Socket 754 Roundup: Comparing Generation 2by Wesley Fink on May 28, 2004 5:57 PM EST
- Posted in
Chaintech VNF3-250: Overclocking and Stress Testing
FSB Overclocking Results
|Front Side Bus Overclocking Testbed|
|Processor:||Athlon 64 3200+
|CPU Voltage:||1.5V (default)|
|Cooling:||AMD Stock Athlon 64 Heatsink/Fan|
|Power Supply:||Antec TruePower 430W|
|275FSB x 8 at 1:1 Memory|
The benefit of the working PCI/AGP lock on the nForce3-250 chipset is obvious. This late 3200+ reached the same 246-248 overclock that we have seen on other nF3-250 motherboards with this late 3200+. This 23% overclock at stock multiplier is more like those that we are accustomed to seeing on Pentium 4.
The Maximum FSB test deserves a bit of explanation. Our goal here was to find the highest FSB that we could achieve in synchronous mode (or 1:1) with a single DDR550 DIMM that has reached DDR570 (285FSB setting) on a Pentium 4 test platform with an Intel ES processor and unlocked multipliers. Since it is not possible to test everything in a roundup, we did not test asynchronous operation, which would be running the memory at a lower speed than the bus. Asynchronous mode is possible on all 5 of these motherboards, and it may be possible to achieve even higher FSB settings by removing memory speed as a limitation.
With a single DIMM of OCZ DDR4400EL, the best FSB that we could achieve at a 1:1 ratio was a stable 275 or DDR550, at a ratio of 8. HyperTransport could be maintained at the 4X (800 setting) up to a 260 to 265 FSB setting. Above this point to the maximum of 275FSB at 1:1, we needed a 3X HT setting.
Memory Stress Test Results:The memory stress test measures the ability of the Chaintech VNF3-250 to operate at its officially supported memory frequency (400MHz DDR), at the best performing memory timings that our Mushkin PC3500 Level 2 or OCZ PC3500 Platinum Ltd Modules will support. Memory stress testing was conducted by running RAM at 400MHz with 2 DIMM slots filled. However, please keep in mind that Socket 754 is single-channel and will still operate at top speed with just one DIMM.
|Stable DDR400 Timings - 2 DIMMs
(2/3 DIMMs populated)
|RAS to CAS Delay:||2T|
(10T for Best Performance)*
*Several memory tests have shown that memory performs fastest on the nVidia nForce and VIA K8T800 chipsets at a TRas (RAS Precharge) setting in the 9 to 13 range. We ran our own Memory Bandwidth tests with memtest86 with TRas settings from 5 to 15 at a wide range of different memory speeds. The best bandwidth was consistently at 9 to 11 at every speed, with TRas 10 always in the best range at every speed. The memory bandwidth improvement at TRas 10 was only 2% to 4% over TRas 5 and 6 depending on the speed, but the performance advantage was consistent across all tests. Since best performance was achieved at 2-2-2-10 timings, all Athlon 64 benchmarks were run at a TRas setting of 10.
The Chaintech VNF3-250 was completely stable with 2 DIMMs at the best performing settings of 2-2-2-10 at default speed. Higher overclocks could be achieved with 1 DIMM compared to 2 DIMMs, but at default speed, 1 or 2 DIMMs were reliable at the same aggressive 2-2-2-10 timings. Filling all three available memory slots is more strenuous on the memory subsystem than testing 2 DIMMs on a motherboard.
|Stable DDR400 Timings - 3 DIMMs
(3/3 DIMMs populated)
|RAS to CAS Delay:||2T|
We were very pleased to find that 3 DS DIMMs (1.5GB) of memory worked fine at the same aggressive timings we used for 2 DIMMs. Even though Chaintech does not recommend running 3 double-sided DIMMs in the VNF3-250, we found the 3 DIMMs worked with complete stability. In fact, this is the first Athlon 64 board we have tested that could run three DS DIMMs at 2-2-2 timings. Most Athlon 64 cannot even run 3 DIMMs, though we are seeing a few nF3-250 boards that can handle 3 DIMMs without a problem.