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Asus P5N32-E Overclocking Guide

post #1 of 5659
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Here is the guide, a work in progress so to speak:

Please note that the Asus Striker Extreme Bios is identical to the P5N32-E (other than revision version releases). All of the settings below will apply to either board. The main difference between the two boards (other than bling, a beefier cooling setup, and all solid caps) is that the Striker can clock higher with Quads. My testing has shown that the P5N32-E tops out at around 370 FSB with quads. This is a hardware issue relating to the GTL Voltage controls on the board. EVGA's A1 and T1 revisions corrected this issue which is inherent in the 680i chipsets. The Striker has a more robust GTL Voltage limit (and has had it since it's release, there have been no newer revisions) and consequently can match the EVGA A1 and T1 for FSB clocks with quads (in the 450 FSB range)

Online Reviews:

http://www.digital-daily.com/motherb...s_p5n32_e_sli/

(They hit 500 FSB easily in their tests)


http://cdr-info.com/Sections/Reviews...rticleId=19557

(They hit 480 FSB)



http://www.custompc.co.uk/reviews/10...5n32e-sli.html

(They hit 487 FSB)


Asus P5N32-E Overclocking Guide

After posting about 300 times with various settings for forummers, it came to mind that an FAQ would help answer basic questions about this board.

I have tested the settings listed below on this board with an Intel C2D E6700 (Retail) and an Intel C2D X6800 (again retail). With two different sets of ram. Corsair C5 8500 2 x 1 GB Twin2X and the OCZ SLI Ready PC2-8500 2 x 1 GB. Both RAM used Micron D9 IC's.

My board is listed as revision 1.1 and I have tested all of the bios revisions. I tested the 1302 beta and it is currently stable and recommended.


Under the 1103 bios and onwards, they removed Southbridge - Northbridge frequency options from the bios system clocks defined as SPP <-> MCP Ref Clock under Extreme Tweaker/System Clocks. Apparently, the new bios revisions also have fixed vdroop in relation to ntune. In other words, the vcore you set in the bios matches exactly in what ntune reads. Prior, it was off by as much as .04 or higher.


1503 Bios just released (see my ftp link below).

Regarding the 1203 bios, it was been pulled from both the Asus site and the Asus FTP site. I have read some feedback that it causes issues with Razor mice and keyboards.

The 1205 bios and onwards release corrected issues with razor USB devices (apparently it had to do with compatibility with the bios of razor devices and the USB default poll rate of the motherboard).


A few points about the board before going into overclocking:

NTune 5.05.18

http://www.nvidia.com/object/ntune_5.05.18.00.html

Works very well with this board and the current bios releases. All voltages are accurate (as are gpu temps). The only sensor that seems off is cpu temp. Use Core Temp for that.


Later versions of ntune apparently do not provide accurate voltages again.


The Asus board hasn’t been subject to many of the issues that the reference 680i boards (EVGA, BFG, etc) have such as PS2 keyboard issues, sata RAID issues and so on. It has had issues with X-FI sound cards and SLI’d 8800 series GPU’s. This was resolved in bios update 0602 and onwards. Bear in mind as well that it does not apply to any sound card other than the X-FI series. (for example my, Creative Audigy 2 ZS, had no sound issues whatsoever regardless of bios version).

Do not use 0702 or 0802 bios under any circumstances. The original bios 0302 was stable but had vcore lock issues at high FSB and sound issues with X-FI as mentioned above. 0602 resolved the sound issues but still had some limitations regarding VCORE lock. 0702 and 0802 were beta and very buggy. 0902 despite being beta was very stable and also provided full VCORE unlock regardless of FSB.

Also note that as of bios version 1002 and onwards, they have permanently removed the linkboost feature. Further proof that it never worked properly.

Do not use the Asus Updater in Windows! It is politely a POS. The best way to bios flash this board is to out the bios on a usb memory stick, go into the bios, run ez-flash and update from there. It has worked every time for me and is the safest method. Also, always restore your bios to default settings, save and reboot before flashing bios. A number of users on the Asus forums had issues with OC’d bios when flashing.

