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Asus M4A785TD-V EVO: BIOS And Overclocking

Seven AMD 785G-Based Motherboards Rounded Up

A list of voltage and frequency ranges can be found on page 21 of this review.

The Asus M4A785TD-V EVO has a good degree of BIOS control, only really missing southbridge voltage controls. The only other value-added capability we would have liked to see would have been a BIOS profile-saving feature.

It's interesting to note that in order for the board to reach as-advertised 1,800 MHz memory speeds, it has to rely on an overclocked reference clock, as the highest selectable memory speed in the BIOS is 800 MHz (1,600 MT/s). We didn't have 1,800 MHz DDR3 available for testing, but we can say that the board handled our Mushkin XP3-12800 at 1,600 MHz with its advertised 7-8-7-20 timings and encountered no stability issues whatsoever. The M4A785TD-V EVO was only one of the two boards in our 785G roundup that could accomplish this feat.

Enabling AMD's ACC feature in the BIOS wouldn't wake any dormant CPU cores in our X3 or X2 samples, but it also wouldn't crash the system.

[Edit: Similar to the Gigabyte and MSI boards, the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO has an option in the BIOS that allows the user to change the way AMD's ACC feature works: it is called "Unleashing Mode", and it only shows up once ACC is enabled. If Unleashing Mode is left at the default setting when ACC is enabled, you won't unlock any dormant CPU cores, but you might get the improved overclocking headroom from an original Phenom processor. However, if Unleashing Mode is set to “enabled,” it allows for CPU cores to be unlocked. This is a great feature because most other boards only offer one type of ACC operation: either they will unlock dormant CPU cores and crash an unwilling processor, or they will not unlock dormant CPU cores and allow for more overclocking tolerance.

The Unleashing Mode setting allows the user to choose what works best for them. We tested this feature and found that it worked great, allowing our Phenom II 550 BE to run stably with the ACC feature enabled without unlocking the dormant CPU cores. This same Phenom II 550 would crash when the “Unleashing Mode” option was enabled in conjunction with ACC, because the locked cores were faulty. However, our Phenom II X3 705e sample would work with all four cores enabled when "Unleashing Mode was used.]

Overclocking the integrated graphics processor was a breeze, and even without a dedicated GPU voltage adjustment in the BIOS, the Asus board met the ASRock's maximum stable graphics processor overclock. We took it to 1,000 MHz from 500 MHz stock for an impressive performance increase without touching any voltage adjustments. We did try upping the northbridge voltage to 1.355V, but it didn't make a difference, as we weren't able to push the GPU any further.

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