AMD's Athlon 64 Has Arrived: the Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64 (and Intel's P4 Extreme)

Asus P4C800-E Deluxe: Board Revision 1.02, BIOS 1011 Beta 006

Basis for the P4 platform : Asus P4C800-EAsus A7N8X Deluxe : Board Revision 2.00, BIOS 1006 Final

Basis for the Athlon platform : Asus A7N8X

All Athlon XP processors were tested on the NForce 2 Ultra platform (Asus A7N8X). The two new DDR433 memories (Corsair XMS3500, CL2) were used. However, some demerits had to be awarded : Extremely aggressive memory timing (CL2.0-2-2-5) was only possible at an FSB speed of 166 MHz. At an FSB speed of 200 MHz the aggressive timing had to be corrected to CL2.0-3-3-6.

The platform (original from AMD) initially required adjustments for the AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 : The Asus SK8N was supplied with the 1001 Beta BIOS version, but the CPU was not recognized on system start-up. After a BIOS update to version 1003 Beta 001 the memory performance slumped from 5.65 GB/s to 5.5 GB/s - but the Athlon 64 FX was recognized correctly. There were also shortcomings : As there was no jumper on the board to delete the CMOS chip, we had to add this. Later, because of the performance losses, we received a third version of the SK8N complete with special BIOS from NVIDIA. In comparison to the two other examples, the board was equipped with a CMOS jumper, and the problems with bootup did not occur anymore. However, performance was still below expectations. Even manual short-circuiting of the CMOS reset brought surprises : it smelled like an electrical fire. We did a BIOS update with the appropriate flash tool (Asusupdate) on the Internet - with the result that the board stopped during bootup. A BIOS update with special parameters in DOS helped here. The network function is still not active. The memory with 1 GB was manufactured with two 512 MB modules (DDR400, registered). The timings stood at CL2.5-3-3-6 with increased voltage of 2.7 volts.