FSB Overclocking Results

Standard Test Bed
Performance Test Configuration
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
Dual Core, 1.86GHz, 2MB Unified Cache
1066FSB, 7x Multiplier
RAM: Geil PC2-6400 800MHz Plus (2x1GB- GX22GB6400PDC)
(Micron Memory Chips)
Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB 7200RPM SATA2 16MB Buffer
System Platform Drivers: Intel - 8.1.1.1010
Video Cards: 1 x MSI X1950XTX
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.11
CPU Cooling: Scythe Infinity
Power Supply: OCZ GameXstream 700W
Optical Drive: Sony 18X AW-Q170A-B2
Case: Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Motherboards: Asus P5B-E (Intel P965 C2, 1.01G) - BIOS 0601 - Memory at 2.10V
Asus P5B-E (Intel P965 C2, 1.02G) - BIOS 0601
Asus P5NSLI (NVIDIA 570SLI) - BIOS 0601
Asus P5W-Deluxe (Intel 975X) - BIOS 1407
Abit AB9-Pro (Intel P965 C1) - BIOS 1.5
BioStar T-Force 965 Deluxe (Intel P965 C1) - BIOS
IP96a803
BioStar T-Force 965PT (Intel P965 C1) - BIOS P96CA914BS
FOXCONN P9657AA-8KS2H (Intel P965 C2) - BIOS P32
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (Intel P965 C2) - BIOS F7
Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 (Intel P965 C2) - BIOS F6
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2
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Click to enlarge

We were able to reach a final benchmark stable setting of 7x343 FSB resulting in a clock speed of 2401MHz. The board was capable of running at 7x354 FSB but would consistently fail our dual Prime95 test along with a few game benchmarks. We settled on the 7x343 FSB setting and set our VCore to an acceptable 1.4000V with Vdroop being around .03V during load testing. We were able to operate our GEIL memory at 4-3-3-10 at 2.2V at these settings, our Crucial Tenth Anniversary 2GB DDR2-667 kit at 4-4-4-3-12 at 2.2V, and the TwinMOS PC2-5300 at 5-4-4-10 at 2.15V.

Although not shown in our charts we had one anomaly with this board when overclocking and using a P4 processor. We generally found that our SATA drives would not be recognized when reaching overclocks around 285 FSB. This did not occur with our Core 2 Duo products although this same issue could explain why the board will not post above 354 FSB in our testing. There is not an option to change the PCI Express speed and we wonder if it is floating when overclocking the board. Foxconn is currently looking into this issue.

Memory Stress Testing

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We take a look now at seeing how well our GEIL PC2-6400 memory operates in this board in both two and four DIMM testing. The screenshot above shows the actual memory settings used in our benchmark tests of the board. We do not modify the memory timings beyond the four major settings in our charts. The remaining memory settings are implemented automatically via the BIOS. Foxconn implements slightly tighter memory and MCH timings than some of the other P965 boards we have tested.

FOXCONN P9657AA-8KS2H
Stable DDR2-800 Timings - 2 DIMMs
(2/4 slots populated - 1 Dual-Channel Bank)
Clock Speed: 800MHz
CAS Latency: 4
RAS to CAS Delay: 3
RAS Precharge: 3
RAS Cycle Time: 10
Voltage: 2.20V

We were able to set our timings to 4-3-3-10 by increasing the memory voltage to 2.20V with our GEIL memory. We were able to hold these timings up to DDR2-840 on this board along with timings of 4-4-4-12 up to DDR2-860. We could not run a CAS 3 setting in a stable manner at DDR2-800 settings or above. However, the performance penalty with this board set to CAS 4 was minimal with most benchmarks not varying more than 1%~2%.

FOXCONN P9657AA-8KS2H
Stable DDR2-800 Timings - 4 DIMMs
(4/4 slots populated - 2 Dual-Channel Bank)
Clock Speed: 800MHz
CAS Latency: 4
RAS to CAS Delay: 4
RAS Precharge: 4
RAS Cycle Time: 12
Voltage: 2.20V

Our settings of 4-4-4-12 at 2.20V were not quite as good as our ASUS P5B-E 1.02G settings of 3-4-3-10 but due to fairly tight memory latencies the benchmarks were still competitive. We were able to keep this setting up to DDR2-820 before switching over to 5-4-4-12 settings that held stable until we reached DDR2-860 during our overclocking tests.

