The motherboard supports memory at speeds up to DDR2-800 (400 MHz). Front Side Bus overclocking can be done by providing an overclocking percentage in the range of 1-50%. There is, however, no option that would allow the user to raise the CPU core voltage, which is essential for aggressive processor overclocking attempts. Should your overclocking settings fail, you can set a recovery jumper, which will cause the board to boot with the default settings, while not killing your overclocking settings.
|BIOS voltage settings (for overcloking)|
|FSB frequency||1% - 50% (BIOS settings)|
|CPU||not possible in BIOS|
|Memory||1.800 - 2.200 V|
|Northbridge (MCH)||1.500 - 1.725 V|
|FSB Signal||1.200 - 1.395 V|
|Possible Memory Configration|
|FSB1066 (266 MHz)||1:XX|
The Intel motherboard requires a power supply unit that provides an 8-pin ATX-12V connector, so most likely you will have to purchase a new PSU together with your motherboard/processor.
Intel does not offer any update manager software or services, so you'll have to go to the Intel website and download patches, updated BIOS versions, drivers or other software yourself. We found that the diagnostic and benchmarking utility Sandra 2007 by SiSoftware does not work on Intel's D975XBX. Intel is aware of this problem, but there is no solution available yet.
The Northbridge and the voltage regulators are cooled by large heat sinks. We found Intel's fan control solution to be the most powerful in this test bed, because it uses Core 2 Duo's PECI interface. If the system runs idle and there is little to be cooled, all fans are throttled down to speeds that are practically inaudible, which is excellent. Fan control can be adjusted for the processor and the system case separately. In addition, you may alter all settings in Windows, even if the fan control mechanism was disabled in the BIOS beforehand. We found it amazing to see how quiet a high-performance PC can be if there is an efficient and smart ventilation mechanism in place.
Software installation can be done within the blink of an eye. Intel's Desktop Control Center offers many more options and choices than the utilities we found bundled with the competition. Settings can be stored permanently in the BIOS using the Windows interface, and there is even a stability tester that checks the processor, memory, drives and sound system.
The BIOS carries an event log, which will help in tracking down errors. This feature is well-known in the server space, but it might be very helpful for enthusiasts as well. By the way: Intel's BIOS runs at a 1024x768 resolution and therefore is more convenient to operate than conventional 640x400 interfaces.
|Software||manuals for boarbDrivers & Tools CD|
|Hardware||1x IO panel shield|