DFI nForce4: SLI and Ultra for Mad Overclockersby Wesley Fink on February 5, 2005 9:30 AM EST
- Posted in
Overclocking: DFI nForce4
With DFI's reputation as an overclocker's board, and the incredible range of tweaking options available in the BIOS, everyone is expecting incredible overclocking performance with the new DFI nForce4 boards. They will definitely not be disappointed.
|Front Side Bus Overclocking Testbed|
|Processor:||Athlon 64 4000+
(2.4GHz, 1MB Cache)
|CPU Voltage:||1.55V (default 1.50V)|
|Cooling:||Thermaltake Silent Boost K8 Heatsink/Fan|
|Power Supply:||OCZ Power Stream 520W|
|Memory:||OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev. 2
(Samsung TCCD Memory Chips)
|Hard Drive:||Seagate 120GB 7200RPM IDE 8MB Cache|
| 238x12 (Auto HT, 2-3-2-7, 1T, 2.9V)
|318x9 (2862MHz) (Auto HT, 2.5-4-3-7, 2.9V)
(1:1 Memory, 1T, 2 DIMMs in DC mode)
(+59% Bus Overclock)
The DFI nForce4 boards shredded all previous records with this CPU and memory - reaching the highest overclocks at stock speed and at a lower mulitiplier that we have ever tested with this combination. We have squeaked by the 300 CPU clock frequency (DDR600) in the past, but it always required a 2T command rate. This time, we reached an astounding 318 (DDR636) at 1T, at the rather aggressive memory timings of 2.5-4-3-7 with our standard OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev.2, which is based on Samsung TCCD chips. This is the highest DDR speed that we have ever reached with this memory or any other double-sided DDR memory.
What impact does 318 have on performance? Quake 3 ran at 642FPS and SiSoft Sandra 2004 standard memory bandwidth was 8,300 MB/s. The Sandra unbuffered memory bandwidth was at 4000 MB/s. All these results are new performance records in our memory testing. The very wide range of memory voltages to 4.0V is particularly useful in reaching the highest possible overclocks, along with a very complete set of memory tweaking options in the BIOS. There is still a huge reserve in the available memory voltage range as we only needed 2.9V to reach these performance levels. Those with exotic cooling will appreciate that the CPU voltage and memory voltage settings on the DFI will give them what they need to squeeze every bit of performance from their CPU and memory.
DFI delayed final release of both nForce4 boards to update some 20 components on the board and to make further modifications to BIOS timings. The goal was to improve memory compatibility and further improve the already stellar overclocking abilities of the engineering sample. Compared to the engineering sample board that we tested, the final retail board is a much better overclocker. The update certainly appears to be a success, and DFI tells us that all retail boards, the boards coming off the line, have the modifications and new BIOS.