Our overclocking adventures didn't start off very well which was a bit of a downer, but
then again a challenge is just as fun sometimes. We were originally
going to use the Abit
KR7A-133RAID to test the Crucial PC2700 but we weren't able to get the RAM
to run properly with the board.
At 133 MHz the memory didn't have any problem, but at
166 MHz we were not able to get the RAM to run properly with
the most conservative memory timings. This might have been an Abit glitch as we even set the voltage
to 2.85V in a fruitless attempt.
Because of the performance
issues associated with the VIA KT333CE chipset, we were a little bit hesitant
about using the 8K3A+ for these tests, but decided to go a head anyway as this is a
pretty popular motherboard at the moment.
The Crucial PC2700 seemed to like the 8K3A+ much
more then the ABit, and ran at 166 MHz FSB without any problems.
Unfortunately our PC2700 DDR wasn't very overclocker friendly. We hit our first barrier at 170 MHz FSB;
over 166MHz, but not by much.
The system would post at this speed but would blue screen when loading up Windows
XP. We had to bump the memory voltage up to 2.7V for the
system to run stable. With the most aggressive timings, we were able to
get the Crucial PC2700 to run at 180 MHz FSB, but any higher and we would BSOD
once we hit the Windows desktop.
The 8K3A+ does
allow for voltages to go up to 3.2V which is nice, but it
didn't help us overclock any higher. Setting the RAM by SPD allowed the Crucial
PC2700 to run at 190 MHz FSB which sounds really good, but because of the relaxed memory timings
the RAM didn't perform as well.
Test System Specs:|
||AMD AthlonXP 2000+|
10x166 MHz = 1.66 GHz
9.5x180 MHz = 1.72
||nVidia GeForce 4
256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR RAM
||40GB 7200RPM Maxtor D740X
||Panasonic 48x CD-ROM CR-594-B
Panasonic 1.44MB Floppy Drive
||Thermalright SK-6 w/60mm Delta |
||Antec 400W PSU |
SiSoft Sandra 2002 Pro
Quake III Arena
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Sisoft Sandra 2002 Pro
Sandra is designed to
test the theoretical power of a complete system and individual components. The
numbers taken though are again, purely theoretical and may not represent real
world performance. Higher numbers represent better performance.
|SiSoft Sandra 2001 Benchmark Results|
||Integer ALU - 256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR (166/333 MHz)
||Integer ALU - 256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR (180/360 MHz)
||Float FPU - 256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR (166/333 MHz)
||Float FPU - 256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR (180/360 MHz)
DDR performs quite well in Sandra - the bandwidth is on par with KT333CE
based motherboards. We decided to use an actual 166 MHz FSB instead of a 133 MHz
with the RAM running +33 MHz since the bandwidth there is only a lousy 2102 MB/s ALU and 2047 MB/s
PCMark is a new benchmark from our pals at MadOnion
which a whole system benchmark. It can be used on desktop PC's, Laptops and even
Workstations and tests everyday computing from home to office usage. PCMark
specifically stresses the CPU, memory subsystem, graphics subsystem, hard
drives, WindowsXP GUI (if WinXP is used), video performance and even laptop
batteries. This benchmark was released March 12, 2002 and can be downloaded from
Madonion if you would like to give it a test run on your computer for
|PCMark2002 Benchmark Results|
256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR (166/333 MHz)
256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR (180/360 MHz)
PCMark likes those high FSB's and the Crucial PC2700 does
very well also. Overclocking brings a nice speed increase.