Our Thoughts

First, we should note that certain Gigabyte P965 boards also allow downward unlocks with the latest BIOS releases. ASUS joins them in offering this feature, and they have broken new ground with the 0507 BIOS for the P5B Deluxe. The ability to specify multipliers - even if it's only downward unlocked - is so significant that every other manufacturer will have to follow suit or lose market share to the two motherboard giants.

At present, every Core 2 Duo chip we tried unlocked down (this included both B1 and B2 steppings); however, none of our samples unlocked both up and down. ASUS tells us that many Core 2 Duo chips also unlock upwards, but the upper limit is around a 14X multiplier with those chips that do unlock in both directions. If true, we're certain those chips that can unlock completely will be quickly figured out by enthusiasts and those models and steppings will become the most highly desired Core 2 Duo chips.

Certainly this new BIOS makes the ASUS P5B a much more desirable motherboard. We do need to remind readers, however, that we have generally reached even higher overclocks on the 975X chipset when compared 1:1 with the 965P. ASUS has told us they are not finished with this "Conroe Unlock" feature and that they are working on BIOS revisions to also bring Core 2 Duo unlock to 975X chipset motherboards. We have seen hardware modifications to the Intel 975 BadAxe that allow unlocking, and it would be great if ASUS can accomplish the same with a simple 975 BIOS upgrade, as they have on the P5B Deluxe.

With innovations like this ASUS BIOS, the Intel Core 2 Duo processor is gaining features that make it even more desirable in today's market. To summarize our findings, below are the highest overclocks we could achieve at each ratio with the tested processors:

Core 2 Overclocking
CPU Stock Speed X10 X9 X8 X7 X6
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 360
3.6GHz
400
3.6GHz
440
3.52GHz
494
3.46GHz
494
2.96GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz - 402
3.62GHz
445
3.56GHz
495
3.47GHz
495
2.97GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz - - 445
3.56GHz
511
3.58GHz
514
3.08GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz - - - 525
3.68GHz
532
3.19GHz

Those interested in getting the most out of their high-performance DDR2 will be very happy with the unlocking feature. It allows options like the running the memory at 1:1 at DDR2-800 and 3-3-3 timings as we have done in this screen capture of a 9x400 overclock on an E6700 with memory set at the DDR2-533 ratio.


ASUS has earned our thanks for making the 965P chipset worth considering again. With overclocks up to 532 in our testing, with multipliers settable to x6 on all tested chips, and with multipliers purportedly also unlocked at the top on some formerly locked Conroe chips this BIOS upgrade has to be considered a must for any ASUS P5B Deluxe owner. For those considering a new Conroe board, the already desirable P5B has just moved to the head of the 965P class. The only feature missing now is support for CrossFire video configurations, which remains an advantage of the 975X for gaming enthusiasts.

E6400 & E6300 – 2MB Cache
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  • Visual - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    does the non-deluxe p5b get the same oc results?
    what exactly are the differences between deluxe and normal?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    quote:

    does the non-deluxe p5b get the same oc results?

    No, expect around 7x430 with a very good setup and 7x450 with an excellent setup that is stable with the E6300. The main difference between the boards is the P5B-D has eight phase power compared to three on the P5B along with the Asus heat pipe cooling technology. The P5B-D has upgraded audio, components, additional x16 PCIE slot (x2 or x4 operation), dual Gigabit LAN, and a USB WiFi option along with additional SATA ports.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    How about an article for those of us who havent OC'd in a while ? Things to test, things to change in the BIOS etc? Last truely sucsessfull OC I've personally had, was a P55 233mmx intel CPU, on a ABIT board (yes, YEARS AGO).

    Anyhow, whats the impact on a system with a dropped multiplier, and increased FSB ? I'm pretty sure the longevity of said system wouldnt be as long if run stock . . .
    Reply
  • daneel3001 - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    I've got a P5B non deluxe with a E6600 + 2GB of Crucial Ballistix PC6400.
    As I am no expert in overclocking the only thing I tried to up was the FSB, from 266 I managed to push it to 310, before that it would crash.

