BIOS and Overclocking

The BIOS of the ECS KN1 Extreme is a big improvement over their other mainstream offerings like the 760GX-M by offering more features that the performance aficionado would want.

Under Advanced Chipset Features, you will see most of your overclocking options on the KN1.

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Some things worth mentioning here, the CPU frequency is limited to 250MHz, and any setting above 230MHz jumps by 2MHz increments which may make overclocking a challenge especially if you’re looking for that perfect tweak. CPU and DIMM voltage selections are good, but notably missing is a chipset adjustment.

Clock Frequencies

1. 200 MHz – 210 MHz (0.5 MHz increments)
2. 210 MHz – 230 MHz (1 MHz  increments)
3. 230 MHz – 250 MHz (2 MHz increments)

CPU Multipliers

4x – 24x (0.5x increments)

CPU Voltages (VCore)

+0.025V to +0.375V (0.025V increments)

DDR RAM Voltages (VDIMM)

2.55, 2.63, 2.71, 2.79, 2.87, 2.95V, 3.03, 3.11 (Volts)

Chipset Voltages

No adjustment available

PCI Express Frequencies

No adjustment available

The CPU multiplier is nowhere to be found in the above Advanced Chipset Features. Instead it can be found under the obscure label “Hammer Fid Control” in the Power Management Setup page. The CPU can be adjusted from 4x up to 25x with 1/2 multipliers in-between.

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CPU multiplier is located under Power Management and is called
“Hammer Fid Control”. Strange.

Memory adjustments take the form of the very basic settings.

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Under the PC Health section you can see that the KN1 can track many different voltages and fan RPMs. The software provided by ECS to monitor these settings from Windows does not run properly (see “Software” on previous page), so you will have to download 3rd party software if you’re interested in monitoring this information.

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PC Health Status. No fan controls here.

I had a difficult time overclocking the ECS KN1 Extreme. nForce 4 Ultra motherboards are known to be able to exceed 300MHz bus easily using a 3x HyperTransport multiplier. Using a HT multiplier of 3x and a CPU multiplier of 5x, I was only able to get 230MHz on the clock (690MHz HTT) before the system stopped POSTing. At 5x HT and a 11x CPU multiplier, I was only able to get 222MHz (666MHz HT, 2442 MHz CPU).

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The invisible MHz wall at 222MHz.

In contrast, I’ve been able to overclock the same configuration on another nForce 4 motherboard (using the same voltages and settings) well over the 300MHz range on 3x HT.

Doing some looking around, XBit Labs also ran into a similar problem but overcame it by using ClockGen. I tried a similar approach but that did not help. Niether did using BIOS v1.0 or v1.1. I also found that Anandtech seemed to have only been able to overclock the KN1 Extreme to 235MHz.

In contrast, [H]ardOCP did not appear to have problems overclocking their KN1 Extreme. I wish I had similar success here.

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