Date Joined: 10/18/08
Pros: I wanted to post this updated inforamation based on my previous review. Some of the info I gave on the overclocking setting were incorrect, I did not want to mislead anyone.
One additional note: When I first booted the board, the memory came up as 800MHz. I bought 1066 MHz (PC8500), but this easily adjusted in the AI tweaker in the BIOS.
The "real" settings I used for overclock were:
- FSB Frequency = 405
- FSB strap to NB = 400 (only use standard values, but I think this board defaults to 333 for 1066 mem)
- DRAM = 1079MHz Not sure how this rate was achieved. My best estimate is that the system used a 333 FSB (337 actual) with a 5/8 memory divider instead using the 400FSB setting. Perhaps this is a limitation of the P5E BIOS verses the Rampage BIOS. Since my mem is 1066 and is clocked at 1079, I'm not worried about it. Not technical enough to explain
I also changed the Ai clock twister to "strong"
The DRAM timing control to 1N caused boot to fail, so left on auto
Cons: I guess I could try the Rampage Bios to see if it would allow the FSB / memory divider to go beyond 5/8. It would be nice to get a 333/ (3/5) option or a 400 / (2/3) option, but I probably would not use it even if I had it. Don't feel like spending the time on stability issues.
My system already runs at 3.44 GHz with a FSB of 1600 Mhz. I dont really need more computing power for my needs.
Overall Review: I could push the FSB frequency to a higher value than 405 to gain additional memory speed, but this will also increase my CPU clock speed as well. Don't want to over push it to keep my CPU temp <65C.
Pros: After some debate on whether I should this board, the P5E or the Rampage model, I believe I made the right choice. This board uses the X48 chipset rated for a 1600 FSB
The P5E is based on the X38 chipset which is only "officially" rated at a 1333 FSB. The rampage is more money and offers a few more bells and whistles that I'll never use. For example, do I really need two Ethernet ports. Also the rampage offers more onboard fan connections verses the deluxe, but it turns out most of my fans connected to the power supply - not the MB. I only used the MB for CPU and 1 Chassis connection for my Memory Fan.
I used this MB in combination with the Antec 900 case, Antec 550W PS, Q9550 Intel CPU, Artic Freezer 7 pro fan, 8Gb Corsair Dominator mem (w fans), eVGA 9800 GT video card, (2)750G hard drives, 2 ASUS optical drives and media card reader.
Everything went together very well. The Artic 7 pro fan barely cleared the heat sinks on the MB, but it did fit by a hair without any mod
Cons: SATA ports face the rear of the case. There is not alot of room to connect the SATA cables, especailly after you run all the wires/cables for the rest of the system which usually run behind the board. The connections still worked, but not the most efficient design. Not big enough of a problem to not buy this board. You might want to connect your SATA cables before running your other cables to make it easier. I even ran an additional cable that is unterminated just in case I add another component later (I wont have to worry about the MB connection)
No other down sides that I can think of. Board came with 6 SATA cables, a small fan, IDE cables. There is connections for case power and reset buttons, HDD led, and small speaker for boot verification. (speaker does not come with board, so if you want to hear the PORT beep, need to get one). The board also comes with software that can monitor the board temps, but don't it... its not accurate. Use "Coretemp" or "HWmonitor" freeware
Overall Review: The board worked very well for overclocking and I had zero compatibility issues with the Corsair memory. I did not overclock to the max to keep the system well on the stable side. Here is what I did:
- CPU Ratio Setting: 8.5 (max you can set)
- FSB Strap to NB: 405 (can go much higher, but didnt)
- DRAM Freq: is auto calculated based on FSB strap ratio which is 2/3 for 400 FSB strap. This gives a DRAM Freg of 1215 Mhz. I bought the 1200 Mhz mem, so I am only pushing it a bit.
- My FSB = stap of 405 x CPU ratio of 8.5 = 3.442 GHz
I lowered my CPU vCore to 1.23125 V to get better CPU temps. The actual voltages from HWmonitor were 1.2000V at idle and 1.165V under load. This ran stable for a few hours at 100% load at 63 to 65 deg Cel. At idle, the temp drops to about 45 deg C. Great feature on these Intel processors: they use "Speedstep" which reduces the CPU ratio to 6 when not under load. My system runs at 2.4GHz under no load and jumps to 3.4G with load. No other twks