The Northbridge and Southbridge on the 680i boards get very very hot. The passive heatpipe cooling on the the motherboard is fine for stock settings and even mild overclocks. If you want anything resembling stability at high overclocks, you will need aftermarket cooling.

I have personally mounted a pair of Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II coolers on my board with excellent results.


Thermalright also makes chipset coolers, the Thermalright HR-05-SLI Chipset Cooler. Both provide excellent cooling.


Edit: Added that works is the Jing Ting Force Chipset Cooler

http://www.bigbruin.com/reviews05/re...ingting&file=1

(Thanks to Alex for testing this).


Edit: Added that works: EVERCOOL EC-VC-RE Ball All In One Vga Cooler Kit

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835119080

(Thanks to litlratt for testing this)



I am also now using two sets of Swiftech MC-21 Aluminum Anodized Mosfet Heatsinks on the exposed VRM's. I measured these and they fit precisely.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...wiftech%2bmc21


Important to note is if you mount an aftermarket cooler on your SB, you will limit the length of card you can mount in the center PCI slot (The only one you can use for a sound card if you have SLI’d anything.) With the Thermaltake, mounted as far away from the slot as possible while still allowing space for a pair of 8800GTX, I have exactly 150mm of clearance length. That is not long enough to fit any of the X-FI cards from Creative. An excellent alternative recommended to me is the Bluegears B-Enspirer Sound Card. It has sound comparable or better than the S-FI gamer and is only 146mm long. Its coming soon so I’ll update with it’s performance.

The Thermaltake HS-05 SLI XFI does NOT fit on the southbridge with two 8800GTX and a creative X-FI.

(Thanks to Avatar1983)


Thanks again to Alex. The Creative X-FI Gamer is 157mm long and will create clearance issues with SB cooling.

This board likes clean power with very little ripple. I had some issues with a Silverstone Zeus 750W that worked but was unstable. A change to a much more stable Enermax resolved instability issues with the board immediately.

SLI Ready Memory (also known as Enhanced Performance Profiles or EPP). This is a tool all the 680i boards share. In a nutshell, certain sets of ram have an extra chip that contains overclocking profiles based on factory testing of RAM with these boards. What this will allow you to do, is to auto overclock your ram without manually changing settings up to a factory recommended standard. You can squeeze more performance out of the ram by doing the settings manually but for first timers, its a handy tool.
Corsair and OCZ both have a number of kits that are designated SLI Ready or EPP ready. In the bios on the Extreme Tweaker screen, there is a setting for SLI Ready Memory. Simply go to it, select, 0% Overclock, save reboot and you will see the ram overclocked.

1T RAM Timings: What makes the 680i boards different from the intel chipsets is that it is very easy to get 1T timings to run on ram. I’ve tested as have others. RAM running at 800Mhz with tight timings (4-4-4-8 for example) and at 1T is faster in bandwidth tests than ram running at 5-5-5-15, 1067 MHz and 2T.

This board does not report vcore correctly in PC Probe. Currently the only program close to correct is Everest Ultimate beta 3.80. download the 30 day free trial from Lavasys to get you up and running. You can take readings in the bios but they reflect 70% of load without any signifigant voltage draw from the gpu.

Important!: Always set ram voltage manually upon first boot. This board undervolts memory from factory settings when left to auto. For example, my ram is rated stock at 2.1 Volts. The auto setting had it running at 1.89. Even though my system ran fine, I had occasional crashes until I changed the volts to 2.1 manually.

Worse, many types of ram will not work correctly with this board if they are undervolted. If the system will not boot on initial build, try one stick in the slot closest to the cpu until it boots and enter the bios. Immediately change the ram voltage to defaults for the memory you are using. Save,shut down, install the rest of your ram and then reboot normally.


