Jetway 966PDAG-PB mainboard review

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BIOS & Overclocking

Overclocking is definitely possible, yet a tad more hard to do compared to for example the 680 mainboards. Don't expect miracles though with this passively cooled mainboard.

Adjustable ranges in the BIOS for overclocking are as follows:

  • CPU multiplier is adjustable in whole-number increments depending on your CPU, the E6600 can do 6 to 9.
  • FSB is adjustable from 266 MHz to 600 Mhz in 1 MHz increments.
  • DRAM Frequency (CPU:DRAM ratio) options are SPD, DDR2 533, DDR2 600 and DDR2 800
  • PCI Express clock is adjustable from 100 MHz to 200 MHz in 1 MHz increments
  • CPU core voltage is adjustable from 0.8 V to 1.7 in 0.050V increments
  • DDR2 DIMM voltage is adjustable from 1.73V to 2.43V in 0.05V increments
  • Northbridge chipset voltage is adjustable from 1.16V to 1.62V in 0.05V increment
  • Soutbridge chipset voltage is adjustable from 1.39V to 1.1.96 V in 0.05V increment
  • CAS latency options are 3, 4, 5,6 and 6 clocks
  • All important memory tweak functions are BIOS adjustable like RAS to CAS, RAS Precharge up-to command rate.

We have been able to overclock the CPU towards a 333-345 MHz FSB and that's pretty much it. Considering we had to cram 1.6v into the CPU to be able to do so, this is a lot. So the one thing we can tell you about the 966PDAG is that it's not a great overclocker; yet again ... for the money you definitely can squeeze some more performance out of the CPU. We reached roughly 3.1 GHz before our 2.4 GHz E6600 Core 2 Duo would not go any higher though. Keep that in mind.

The Verdict

Okay, so for 80 bucks ... I'm really impressed. Surely this review wasn't entirely fair in the sense that we compared the mainboard towards high-end 590/680i SLI PCs from NVIDIA. But the sole reason was to show you that if you run 1-2 HD's, some good memory and a mid-range or high-end graphics cards the conclusion is simple; you'll receive exactly the same performance as a 200-250 USD mainboard and that's stunning.

So where is the differential to be found then? Simple, features. You'll have a lot less connectivity and e-peen stuff to work with, you receive less cables, USB-brackets and what not. Feature wise you can connect less HDs, have no FireWire, Parallel port or second Ethernet connector. But surely if you tend to build a nice PC and again; as stated with 2-3 HD's, proper memory, a DVD burner maybe, and insert a nice graphics card ... Well, how can you lose with that? Jetway is doing a really interesting job here. And hey, don't underestimate Jetway; although a little unknown, they make a lot of stuff for other manufacturers. They have great QA policy and build high-quality products; that's a guarantee.

This mainboard is all about bang for your bucks and for sure it rocks in the mid-range segment for people that do not have the tendency to tweak, overclock and need heaps of connectivity. Speaking about overclocking, this was the one things that was rather limited. If you want to overclock far, go buy another board. We have been able to push a 2.4 GHz E6600 towards roughly 3.1 GHz. Some might say: Wow, that's just great. But fact is, on other mainboards this same CPU can reach 3.7 GHz on air-cooling. But hey, again; you get what you pay for. So I say, that's still a 700 MHz overclock.

So while the mainboard is not a tweakers wet dream, it surely is a high quality build passively cooled mainboard. I have no doubt that the mainboard can last many years, you could even try out mid-range Crossfire (but I say leave that alone).

Overall baseline performance as stated is really good. Give or take a percent compared to a high-end mainboard and that's the only difference you can measure. So yeah, this Jetway 966PDAG is worth every penny. You'll love the performance and for the money the features offered are really fair. It's a nice colourful mainboard and at 80 bucks ... Honestly, you can't go wrong with it.

If you are in the market for something like this; very much recommended!

Jetway 966PDAG-PBManufacturer info & support: Jetway
Price: 70-80 EUR

Jetway 966pdag-pb mainboard review


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