DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert: Memory Stress Testing

For this evaluation, we utilized a large selection of DDR memory. All of our RAM modules, except the Corsair 4000PT, were capable of running the following timings at DDR400 at manufacturer prescribed voltages. The 4000PT would not run lower than a setting of 2.5-3-3-5 1T, which may be attributable to its SPD programming.

Stable DDR400 Timings - One Dual-Channel
(2/4 DIMMs populated)
Clock Speed: 200MHz (1000Mhz FSB)
Timing Mode: 1:1
CAS Latency: 2.0
RAS to CAS Delay: 2T
RAS Precharge: 2T
Cycle Time (tRAS): 5T
Command Rate: 1T

For the 4 DIMM stability test, we installed 4x512MB OCZ PC4800EL Elite Platinum Limited Edition modules. For many enthusiasts, the ability to run 1T command rate while using 4 DIMMS is very important, but in this test, the board would not boot to Windows even when increasing the voltage to reasonable levels, nor would combinations of BH5 based RAM boot until the command rate was reduced to 2T.

Stable DDR400 Timings - 4 DIMMs
(4/4 DIMMs populated)
Clock Speed: 200MHz (1000Mhz FSB)
Timing Mode: 1:1
CAS Latency: 2.0
RAS to CAS Delay: 2T
RAS Precharge: 2T
Cycle Time (tRAS): 5T
Command Rate: 2T

DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert: Overclocking DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert: Memory Overclocking and Performance Evaluation
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  • Hardass1 - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    Another well done review Sir.

    Hardass.
    Reply
  • lopri - Saturday, November 26, 2005 - link

    If you had to pick one, which one would you pick? A8N32-SLI or Expert? Please don't tell me "Both are good", "They're different animals" or anything in that sense. Most of us have to pick ONE and that exact question is what we want to know. I'd venture to say what matters are following two:

    1. Overclockability
    2. Stability

    Fetures, layouts, etc... yeah.. they are all good and nice, but what really matters are whether the overclock is stable. And that's what brought DFI here today. Could you comment on it? If you had a choice to pick JUST ONE, which one would you pick?

    Great review anyway. I'm actually happy that AT is becoming more enthusiast-friendly and looking forward to the next review. (Possibly Opteron Overclocking review?)

    Thanks.
    lop
    Reply
  • RSica - Sunday, November 27, 2005 - link

    Hi Lop:)

    I'll be honest in telling you I have not had my hands on the Asus board to know it's full overclocking abilities, so I really can't give you an opinion on which board to choose. Wesley could give you full insight on that one.

    I go way back in the overclocking business, having hooked up with my best buds OPPAINTER and DDTUNG back in the day. At that time we were modding and overclocking each generation of Abit AMD based boards starting with the KG7 and culminating with the NF7-S, which we were pre-production testing prior to it's retail release. I've also had a play with Epox, Gigabyte, and the famous Shuttle A64 board.When I recieved the original SLI-D back in January it was an overclockers dream come true.All the voltage and overclocking/memory options and it overclocked way easy compared to the norm.(Thank you Oskar Wu:))

    The Expert is more of the same but much better. I am a bit biased on a personal level about the board, and if you had just asked about it, I'd have given a thumbs up.

    Thanks for your comments !

    Randi


    Reply
  • Scrith - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Does this use the same chipset as the A8N32-SLI? If not, why not, and where are the competitors for that board? Reply
  • Heckler 5th - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    how come the box the reviewer received already has that "anandtech gold medal" sticker on there? hmmm, kinda fishy... LOL Reply
  • cbkia - Saturday, November 26, 2005 - link

    Under the extreme oc page, the pic showing the HTT @ 400MHz and RAM @ 300MHZ 2.5-3-3-8 but the sisoft is only 6674 MB/s? 300MHz should be displaying something near 8GB/s Reply
  • RSica - Sunday, November 27, 2005 - link

    That would be true if not running at 2400Mhz.All HTT and Memory overclocking tests were done at a reduced multiplier. Each multiplier also has an effect on system bandwidth in the way the A64 responds to them.If I had chosen to run 7 and a total CPU Mhz of 2800, you would have most likely seen the 8000mb/s figure.

    In contrast, the stock 4000+ at 12x200Mhz with tight timings will average 5600-5700mb/s.
    Another consideration is that with the bios used which made it more ram overclocking friendly, that there was possibly a relaxation of some of the bios register settings, which can also reduce bandwidth a bit in the name of pushing the memory higher in Mhz.

    Thanks for your comments !

    Randi
    Reply
  • RobFDB - Saturday, November 26, 2005 - link

    What i'm really interested in is if this board suffers from the same problem as my Ultra-D with PC4000 VX memory (the infamous cold boot issue)?

    I don't really want to pick this board up and have it suffer from the same problem. Not that i've tried my VX with the latest beta bios, but that's besides the point.
    Reply
  • RobFDB - Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - link

    Can anyone confirm or deny that the cold boot issue exists with this board? Reply
  • yacoub - Saturday, November 26, 2005 - link

    If it had passive cooling like the A8N32-SLI I'd be more interested. Reply

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