same position as the X38 eg the Maximus?

    THe SB and the mofset coolers will be the same as the Maximus.
  • snarfbot - Sunday, January 27, 2008 - link

    alright, pretty exciting results here.

    at trd of 8 (default) at 400mhz 1:1 cas 4, i got 7687mb/s read, and 64ns latency in everest.

    at trd of 6 at the same speed, divider and cas setting i got 8089mb/s read, and 59.8ns latency.

    then just for fun i bumped the speed upto 500 and loosened the timings to cas 5, at 5:4, i left the trd at 6. at these settings i got 8640mb/s read, and 57.5 latency.

    the latency suprised me, as the trd remained the same, and i actually loosened the cas latency.

    anyways pretty good results.

    processor is a e2140@3200mhz.
  • snarfbot - Sunday, January 27, 2008 - link

    alright, i have a ga-p35-ds3l. im running the fsb at 400, memory at 1:1 cas 4.

    i set trd to 6 in the bios. based on the formula, it shouldnt even post.

    trd(6) - tcl(4)/n(1) =fsb400(2)/1

    im gonna run through sandra and see what the difference is, if there is any, or perhaps this setting doesnt work correctly on this board.
  • Fyl - Sunday, January 27, 2008 - link

    not to lower the merits of this great article but since I've read it I've been experimenting on my machine different settings and for some of them your formula doesn't seem to stand; here's an example of a stable configuration, no overvoltage to anything:

    E8500@3.6 (400MHzx9)
    P35-DS4 (tRD 7)
    2x2G DDR2 800 (400MHz, 5-5-5-12)

    based on your formula N = 400:400 = 1 and x = 2
    therefore 7-(5/1) > 2/1 => 2 > 2 => false but actually working

    am I missing anything?
  • kjboughton - Sunday, January 27, 2008 - link

    The rules as defined may not apply exactly as provided for P35. The equations have been tested to be true for X38/X48 but additional testing is still needed on P35 in order to validate the results. Reply
  • Super Nade - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link


    I love the technical depth of the article. Outstanding writeup! I hope you will NOT dumb down future articles as this is how, IMO a review should be written.

  • Eric Rekut - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link

    Great article! I have a question, is x48 faster in super-pi than p35/x38? Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link


    In general the X38/X48 chipset outscores the P35 in Super Pi. The x48 can/will pull ahead of the X38 very marginally IF it can handle a lower overall tRD with a higher FSB combination and tighter memory sub-timing ranges - within an available level of Northbridge voltage.

  • Rob94hawk - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link

    I would love to see you guys do benchmarking and overclocking with the QX9770+DDR3 1800 with this mobo. Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link

    Hi Rob,

    Kris will be testing the Rampage Extreme soon (with DDR3). The 9770's only show a little more prowess than QX9650's under LN2 cooling (in some instances - not always). With cascade/water/air cooling there's little to separate the QX9650 from the QX9770 (at least in my experience with both processors thus far).


  • enigma1997 - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link

    Another excellent article after the QX9650 O/C one. Congratulations!!

    I have a few questions: What ram did you use to achieve the amazingly high bandwidth result (the one that goes with the 450FSB and tRD 5)? I understand you are using a divider of 3:2 and CAS5, so I expect the DDR2 speed should be at 10800!!

    Also, I am not sure how you can get a memory read of >9000MB/s with tRD 5. I have a pair of G.Skill F2-8000PHU2-2GBHZ 4-4-4-5 and a DFI X38-T2R motherboard. I set it up with a QX9650 with tRD/FSB/ram timing identical to yours, but I only get around 8800MB/s. Note that the CPU runs at 3000Mhz.

    Thanks for the article and your answers to my questions :)
  • kjboughton - Sunday, January 27, 2008 - link

    Memory used for the incredible 450FSB/tRD 5 result was OCZ DDR2 PC-9200 Reaper (2GB kit).

