The Intel P45 Express chipset is supposed to be a pretty
overclocking friendly chipset as far as Intel's past core logic goes. The
Biostar TPower I45 for its part has already earned a reputation for being an
easy FSB 600MHz overclocker, so we're really excited about this section of the
Ready, let's begin!
PCSTATS started off with the 1333MHz FSB Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 processor and a 2GB set of Corsair's DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF
memory. This 65nm CPU has been the mainstay of PCSTATS reviews, but lately it's
been acting up at FSB's above 475MHz so it may be time for retirement -
overclocking can be hazardous to the long term health of hardware after
As usual, before overclocking began the clock multiplier
was lowered to 6x, and the memory set to run at 1:1. Starting at 333 MHz FSB the
clock speed was increased 15 MHz at a time, and without much difficulty the Core
2 Duo E6750 overclocked to 475MHz FSB... but no further. Sensing that perhaps
this engineering sample chip had seen one to many an overclocking session, we
went out and bought a retail 45nm Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 from our local Canada
Computers shop, after all "45nm + 45nm" is supposed to be a winning
combination right? Incidently, Can/Comp don't carry the Tpower I45, but NCIX do.
around the overclocking wasn't hamstrung by a flaky chip, and 475 MHz, then 490
MHz, 515, 530, 555, 570 and even 575MHz FSB booted into Windows Vista just fine.
Beyond that our luck wasn't as reliable, so the CPU,
Northbridge, memory and FSB voltages were increased a little. Doing this allowed
the Biostar TPower I45 system to POST at 600MHz FSB, but it would freeze or we'd
get a blue screen while loading into Windows Vista. The system was stable with
an overclocked FSB of 575MHz, while running the 45nm 'Wolfdale' E8400 processor,
so that's the result we'll stick to. A max FSB of 575 MHz is darn impressive, I
guess Biostar really are turning a page when it comes to overclocking!
Biostar Tpower2 OC Tweaker
I found the included Biostar OC Tweaker software
convoluted to use, and not very attractive. PCSTATS has spoken with Biostar
about designing a software GUI that doesn't resemble spaceships, a dragon and
well... other tacky things, but it seems the companies programmers aren't
convinced that simple really is better.
The Tpower2 software gives users a full report on
temperatures and voltages, enabling you to monitor system status from the Vista
desktop. To overclock, enter into OC Tweaker for full control over bus speed,
voltages and automatic V3-V15 overclocking presets. Clock speeds and voltages
are changed by clicking on the "-" or "+" icons, this is especially tedious
with a board that can overclock from 333 to 575MHz.