Motherboards For Overclockers
So far I’ve tested 20 boards, but I’m still testing. I have not tested with increased voltage on any motherboard except the Abit ones. I found out that there are two ways of making you system fail unless it’s absolutely stable. I have got a recording of me playing my favorite DM64-level (sewer64) on my favorite server (which is down now, bummer !) for 24 minutes, actually recorded by my clan brother [F3]Eike (thanks buddy !). Running this demo for the whole length is excellent to cause crashes, it heats up the CPU as well as the 3D card by a serious amount. The additional test I ran was Winstone99. It loves crashing in the Microsoft Office part when the system isn’t stable. Both tests were ran twice, over at least 2h.
Here is what I got :
|Motherboard||Number of SL2W8 CPUs running at 450 MHz||Number of SL2W8 CPUs running at 504 MHz||Comments|
|Abit BH6||all||all||excellent stability, at 504 MHz the voltage had to be raised to 2.2 V only for one CPU (0376),memory problem with 256 MB DIMM still not sorted out with latest BIOS, but LG memory works now|
|Abit BX6||all||8||Board would not work at 504 MHz with CPU 0376, even when voltage was increased to 2.3 V. Four CPUs needed 2.2 V to run at 504 MHz.|
|Aopen AX6B Plus||8||none|
|ECS P6BX-A+||all||4||B21 procedure required, memory problems sorted out with new BIOS|
|EpoX EP-61 BXA-M||all||2|
|QDI Brilliant I||all||4||B21 procedure required|
|Soltek SL-67B||all||3||B21 procedure required|
|Soyo SY-6BA+||all||2||Soyo Combo Setup, even latest BIOS (Oct 26, 1998) still has memory problem, only half the memory modules get recognized|
|Soyo SY-6BE||all||3||B21 procedure required|
|Superpower SP-P2BXA||all||none||B21 procedure required|
|Tekram P6B40-4AX||all||2||B21 procedure required|
As you can see, the Abit BH6 is by far the most stable board, and I can understand that everyone is recommending it for overclockers and the use with SL2W8. I only wish it wouldn’t have any other problems. Abit’s BX6 cannot quite compete to BH6, although it comes with the same ability to change the CPU core voltage in the BIOS. The other great overclocker boards are Asus P2B-LS, Elitegroup P6BX-A+, FIC VB-601, Gigabyte GA-6BXC and QDI Brilliant I. Those boards ran 4 of 9 SL2W8 CPUs at 504 MHz without any core voltage change. I will add more boards as I go along, there are still about 20 to come.
Are There Any Other S-specs Good For Overclocking ?
Yes there are. All of those CPUs have definitely got a Deschutes core and the ’tp6e’ L2 cache controller / tag RAM chip. I cannot say which L2 cache chips they have, but it’s most likely less than the old 7 ns.
|SL2W8||PII 300, multiplier locked to x4.5, OEM CPU|
|SL2YK||PII 300, multiplier locked to x4.5, Intel boxed CPU|
|SL2W7||PII 266, multiplier locked to x4, OEM CPU|
|SL33D||PII 266, multiplier locked to x4, Intel boxed CPU|
|SL2VY||PII 266, multiplier locked to x4, Intel boxed CPU ( ??)|
Some people also recommend PII 333 for overclocking. I would advise against getting a PII 333 for that purpose. It comes with a x5 multiplier and would have to run at 500 MHz with a 100 MHz FSB. This is a very touchy speed, so that you are taking a very big risk of being unsuccessful.
Tom’s 2 Cents
A long time ago I was one of the people who started the overclocking scene on the Internet. At this time it was something special and people stayed within reason.
Today overclocking seems to become a topic like what you can listen to in male changing rooms. Who’s got the longest ? Well, it’s, ’who overclocked highest ?’.
This may be a crazy sport for some, other people are scared off however. I would like to send the message to the more cautious ones of you, who know what they are doing.
The SL2W8 is a great bargain. You get a PII 450 for the price of a PII 300. This may be the last chance that this is possible. Katmai will close the door for overclockers, the overclocking scene will mostly be dead by Fall 1999. Grab one of those bargains while you can and stay within reason.