Solidarity In The Face Of Adversity
Before starting the trials, the teams chose their configuration at random. Obviously, when you’re dealing with overclockers, you don’t use a hat, so the drawing was done out of a liquid-nitrogen canister!
Once each team had its computer, everybody got down to work to see who could reach the highest clock speed. But the teams quickly ran into an unexpected problem—it was impossible to increase the processor multiplier factor beyond 9! Yet one particular aspect of the Core 2 "Extreme" series, which includes this QX9650, is the possibility of adjusting the system bus frequency multiplier factor, downward as well as upward. The source of the problem proved to be simply a bug in the motherboard BIOS—MSI obviously has some work to do before they can make use of all of the potential of the P45 chipset. But let’s not be too hard on them. This kind of bug is common on teething models, and they’re often quickly solved with a BIOS update.
Our competitors had to rack their brains and test a plethora of different adjustments to overcome the obstacle. Fortunately a solution was quickly found: changing the CPU strap, a BIOS option that usually controls the relationship between the memory and FSB clock speeds. Moving to a different strap, oddly, freed up the multiplier.