In Search of True DDR2 Bleeding Edge Memory

Only Asus Boards Convince

To squeeze optimal performance out of a memory module, a high-quality motherboard is absolutely essential. As we already demonstrated in our previous DDR Memory Test, Asus motherboards provide a very good foundation for overclocking memory. This is an arena in which the company has enjoyed a wide lead over its competitors for years now.

By contrast, overclocking memory on motherboards that have no automatic "default boot option" can be both time-consuming and tedious. THG's testing team gained experience with 975X motherboards from Gigabyte and MSI, which might actually boot, but which didn't recognize that failed overclocking attempts had just occurred. Next, we'd see a Port80 error message of "C1" (memory error) and the boards would freeze and hang. The only way out of the mess was to erase all CMOS settings (not just an errant entry or two).

Erasing CMOS settings requires setting a special jumper labeled "CLRTC" or "CLRCMOS", then restoring it to its original position.

To make doubly sure that bogus CMOS settings are gone, pop the battery out of its socket, then briefly bridge the battery leads with a screwdriver.

MSI is familiar with overclocking problems, and includes a CMOS erase button on its 975X motherboard.

Asus has no problems recovering from failed overclocking attempts: The motherboard recognizes a failed start automatically and reboots with all default settings restored. The real show-stopper is that all saved BIOS settings are retained and can be reactivated on the next start-up. THG strongly recommends Asus motherboards, simply because nobody wants to repeatedly waste their time fumbling around, erasing CMOS, then restoring most previous settings with other motherboards. The CMOS test was conducted with the following motherboards: Asus P5WD2-E (Rev. 1.01G)
Gigabyte GA-G1975X (Rev. 1.0)
MSI 975 Platinum H (Rev. 0A)

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