    Regarding the testing you did at equivalent speeds, contrary to popular belief, CPU speed does influence both system memory read latency and bandwidth (add 16 clocks of whatever the CPU's Tcycle is to total system latency - about an extra 1.33ns going from 4GHz, where I tested, down to 3GHz uses in your system). This is certainly enough to reduce your BW results down below 9GB/s.
  • Jodiuh - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link

    "we feel there is nothing that needs modification by the end user as long as overclocking aspirations are within reason."

    The current Maximus series requires a bit of work (heatgun, fridge) to pull this off and replace with TIM of choice. Also I noticed a 7C drop on the bench when adding a 5CFM 40mm to the NB. Would you mind fleshing out the comment a bit more?

    Thanks for the very thorough information in the article!
  • jedisoulfly - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    there is a patriot viper ddr3 1600 cl7 kit at newegg for $295 (out of stock at time of this post) that is dramatically higher than good 800 ddr2 or even 1066 but just over a year ago ddr2 800 2gb kits were going for that price. I think once NV and AMD start making chip sets that support ddr3 the prices will start to come down...hopefully Reply
  • Orthogonal - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Just so I understand this correctly, due to the path the data and clocks must travel throughout the devices as explained on page 5, even though you can increase the bandwidth of the Memory modules, the MCH is ultimately the "bottleneck". Historically we falsely assumed higher bandwidth and lower CAS latency translated to better data throughput, but since tRD increased along with it, it was essentially wiped out or unused bandwidth. Now we try to lower tRD as low as possible to reduce MCH latency as it performs the "Clock crossing procedure", which is why the 400Mhz FSB with the lowest tRD latency gives the best data throughput.

    Also, does this mean that in your "Best Pick" DDR2 configuration summary that the two A+ choices highlighted in Green will effectively result in about the same performance since even though DDR2-1200 has more bandwidth than DDR2-1000, since the tRD=5, they will have the same Trd Delay (12.5ns).
  • Aivas47a - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    I'm glad to see Asus implementing these new memory phase adjustment options in the bios. Now if they would provide a greater ability to fine-tune GTL reference voltages I would be a happy camper. GTL is a key setting for quad core overclocking success as Raja has helpfully explained in his DFI P35 review. The selectable percentages Asus currently provides are too crude and don't go high enough. Reply
  • mrlobber - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    FCG, your article just flat out rocks, thanks for this one, we needed it badly :)

    One question about the previous Asus boards: X38 and also P35, which lack the exact tRD manipulation, providing the Transaction Booster stuff instead. As far as I understand, your analysis about the default tRD values set by different default fsb and memory divider combinations could also be used to determine the starting tRD value at least for the X38 chipset as well in a pretty straightforward way, and from that point being able to offset the tRD with Transaction Booster up or down to control it as necessary? (P35 would have different default tRD's, but the underlying principles should stay the same?)

    And, by making appropriate changes in x values if needed, your POST / no POST inequality should stay applicable as well, right?
  • kjboughton - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    All true, although we did talk about how these straps at one time had default tRD values associated with them, the difference has become that these default values are now usually based on the real underlying requirements, such as FSB. Now, exactly how each motherboard vendor sets up and implements this value has a lot to do with how their motherboard falls out in comparison testing. With that being said, boards that perform better generally make use of lower tRD values by default. And because X48 is a speed-binned version of X38, which is superior to P35 with it comes to MCH overclocking, it is also safe to say that the higher-end chipsets will allower the same (or lower) tRD values at FSB levels where the other chipsets may fall flat on their faces. Make sense?

    Regarding the 'Test POST Equation' - absolutely, I know those equations to be true for X38/X48 but I wouldn't doubt if they ended up being exactly the same for say, P35. A little bit of testing should validate this assumption... ;)
  • Orthogonal - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Can we expect a similar analysis and optimization of strappings, timings etc... when an X48 DDR3 compatible board is released? Reply
  • kjboughton - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Yes, the will be an easy bridge to make. DDR3 is very similar to DDR2 and in a lot of respects is a simply extension of the logic already developed. In any case, we will provide this information for reference when the time comes. Reply
  • daddyo323 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    I've overclocked a couple cpus before, and each time, I had stability problems due to memory.

