Overclocking and RAID

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

While the review sample of the 8K7A motherboard did not include the RAID feature, the 8K7A+ motherboard will add this component to the specs of the motherboard. Using the High Point HPT370 chip, the Epox 8K7A+ motherboard will have 4 IDE channels with two able to use RAID 0, 1 and 0+1 settings. For more information on RAID in general, I highly suggest you look at this thread in our forums for a great explanation.

Overclocking on the Epox 8K7A motherboard was an experience that most current DDR users are lacking. While the Gigabyte 7DXR was the first to offer a complete array of multiplier, FSB and voltage options, Epox has followed up well with equal if not better modification options.

The multiplier is only settable via the on-board dip switch. Options are from 5.0x to 12.5x. The front-side bus can be changed from 100 – 166 MHz in 1 MHz increments. This, obviously, should be more than enough versatility for even the most hardcore of overclockers.

The voltage selection options are a bit different on the 8K7A motherboard than on other motherboards that I have seen. Instead of settings like 1.5v to 1.85v, Epox chose to go with a +0.Xv option. There are settings for +0.1v, +0.2v, +0.3v and +0.4v. This means, that say you have a 1.33 Ghz processor with a default voltage of 1.75v, setting the +0.1v option will put you at 1.85v, setting the +0.2v will push it to 1.95v, etc. While this allows for the most voltage overclocking available by default on any motherboard currently available (not counting modifications), the lack of minute voltage adjustments may be a little dangerous. If your overclocking trial is unstable and you want to increase the voltage, you have to do so by a 1/10v minimum.

Overall, I was able to push a 1.2 GHz Athlon C processor up to 1.45 GHz very easily using multiplier and voltage adjustments only. My 1.33 GHz Athlon made it to 1.5 GHz with a little fiddling as well. All of these are done with air cooling. The maximum front-side bus I reached was 155 MHz, but I think the DDR SDRAM was the hold back in this case.

Well, how about some benchmarks now? Performance is important in choosing a board after all!

Test System Setup
CPU AMD Thunderbird > 1.33 GHz (133 MHz Bus)
Memory 1 x 256MB Corsair PC2100 DDR SDRAM
Hard Drive 20.5GB 7200 RPM Western Digital EIDE
Video Card Visiontek GeForce 3
Video Drivers Detonator 11.10
Operating System Windows 98 SE


Quake III: Arena
Unreal Tournament
3DMark 2001
SiSoft Sandra Memory Bench
SiSoft Sandra CPU Bench
Content Creation Winstone 2001
Business Winstone 2001
4 different SPEC view perf tests

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