Board Layout and Features Benchmark Setup and Synthetic Performance
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9 Comments

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  • atlr - Friday, April 6, 2007 - link

    A P9657AA-8EKRS2H / P9657AA-8KS2H BIOS dated April 5, 2007 has been released.
    No description about what's different though.
    http://www.foxconnchannel.com/EN-US/service/downlo...">http://www.foxconnchannel.com/EN-US/ser...9657AA-8...
    Reply
  • Sh0ckwave - Sunday, December 31, 2006 - link

    343fsb is crap. no one will buy this for overclocking. Reply
  • ssiu - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    Seems like this could be a good option for ultra-budget E4300 overclocking. 9x343FSB = 3.087Ghz is pretty good. Save $30 on motherboard, use stock heatsink and save $$, save some more with cheaper DDR2-667 memory, etc. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    Wouldnt it be nice is manufactures started making mother boards with loads of features, but without all the unnecessary stuff like SLI, dual GbE etc ?

    Personally, Id like to see a board like the Asus Striker, or ABIT IN9 32x-MAX, that didn't have SLI, and dual GbE. SO in other words, Something along the lines of these types of boards, but with the latest chip sets, eSATA (maybe), loads of disk ports, etc.
    Reply
  • BladeVenom - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    I'd like to see at least one company make a motherboard with no legacy ports, and no built in audio. Who needs it, and why pay for it if you don't. Reply
  • Beachspree - Friday, December 29, 2006 - link

    I'll keep repeating this with each review in the hope of getting a reply. ;-)

    I was wondering why the Firewire performance is so poor in these reviews:

    Firewire 400 gets a best throughput of 230.6Mb/s

    It is known that Macs have poor USB 2 performance but look at the Firewire results by Barefeats:

    http://www.barefeats.com/usb2.html">http://www.barefeats.com/usb2.html
    http://www.barefeats.com/hard70.html">http://www.barefeats.com/hard70.html

    Without the perfect conditions of a RAM disk, and without cacheing turned off, they get real world performance of up to:

    Firewire 400: 304 Mb/s (31% faster than PC)
    Firewire 800: 464 Mb/s (41% faster than PC)

    For comparison, Macs are getting lousy USB 2 performance. Intel Macs have improved it but that takes it from around 136Mb/s to 168Mb/s. That's 75% slower.

    Given the importance of Firewire in multimedia applications, for which it can be critical, does this poor performance not warrant a mention?

    To be clearer:

    Can we please have some real world figures for USB 2.0, eSATA and Firewire 400/800 transfers under default settings and off an internal 7200 HDD you standardize on. That's what most people actually do when the backup, so that's what we need to see in order to make informed choices. I suspect these data rates you keep publishing are ones we will actually never see.

    I suggest, also, that poor Firewire performance in Windows is more important than poor USB on Macs. They always have Firewire built in and tend to it on peripherals, while Windows users often make do with USB until they get into music or video editing when they then find the need for Firewire and hit this poor performance just when they start needing mission critical performance. I'm talking about dropped frames and music latency.

    Why is that ignored in all your motherboard reviews?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • SonicIce - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    What speakers or headphones do you use to test audio? Reply
  • Orbs - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    I have this board in a machine I'm using as a personal server. I paired it with G.Skill F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ (2 x 1GB of DDR2 800) and it would crash randomly with that ram. After talking to G.Skill, it seems like there is an issue with that ram and all reference-based P965 boards including this board.

    Memtest86 also failed test #5 consistently with this ram on this board.

    G.Skill is sending me replacement ram (their F2-6400PHU2-2GBNR) which should be here next week. Hopefully it's more stable.
    Reply
  • Orbs - Thursday, December 28, 2006 - link

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying this board or Foxconn is at fault for the compatibility issues, I'm just noting my experience so others don't run into the same problem. Reply

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