Modding the ABIT IT7-MAX2 for improved clocking
In my initial testing of the ABIT IT7-MAX2 I was only able to get the processor upto 2800Mhz stable, which was mainly due to the motherboard only supporting up to 1.7v, which gave an actual voltage of 1.63v.
So I decided to take things a little further with the IT7-MAX2 as I knew it was capable of more.
If you have not seen the original review then please click [b]HERE![/b]
I started out by obtaining a modified BIOS which allows you to get the memory up to 3.2v. In testing I was able to get the memory up to 2.98v actual, which is a decent 0.2v improvement and will aid gettings those memory speeds that little bit higher when overclocking.
If you wish to download the modded BIOS for yourself click [b]HERE![/b]
BE WARNED if you incorrectly flash your BIOS it can damage your hardware and neither myself or Tech-PC.co.uk can be blamed for this, you do it at your own risk!
In my testing I found the optimal voltage for my RAM was 2.9v, as using 3.0v crippled my clocking efforts, most likely due to the RAM not liking voltages over 2.95v.
For my second modification I vid-pinned the CPU, which allows you to set the default voltage of the processor by wrapping thin wire around some selected pins. Check out these pictures for further details:-
Wrapping the wire around the first two pins brings the CPU’s default voltage up from 1.5v to 1.7v. This means now that the BIOS allows you to adjust your Vcore voltage up to 1.85v and if need be you can still set it all the way down to 1.3v
The ASUS P4T533 rig was unable to clock any further than 2880Mhz stable, and therefore I have used the benchmarks from the first article for comparison, as they were at 2880Mhz.
You can see the original review [b]HERE![/b]
Anyway onto the benchmarks and results:-
On the ABIT IT7-MAX2 the Vcore voltage was at 1.85v (1.78v actual) with the 3:4 memory divider enabled (DDR430) using memory timings of 2-7-2-2 with DRAM enhanced performance enabled. The CPU was running at 2905Mhz on a 161.5FSB.
If you were willing to put up with the extra noise from the 80mm Delta at full speed, the systems seemed pretty stable, and was rock stable at 2880Mhz.
The ASUS P4T533’s Vcore was set at 1.725v (1.800v actual) with the RAMBUS at 400Mhz and Turbo enabled. The CPU was at 2880Mhz on a 160FSB. The system ran all the benchmarks fine, however the max stable 24/7 running speed I have managed is 2700Mhz, which is rather poor considered the IT7-MAX2 is capable of running stable at 2900Mhz. The ASUS boards definetely has stability issues when it comes to clocking to high frequencies on both the CPU and FSB. Come on ASUS you can do better than this. I have also tried approx 10 different BIOS’s all of which have done little to improve stability at high overclocks.
As you can see the IT7-MAX2 was able to clock the CPU a further 25Mhz using the same voltage.