Page 6 - Chipset and Tweaking
ChipsetThe heart of the mainboard is based on Intel (82845PE/82801DB ICH4) chipsets. Support for DDR-400 memory, ATA-133 and 400/533MHz FSB with excellent performance honestly are the keywords here. Even the newer Intel Processors with HyperThreading are supported and 800 MHz FSB CPU's should work fine. As stated this is a DDR400 compatible mainboard .. it's a little deceiving as it truly supports 333MHz out of the box. However in the BIOS (Phoenix by the way) you can find settings that enable your memory to work at 400 MHz. When you for example overclock the FSB (150 MHz) the memory frequency will rise along with it resulting in a higher clocked memory frequency. Combine that with a Turbo setting for memory and voilla .. exactly 400 MHz. Any Pentium 4 can take that FSB speed. If it can't you can set a maximum of 354 MHz without tampering with the FSB.
Layout wise not a lot can be improved. The space surrounding the CPU is good and the power connector is not blocking anything. Everything is on the right spot.
Tweaking can be done at BIOS level (Phoenix BIOS). I must state that Albatron managed to do a good job here, yet the results where not amazing due to our processor. Overclocking is easy and flexible. It lacks a few options for the hardcore overclocker yet it has convenient OC options are definitely available:
CPU Voltage up to 1.850 Volts
CPU Host Frequency (FSB) up to 248 MHz
CPU:AGP clock ratios (1.5x, 2.0x, 2.5x), even better you can fix it at 66MHz for AGP and 33MHz for PCI bus.
DDR:CPU Ratio (2.00x, 2.50x, 2.66x(turbo mode) and auto)
AGP port voltage (1.5 and 1.6 Volts)
DDR Voltage (2.5, 2.6, 2.7 and 2.8 Volts)
As you can see there is plenty of room to play around with. Still, the Pentium 4 CPU in general has a reputation of being a good overclocker when pumping the FSB and it did just that. We where able to push the CPU towards a 155 MHz FSB frequency (x4 is 620 MHZ) with a 1,65 CPU core voltage and where able to get into windows to do our stuff perfectly. We settled for a 150 MHz FSB with DDR400 at 400 MHz though. A pretty nice feature of this mainboard is that is has been equipped with WatchDog Technology. If you overclock too far and your system can not boot anymore then the mainboard's WatchDog technology will take over. It will basically detect if the system can POST or not, if not it will clear CMOS automatically and you can boot up again. Oveclocking made easy ;)
The BIOS is very configurable and more than sufficient for the average tweaker/overclocker. While overclocked the CPU temperature in idle was ~ 33C/91F which of course is nothing to be ashamed about, it never went over 55 degrees C with 100% utilization.