    Can anybody tell me settings for say going from 2.4 to 3.0 ?
    My guess is :
    FSB to 333 so core speed is 333*9=3ghz
    Up CPU voltage to 1.4v
    ..and the thing I am really not sure is the memory setting, 1. whether or not to use spd and 2. what speed to use and maybe 3. what volt to use (the Crucial is guaranteed up to 2.2v but board is limited to 2.1v).

    Cheers
    Dan
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    quote:

    As I am no expert in overclocking the only thing I tried to up was the FSB, from 266 I managed to push it to 310, before that it would crash.


    Have you tried the 0309 bios yet? It improves overclocking a great deal but comes at the expense of needing "good" memory capability in order to do it. Start with SPD, raise your memory to 2.1V, use the 1:1 divider, and set your CPU vCore at 1.375V, MCH around 1.45V as a start.
    Reply
  • daneel3001 - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - link

    Yep tried the 0309.

    I am currently set at :
    CPU vcore @ 1.4v but showing 1.368v on CPU-Z
    Mem voltage @ 2.1v
    FSB @ 340
    Mem @ 428 (860 DDR2).

    Not sure about MCH you mentioned.

    For some reason I can't get my machine stable past 3ghz, SuperPi will be ok but Sandra burnin will crash. I'm going to try with current settings..

    Dan
    Reply
  • DudemanX - Monday, August 28, 2006 - link

    I also have the P5B non-deluxe using the new 0309 BIOS.

    Core 2 Duo E6600
    ASUS P5B
    4GB (4x1GB) Corsair PC2-6400 4-4-4-12

    I wasn't looking for max overclock as this chip is so fast already so I started by turning my multiplier down to 6, FSB to 400, and memory to 1:1. Worked fine without any voltage tweaks so I started upping my multiplier. I'm now running at 8 x 400(3.2Ghz) without messing with any voltage settings. I may be able to go higher but this is more than enough to drive the single video card that this board supports and I'm quite happy.

    A weird thing I noticed is that checking the ASUS site again today(Mon. 8/28) no longer has the 0309 BIOS listed. Are some poeple having issues with it or did Intel make them remove it?
    Reply
  • lopri - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    I can't help but to think this article is some kind of a stunt, which is in line with AT/ASUS alliance. It'd make a good Inquirer article, though.
    Reply
  • Black69ta - Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - link

    I seem to remeber hearing that the Conroes would be unlocked for all grades not just the extremes but intel was going to wait to do this for a little while after launch. it seems like I heard this even before they were called Core 2 duo's. maybe Intel locked the early one so that people would have a reason to buy the Extremes, I also seem to remember the extremes would eventually get hyperthreading back, maybe as a middleground between Kentsfield and Core 2 Duo? maybe this is why nvidia is putting off releasing any intel edition 590 boards because they didn't was to spend so much money on constantly having to update BIOS and this and that while the dust settles from the launch. not to mention the reputation. If they could release the Intel 590's without any Major bugs then that would make the new "oddball" chipset maker major kudos, at least compared to the Intel and Ati chipsets. Reply
  • splines - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    There's a difference between being 'in the industry' and 'clobbering people over the head with my obvious superiority and subtle hints'. If people think you're coming off as arrogant, maybe you should reconsider your approach to criticism.

    I know quite a few people who know to some very important and NDA-protected facts. None of them troll the net bashing people over the head with stuff like this, because it can get you into serious trouble.

    Secondly, you never never never ever try and come across as if you're speaking for the company.

    Ever. Never ever. Is your supposedly leet job worth you seeming like a big man on a message board?

    If you're meant to be someone of importance, you're a rank amateur at keeping your mouth shut, and a liability to boot.
    Reply

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