Overclocking and System Setup

To test each motherboard for its overclocking potential, I have a dedicated Opteron 165 processor that runs at a stock speed of 1.8 GHz for the task. Replacing the X2 4800+ that fuels the majority of our benchmarks, I set out to see how far I could push the HyperTransport bus and memory bus on the AN8 32X.

While I was expecting to see results very similar to those we found on the ATI Radeon Xpress 3200 chipset-based Asus A8R32-MVP, that wasn’t the case.  The results are not too bad however, all things considered.

Abit AN8 32X nForce4 SLI X16 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 136

Abit AN8 32X nForce4 SLI X16 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 137

I was able to push the HT link on the processor up to 278 MHz before hitting a stability wall.  This was with lowering the multiplier to 6x, and brings it to only a 1.66 GHz clock speed.  That multiplier was raised without an issue, but we lowered it that far just to make sure the CPU wasn’t bottlenecking our overclocking attempts anywhere.

I had the memory ratio set at 1:2, so while the HT was running at 278 MHz, the memory was only running at 140 MHz or 280 MHz DDR, well below the DDR400 specs, taking the memory out of the overclocking equation as well. 

Abit AN8 32X nForce4 SLI X16 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 138

For our memory overclocking, we again lowered the multiplier, but kept the ratio at 1:1.  The timings were lowered to what you see above, and the top speed we could with stability was 264 MHz.

Overall, the results are pretty good, but not outstanding in the realm of overclocking.  As I test more and more boards with this processor and memory combination we’ll get a better feeling as to how this Abit AN8 32X is actually performing.

UPDATE (4/24/06 @ 2:20pm): A reader pointed me to this thread in our very own PC Perspective Forums that links to a new BIOS for the motherboard to address the overclocking issue seen here.  It specifically mentions a 277 MHz limit on the overclocking potential of the board and thus our results might be lower than normal.

System Setup

Test System Setup


Athlon 64 X2 4800+Review


Asus A8N32-SLI NF4 SLIReview

Chipset Driver

NVIDIA: 6.85


2 x 1 GB Corsair XMS3500LL Pro

Memory Timings

2.0 3-2-6

Sound Card

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value

Hard Drive

Western Digital Raptor 150 GB – Review

Operating System

Windows XP Professional SP1


ATI X1900 XTX (650/775)Review

ATI Driver

Catalyst 6.3


  • SiSoft Sandra 2005.SR3
  • Everest Ultimate Edition 2006
  • World Bench 5
  • Windows Media Encoder 9
  • DivX 6.1
  • CineBench 9.5
  • SPECviewperf 8.01
  • WinRAR 3.51
  • 3DMark06
  • FEAR 1.03
  • Call of Duty 2 1.01
  • PCMark05
  • HDTach
  • RightMark 3DSound
  • RightMark AudioAnalyzer
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