    I have built many systems, but since gave up on overclocking... these new Cores and chipsets look like they were made for it...

    My question is, was that CPU stable at 4ghz, and could we have a chart on which settings to set, exactly... I wonder how far we can push this platform with the air cooling.
  • kjboughton - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Everything you want to know, about more, about this CPU can be seen here:">

    We used the same CPU that can be read about in the above review. The short answer is yes, we were completely stable at 4GHz with just 1.28V real under load.

  • Quiksilver - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Has there been an ETA on the release date of the X48 chipset? I thought they were supposed to come out in December but they never appeared and this would be the second X48 preview I've seen for AT. Also I remember seeing a flow chart somewhere that had DDR2 & DDR3 being the differences between X38 and X48 of which X38 had both but now it seems X48 has DDR2 as well but will the DDR2 boards be available at launch or are they coming later on? Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    ASUS is telling us mid-February for the X48 launch now. Gigabyte and MSI have confirmed that also, but we have had dates confirmed about a dozen times over the last two months and it always seems to change about three days before the next "official" launch. ;) Reply
  • poohbear - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    one thing i liked about some of the recent high end mobo releases was the inclusion of an onboard wi-fi chip on a desktop mobo, but this mobo seems to be lacking that. i mean, they threw in everything but the kitchen sink, why not include wi-fi?:( Reply
  • TheDoc9 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    One of the best I've read here, definitely one of the best on over clocking I've ever read. It takes it to the next level, reminded me of how a body builder friend of mine schedules and calculates his workouts, calories, and entire life to be the best he can be. Hope to see more like this one in the future. Reply
  • jimru22 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    The article references the use of an Intel Extreme processor with adjustable multiplier. I'm planning on building a system hopefully anchored by the Asus Rampage Formula and a Intel Q9450 with locked 8X multiplier. Based in the charts, it seems to me that in order to run the Q9450 (333 MHZ) at 3.6 MHZ a 450 MHZ FSB is required. Therefore in this case, a tRD of 6 / Trd 13.3ns is the optimum value. Is this correct? Reply
  • kjboughton - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    You would be correct. Processors with lower maximum multipliers present somewhat of a challenge when selecting the best memory configuration. In this case the 8x multiplier forces a higher than normally desired FSB, which is one of the many benefits of owning an Extreme processor (no such limitation). As such, the next best option, and the first choice for you, would be to go to 450MHz FSB and set a tRD of 6. Although this might not be completely ideal (we like to stick with 400MHz) your results will without a doubt be within a few percent of real-world performance at 400MHz FSB and a tRD of 5. Yet another reason why the Extreme line of processors are worth their price. Reply
  • Odeen - Saturday, January 26, 2008 - link

    I'd like to differ on that.. As someone who first discovered overclocking during the Celeron 300A days, where a budget chip could run at 50-60% faster than its stock speed, and deliver higher performance than a $400 (at release time) Pentium III 450MHz, all without overstressing the rest of the platform (i.e. with bog-standard FSB and memory speed) I view overclocking as two ratios:
    Maximum attainable clock speed / original clock speed. 3:2 is the minimum ratio that isn't depressing to see booting up.
    Cost of equivalent performance from a processor w/o overclocking / cost of actual processor. In the case the ratio was 4:1. Some of the best-case scenarios (like the very last 300A's being 100% overclockable to 600mhz), the ratio can be 6-7:1.

    The Black Edition CPU's fail both value tests tests, because they are typically ONLY available at the fastest speed grades. Therefore, they are unlikely to reach a 30% overlock, never mind the requisite 50. And, being the most expensive SKU in the class combined with the lackluster overclock potential means that they are unlikely to outperform a processor that costs 4x as much (even an imaginary SKU that fits on the price-performance regression line of the class).

    That said, if the Wolfdale E8190 is $130 and Intel somehow offers an "enthusiast edition" of it for $180 (that is, an edition for true enthusiasts, who want to extract the maximum bang for their buck), I would get one - the unlocked multiplier would make overclocking less of a "platform" issue (i.e. "how fast will the chip go until my motherboard peters out") and more of "how fast will this particular chip go period". I can definitely get behind that.
  • jimru22 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Thank you Kris for the outstanding article as well as your response.

