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Asus K8N4-E Deluxe Motherboard Review

Asus K8N4-E Deluxe Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Onboard goodies consist of an extra Serial ATA/RAID controller, a 7.1-channel audio codec, IEEE 1394a Firewire and Gigabit LAN.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Asus May 06 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Asus K8N4-E Deluxe

Overclocking is fun...

When it comes to overclocking Athlon64 systems, we've become a bit spoiled since most test rigs have been pretty good at it. Before I started to push the K8N4-E Deluxe, I first lowered the clock multiplier to 4x and set the memory to run in 166 MHz mode. This way neither the CPU nor memory would be the bottleneck holding the motherboard back.

Starting at 200 MHz I began to raise the motherboard clock speed up in 10 MHz intervals (kids, don't overclock like this at home!). It seems like the K8N4-E Deluxe was up to the overclocking challenge as it ran through our benchmarks at 230, 240 and 250 MHz without any stability problems. Good, that.

Things began to unravel around the 262 MHz mark. Anything higher and the Asus system would simply BSOD while booting into Windows, or reset itself completely. Not a bad overclock from a Socket 754 motherboard though!

What Is A BIOS?


We all know that the BIOS is very important to a computer but what exactly does it do? First, BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System and this tiny operating system has been written directly into the EEPROM chip built into each motherboard.

The BIOS controls the keyboard, display, disk drives, Serial/Parallel/USB ports and other miscellaneous devices until your operating system loads up and takes over. It also tests all your hardware when you first power on the system. This is done to ensure all components are functioning and is called the POST (Power On Self Test). If the BIOS detects any hardware conflict or failure, it will prompt the user for interaction. If the system passes POST, it's up to the BIOS to then load the operating system.

We've talked from time to time about the need to upgrade the BIOS of your motherboard. Computer hardware is never 100% compatible with everything, but motherboard manufacturers frequently release BIOS updates which can add compatibility and options as well as help to stabilize your system.

The Asus BIOS

In the DRAM configuration menu we see our memory tweaks. We can set the memory to run at 1:2, 2:3, 5:6 and 1:1. We also have memory timing adjustments from CAS Latency to RAS to CAS and Row Precharge time.

The JumperFree section holds the overclocking options. We can change the motherboard frequency from 200-400 MHz in 1 MHz increments as well as adjust the PCI Express clock speed from 100-145 MHz, although it's best left at stock speeds. DDR voltage goes as high as 3V, CPU to 1.65V. There is a multiplier control for Athlon64 users as well.

PCStats Test System Specs:
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 4000+
AMD Athlon64 3200+

Clock Speed:

12 x 200 MHz = 2.4 GHz
10 x 200 MHz = 2.0 GHz

Motherboards:

ASRock K8 Combo-Z/ASR (ALi M1689)*
Soltek SL-K8TPro-939 (K8T800 Pro)*
Epox 9NDA3+ (NF3 Ultra)*
Albatron K8X890 Pro II (K8T890)**
Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 (NF4 Ultra)**
Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra (NF4 Ultra)**
Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI (NF4 SLI)**
MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI (NF4 SLI)**
DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR (NF4 SLI)**
MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum (NF4 Ultra)**
AOpen n250a-FR (NF3 250)*
Asus K8N4-E Deluxe (NF4)**

Videocard:

Asus X800XT/VTD*
MSI RX800XT-VTD256**

Memory:

2x 512MB Mushkin PC3200 Special Ed.

Hard Drive: 40GB Western Digital Special Ed
74GB Western Digital Raptor SATA
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: Seasonic Super Tornado 400W
Software Setup

WindowsXP Build 2600
VIA 4in1 4.55V
Forceware 6.10
Catalyst 4.12

Workstation Benchmarks

SYSMark 2004
Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation 2004
Super Pi
SiSoft Sandra 2004
PCMark04
3DMark2001SE
3DMark05
AquaMark3
Comanche 4
X2: The Threat
UT2003
UT2004
Doom 3

PCstats has upgraded its test platform with a couple of 74GB Western Digital WD740 Raptor hard drives, replacing the trusty 40GB WD IDE HDDs as test drives. Please keep that in mind when viewing the office and disk benchmarks.

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Contents of Article: Asus K8N4-E Deluxe
 Pg 1.  Asus K8N4-E Deluxe Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Overclocking is fun...
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2005, Super Pi
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, Comanche 4
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3

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