Thanks for asking Chozart. I wrestled with the situation for a long time. Here's what I found. The bottom line is I am getting the same benchmarks (within 50 points) at 3600 running the 1066 strap and 4 x 512 DDR2 667 OverClocked to DDR2 800 as I got with 2 sticks of Crucial DDR2 1000 running in Single Channel on the 1333 NB Strap at 4006. As I suspected the memory controller is not handling the Crucial at all. The RAM passes Orthos Large FFTs at stock CPU speeds--but once the FSB goes up the RAM throws errors. Leads me to believe that th memory controller gets out of synch. I used Memset to try and control the timings because the BIOS sets them too tight and messes up the Trfc timing so badly that the board will lock up and not even POST until I pop the battery.
So Below find my log of OverClocking on the 1066 NB Strap after Flashing back to the official BIOS and reverting to my 4 sticks of G Skill.
Okay guys I wanted to give you some more info RE: speed vs. Performance. As you all know Dual Channel is a beautiful thing and running in Single Channel is not acceptable for a high performance PC IMO. Kinda like turning off one of the CPUs to get stability LOL. Anyhoo. I spent until 1 AM wrestling with the Crucial RAM and the Abit board. I started with the assumption that it would work and afterabout 6 hours proved to myself that it would not. The problem is that the Alpha BIOS does not support Dual Channel and the Official BIOS does not support DDR2 800 RAM very well. Difficulty even posting or getting into BIOS on a regular basis was making troubleshooting very time consuming--ad in 5 minutes for the phase to reset each time the rig has to be shut down.
Using two stick of Crucial DDR2 1000 on the 1066 strap fails Orthos in seconds regardless of speed. Even getting the system to boot is a real work of art. I have not had to go in on safe mode and disable stuff in a while...brought back memories of overclocking on Windows 98. Had to disable all services, uninstall all the ATI suite, disable all statr up items, put memset into a folder so the system wouldn't try to apply the values, set the RAM manually in BIOS, set the RAM voltage manually in BIOS, make sure the RAM is only running at DDR2 667 or lower and use only one stick. Then add another stick and see that it shows as Dual Channel and then run Orthos and see it fail after seconds.`
Shutdown and put in 4 matching sticks of G Skill DDR2 667 running at 748 and it fired up to 3357 without a hitch. Runs Orthos foreverIt is clearly an issue between the Crucial and the Motherboard. Not having another board to test the sticks on I amleft with the impression that they may be good RAM--but not for this board. Regardless I am going to see about RMAing them back to Newegg. Until I can do some research and see what others are using on this board that works.
It could be an issue with DDR 800 compatibility that the Alpha BIOS sort-of fixed in the 1333 NB strap. However the BIOS is fundamentally flawed in that it does not support Dual Channel. The Official BIOS 13 supports Dual Channel DDR2 667 very well--as I have heard that 4 sticks is harder to run than 2 or 1--but the fact is the board performs flawlessly with 4 sticks of overclocked DDR2 667.
I am now going to check out if the voltages I used in the Alpha BIOS to run 2 Sticks of Crucial Single Channel will support the overclock with 4 sticks in Dual channel of G Skill.
Somewhat dissapointed by how it tunred out--I was hoping to get some exteme performance out of that high dollar RAM. But I do take a certain satisfaction in having understood the issue and come to terms with how best to use the board. the DDR2 667 G Skill will easily run at the speeds the 1333 NB strap put the RAM under so after I see what kinds of performance the 1066 strap provide (Super Pi Times and 3DMark06) I will flash the BIOS and see how 4 sticks in single channel perform at much higher CPU speeds. Should make for an interesting comparison--much like the horsepower/torque lines on a dyno graph. At some point I have a feeling superior CPU speed will intersect with lower clockspeed--better Memory Bandwidth.
Here is where I started--I dunno 3357 looked good this morning and since I had finally figured out the problem was the Crucial RAM I just started at where I left off.
After a nice long run on Orthos I went and benched the Rig at 3357 in one card and two card mode and Super Pi 1M
Clock: 3357 3Dmark06: 5202/8778CF Super Pi 1M: 15.23 Warcat Drivers yielded 10 points lower??? 7.1 Driver 5272/8855CF
Used my identical settings for 3500 389 x 9 Vcore 1.525 VDimm 2.0 (G Skill require only 1.9) MCH 1.62 Boots fine with four sticks at 784 Sticking with 7.1 Driver
Each successive bench the hardware and benchmarking is the same I will simply list numbers in the same order.
3500 : 5314/8929 : 14.594
Again followed my notes from OverClocking on the 1333 NB Strap 399 x 9 Vcore 1.525 VDimm 2.0 MCH 1.65 Boots Fine with 4 sticks at DDR2 800 not bad RAM at all...
3600 : 5328/8997 : 14.203
Still benchmarking and seeing if it is consistent. The 7.1 Drivers are very good but now ATI overdrive does not work--the screen starts to jitter then turn green and lock up.
Still no match for the 12 something super pi at 4006... but much more stable and producing good 3DMark06 scores... all at much lower stress to the components.
I feel that short of a fully developed BIOS with full support for DDR2 800+ and DUal Channel and no glitches with SPD timings and so on that this is a fundamentally flawed platform for what I am trying to do. If I wanted phase-chilled 3600 mhz Folder I would be in Phat City LOL