For those of you that do not think "SLI Ready" and "EPP Profile" RAM have any value, think again!. One thing the 680i boards have shown is that they are finicky on what RAM they like for stable overclocks. Any RAM that has one or both of the above designations demonstrates that this RAM has been tested specifically for compatibility with the 680i chipset boards. Also as long as you get OCZ or Corsair PC2-8500 or better, it will most likely have Micron D9 IC's which as we all know are the best for Overclocking.

On to the Overclocking.

Here are the things you need to turn off in the bios before beginning:

Extreme Tweaker Screen:
Nvidia GPU Ex: Disable it (Known to cause issues)
Linkboost: Disable it (Known to cause issues) (No longer available in bios 1002)
Spread Spectrum Control: Disable all of them

Execute Disable Bit: Disable it

Virtualization Technology: Disable it

Enhanced Intel Speedstep: Disable it

Enhanced C1 (C1E): Disable it

Legacy USB Support: Disable it

HPET: Disable it

I would recommend a SATA burner if you are switching as then you can disable all of the IDE channels (Speeds up boot up times signifigantly)



Extreme Tweaker Main Screen:

(Image #1)


The most important items here are noted.

As mentioned above, Disable Nvidia GPU Ex and Linkboost


(Image #2)

System Clocks Screen






FSB and Memory Config Screen


(Image #3)



You can set FSB and Memory Clocks speeds independently by choosing unlinked. If you choose auto it will set your FSB at 800 MHZ defaut and up it to match your CPU FSB overclocks.

If you choose Linked, then you can set a ratio for your RAM in conjunction with your cpu overclock in synchronized mode.

The ratios:

1:1 This will run memory at the same frequency as the FSB. It is the DDR2 1000 dividier. This is hard to get stable depending on the ram you use.

5:4 This is the DDR2 800 memory divider

3:2 This is the DDR2 667 memory divider



Overclocking Screen

(Image #4)

Here is where you can change your CPU multi and disable some useless items.

Tests have shown that the 680i board runs fasters with a higher multi. So a high multi and low FSB is better than a low multi and high FSB. This board with do 500 FSB easily. It really depends on your chip. If you are running an E6300, 7x500 is the way to go. If you are running an E6600 or E6700, then keep the multi and stock and up the FSB until you max out.

I personally disable Execute Disable Bit and Virtualization Technology as from what I have read they do little to nothing on your PC.


Memory Timing Settings

(Image #5)

As mentioned above, tight timings at 1T are consistently faster than loose settings at high clock and 2T.



Over Voltage Screen

(Image #6 next post)

CPU VTT is the most important setting for stable overclocks. The CPU VTT Voltage sets the CPU termination voltage, allowing for a 1.55V maximum. Using this voltage in combination with the CPU VCore voltage setting can greatly enhance the system stability while overclocked. The system memory reference voltage is split between settings, the controller reference voltage and one option each for the two memory channels. In all cases, the base reference voltage can be set to a maximum of .03V over half of the set memory voltage. (Taken from HardOCP)
"In summary, the CPU VTT controls the CPU termination voltage. Based on Kirmie's observations, it reduces the number of false electrical signals by providing a form of "ground" to pull out these false currents. ." (Credit to Kirmie for the find) My experience with this board is that the max setting (1.55) provides the best results. I have not had a single crash or temperature variation as a result.



That should cover the basics.


Here is a great VDroop explained article:

http://www.thetechrepository.com/showthread.php?t=126


Here is a link to the Asus FTP site for this board:

ftp://ftp.asus.com.tw/pub/ASUS/mb/so...P5N32-E%20SLI/
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Edited by Robilar - 8/20/08 at 11:26am
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post #2 of 5659
Thread Starter 
Here is the 6th image, Over voltage screen. Bear in mind that this is near maxed out vcore. I would recommend starting at 1.35 and working upwards based on temps.


Also, a couple of shots denoting the SLI Ready Memory settings.


