Performance & Overclocking

The ECS KN1 SLI Extreme is based on the nForce 4 SLI chipset. Since ECS did not engineer any special features that affect performance, any testing we do will look identical to all other nForce 4 SLI boards (and nForce 4 Ultra for that matter) we have tested in the past. For some tasty charts and results, feel free to check out the following reviews:


Overclocking the KN1 SLI Extreme was something I was very eager to try since I had no luck overclocking the KN1 (see here) so I really wanted to know if ECS’ claims of better overclocking were true.

Overclocking Settings

Setting Value
CPU multiplier 6x (12x is default)
CPU voltage 1.65V (+0.05V)
Memory divisor 1/2 (i.e. 2:1 CPU:mem or 200MHz DDR)
Memory voltage 1.79V (+0.19V)
HT Multiplier 3x, 4x, 5x

For overclocking I use ClockGen to set the bus frequencies. I found this utility much better than using the KN1 BIOS since the BIOS only goes up to 250MHz and skips even frequencies between 230MHz and 250MHz.

Using my standard overclocking settings, I try to see how far I can go by adjusting the HT multiplier and the bus frequency.

ECS KN1 SLI Extreme Overclocking Results

HT Multiplier Bus Frequency (MHz) HT Frequency (MHz)
3x 343.60 1030.8
4x 280.03 1120.12
5x 225.54 1127.7

EPoX EP-9NPA+SLI Overclocking Results

HT Multiplier Bus Frequency (MHz) HT Frequency (MHz)
3x 345.87 1037
4x 290.63 1162.52
5x 242.19 1210.95

We can see from these results that the KN1 SLI Extreme does pretty well in overclocking, but not quite as strong as the EPoX 9NPA+SLI motherboard especially when using a 5x HT multiplier.

Now let’s try an “ideal” overclock shall we? I know the CPU is good for about a +200MHz overclock at 2.6GHz, and the Corsair memory can get over 230MHz at 2.5-3-3-8-2T, so let’s put the multiplier to 11x and RAM synchronous and see what we can do?

Bus Frequency CPU Frequency (12x) Mem Frequency (1:1) HT Frequency (4x)
ECS KN1 SLI Extreme 238.40 MHz 2622 MHz 238.40 MHz 953.6 MHz
EPoX EP-9NPA+SLI 232 MHz 2552 MHz 232 MHz 928 MHz

Not too shabby. Even though the EPoX 9NPA+SLI did a better job at our HT overclocking tests earlier, total system overclocking was better on the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme by a fair margin. Very interesting! Of course the results here are more susceptable to environmental factors like ambient temperature and airflow.

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