    Kind regards,
  • Orthogonal - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    What are the chances someone could whip up an Excel Macro to incorporate all these inputs, equations and graphs for easy computation of optimal settings for a given CPU and Memory configuration. Reply
  • kjboughton - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Already exists, although you'll have to sweet-talk me into releasing the file. Seriously though, the Excel spreadsheet makes choosing the right settings downright simple. Reply
  • Orthogonal - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Fair enough, pretty please!

    Well maybe there could atleast be a web applet on the site or something of the sort. That would be killer.
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Just one thought...IMO, no "Board Layout" portion of a review is complete without a picture of the port cluster on the back of the board. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Yet another world class article by Mr. Boughton
    Not only do you give the insight, but you make it easily UNDERSTANDABLE.
    You da man
  • AndyKH - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Also... is this tRD adjustment only possible with a X48 board? If not, I would have preferred that this article was kept seperate from an article about a specific motherboard. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a very informative article :-).
    If it is possible to adjust the tRD on other chipsets than the X48, can the possibility of setting the tRD as low as 5 then be attributed to the X48?
  • Gary Key - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    tRD functionality within the BIOS is dependent upon the motherboard manufacturer. We have been harping on the motherboard suppliers to fully open up the BIOS on the enthusiast boards, this includes tRD and associated phase changes. ASUS is one of the first (DFI also) to offer an extensive range of settings in this particular area (most BIOS releases handle tRD adjustments automatically). We debated on separating the article content but due to the BIOS options available, they were more or less tied to each other. Yes, if tRD is available in the BIOS, it can be set on other Intel based boards or chipsets. In fact, I had very good success on the ASUS 780i board with tRD adjustments. Thanks for the comments! :) Reply
  • Georgeisdead - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    Would tRD be called something else? Perhaps Read to Write Delay (tRWD)? I have an EVGA 680i board and I cannot find the tRD setting. I don't even see it as an available option with memset 3.4. Does anyone know of a synonym for tRD? Reply
  • Brunnis - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 has a BIOS option to set tRD and I seem to remember that it had a large effect on memory performance. Would this be the setting that you talk about here. If it is, it seems ASUS isn't the first one to offer it. Reply
  • Shoal07 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Can anyone confirm you can set the tRD to anything besides innoculous settings like "auto" "high" and "low" on the GA-P35-DS3, and specify if its the L or R? Also, what memory was used in this test? (I read the whole article and I don't recall the specs of the system/testbed as a whole). Reply
  • Brunnis - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    I have checked my GA-P35-DS3 again. The option is labeled "Static tRead Value" in the BIOS and can be set to any integer value between 1 and 31. Modifying this value changes the "Performance Level" as reported by the Windows program MemSet 3.4 accordingly. Changing the value from 8 to 7 on my board yielded the following results in Sisoft Sandra bandwidth benchmark:

    tRD 7: 7117 / 7139 (MB/s)
    trD 8: 7026 / 7045 (MB/s)

    Pretty large different from changing a single timing one step.
  • AndyKH - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Is it correctly understood that no other motherboards allow the tRD to be adjusted from within the BIOS, or is it simply because this board has named the setting something sensible? I think the article is a bit unclear about that. Reply
  • legoman666 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    Very enlightening article. The only thing missing are real world application tests showing the benefits in office applications, games (most important ;) ), and encoding. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, January 25, 2008 - link

    We will have full application benchmarks in the X48 roundup that Kris and Raja are working on. Reply
  • xieper - Saturday, August 22, 2009 - link

    Did that article ever materialise? I have not been able to find it anywhere on this site.... Reply
  • papatsonis - Sunday, May 16, 2010 - link

    way too late for this.. (cause i actually calculate the allowable tRDs "on the fly") but may be useful for some, this little excel which calculates the minimum allowable tRD
  • papatsonis - Sunday, May 16, 2010 - link

    some small changes/additions

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