Also a shot of the screen demonstrating the location of the HPET feature (Which should be disabled)
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post #3 of 5659
I had two of these boards, the first one worked fine until I flashed it to the 602 bios, which resulted in a fried north bridge while the board was on auto settings, received a 2nd board, with the 602 bios on it as well, same thing happened, fried memory controller, so be wary of the 602 bios those looking to purchase this board.
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post #4 of 5659
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The one thing I recommend is caution when bios flashing this board. It seems that most of the complaints at other forums are because the bios did not update successfully. I even had a bad experience myself.
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post #5 of 5659
Thread Starter 
Here are some pics of my aftermarket cooling and the space limitations of a sound card in the middle slot with SLI.
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post #6 of 5659
Thread Starter 
And a few more
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post #7 of 5659
How could I mount Noctua NC-U6 Dual Heatpipe Chipset Coolers? I'm thinking of mounting the Southbridge cooler parallel to the Third PCI-Express 16x Lane, the one that runs a 8x electronically, so that it does interfere with the nVidia G80; which is 2cm longer than a Standard ATX Motherboard.

I'm thinking of mounting the Northbridge cooler equal to the CPU Cooler, degree wise, so that it does not interfere with the cooling of the EnzoTech Ultra-X.

I have a few questions, like:

Can the white lever be raised so that it takes up less space?
Do I have enough space, between the Graphics Card(s) and transistors, to mount a Noctua NC-U6?

I will be using these PCI/PCI-Express Lanes:

PCI 1: bluegears B-Enspirer
PCI 2: Linksys Network Card
PCI-Express 1: eVGA 8900GTX
PCI-Express 2: eVGA 8900GTX (Later on.)

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post #8 of 5659
Thread Starter 
Why would you need a network card? There are two built in to the motherboard

The white lever is the locking bracket for the video card?

Also if you are using two 8800gtx, you will only have one free PCI slot (The centre one)

I don't think the noctua will work with dual sli. the thermaltake and the thermalright can both be mounted off centre. in other words, the chipset is covered but the fan or the heatpipe array (on the two respectively) sits off centre from the middle of the chipset. The noctua array sits centred on the chipset.

As you can see from the pics I added, the cooler sits offset of the centre of the chipset. The noctua will be fine for the northbridge but not the southbridge
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post #9 of 5659
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As you can see from this pic, the 3 lower pci-e slots (2 blue one white) are for graphics. the other two raised regular pci slots are for other cards. The problem is the far left slot is completely blocked if you put a dual slot 8800gtx in the blue pci-e above it.
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post #10 of 5659
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja_Boy View Post
How could I mount Noctua NC-U6 Dual Heatpipe Chipset Coolers? I'm thinking of mounting the Southbridge cooler parallel to the Third PCI-Express 16x Lane, the one that runs a 8x electronically, so that it does interfere with the nVidia G80; which is 2cm longer than a Standard ATX Motherboard. :eek:

I'm thinking of mounting the Northbridge cooler equal to the CPU Cooler, degree wise, so that it does not interfere with the cooling of the EnzoTech Ultra-X.

I have a few questions, like:

Can the white lever be raised so that it takes up less space?
Do I have enough space, between the Graphics Card(s) and transistors, to mount a Noctua NC-U6?

I will be using these PCI/PCI-Express Lanes:

PCI 1: bluegears B-Enspirer
PCI 2: Linksys Network Card
PCI-Express 1: eVGA 8900GTX
PCI-Express 2: eVGA 8900GTX (Later on.)

[OCN] Ninja_Boy

As you can see from my pics, the G80 is longer than the board but makes no difference in chipset cooling
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Portable Media PC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K Gigabyte Z77M-D3H-MVP EVGA GTX750 Patriot Signature - 2x4GB - 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 - 120GB, WD 3 TB, WD 3TB, WD 2TB LG CH12LS28 Bluray - Lightscribe Zalman CNPS5X  Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Toshiba 23" 23L1350UC 1080P TV Microsoft Wireless 800 Seasonic X-660 NZXT Vulcan 
Mouse
Microsoft Wireless 1000 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-3320m Lenovo Intel HD4000 4 GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Hitachi 300 GB Philips 8x DVD-RW Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 - 64 Bit 1366x768 Lenovo 
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Realtek 
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