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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  • ZachSaw - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    My posts were for Wesley and Gary only. They will know exactly what I was talking about with the subtle hints. Those of you who feel left out in the cold by my posts, I appologize. It was never meant to be a general post.

    And just to clarify, I do not speak for Intel. And again, for the record, I do not work for Intel.

    This is an article comment, not a message board. The posts I made were directed to the author.
    Reply
  • Questar - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    I find that people who say in public how superior they are to others generally aren't. Reply
  • Araemo - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    "This is an article comment, not a message board. The posts I made were directed to the author."

    The author's email address is posted at the top of every page of the article. If your comment was only intended for the author, email is a much better method of communication.

    It might also get you a more direct response. ;)
    Reply
  • Strunf - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    "This is an article comment, not a message board. The posts I made were directed to the author."
    This is where you’re wrong... the first post of a topic is generally related to the news/article but others are free and will most of the time comment your post, just like in any other message board. Even you have more than once posted a comment to posts made by other folks.
    Reply
  • splines - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    That was for Zachsaw, by the way :) Reply
  • xsilver - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    hence I think the reason for the other poster getting hostile and doubting legitimacy.

    either you have information and share it or zip up...
    analogous to say I overclocked my cpu to 100ghz, using 2 "special" tools, but I cant tell you what they are.
    Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    I wish Anandtech were more forthcoming with what kind of overclocks you can see with different memory/dividers, and compare the performance. Not everyone has the economical predisposition to buy super expensive "enthusiast" memory; and definitely not wanting to pay twice the price for 2-3% improvement in theoretical benchmarks, like in the past. I'm sick of the memory tunnel vision on hardware review sites. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I wish Anandtech were more forthcoming with what kind of overclocks you can see with different memory/dividers, and compare the performance. Not everyone has the economical predisposition to buy super expensive "enthusiast" memory; and definitely not wanting to pay twice the price for 2-3% improvement in theoretical benchmarks, like in the past. I'm sick of the memory tunnel vision on hardware review sites.


    These particular results were completed at 1:1 ratios with "very expensive" OCZ memory and is one of the major reasons why the FSB clocks are so high with the E6300/6400 chips. We realize that not everyone can afford this type of memory which was one of the main reasons behind our recent memory looks in the first Conroe buyer's guide and the DDR/DDR2 memory analysis on the ASRock boards. However, this article was about what is possible with the P5B using the top components available. As for benchmarks showing the differences between overclocks with different memory and dividers, that is a very good suggestion we will take under consideration. Thanks for the comments.
    Reply
  • Questar - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    Thanks Gary, this is exactly what we need. The question is "do memory dividers make a significant difference for Conroe". Reply
  • blackbrrd - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - link

    Yeah, I heard some rumours about the 965 chipset not overclocking well with a lower than 1:1 ration on the ram.

    I am interested in a low-cost overclock with 667mhz ddr2 ram and the E6300, to get the most bang for the buck. - Actually to use some of the money saved on the gfx card instead, due to most games beeing gfx card limited.

    In other words, a review of the P5B vanilla version with a E6300 and some generic ddr2 667 mhz ram would be really interesting ;)
    Reply

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