Thoughts & Conclusion :
As most of us know (so does AMD) populating all 4-DIMMS to run at DDR400 is unattainable with current controller. Unlike Intel P4 865 chipset using 4-DIMMS or double sided 512 x 2 could achieve 250-275 FSB, higher for 875 chipset.
For K8, I feel running 512 x 2 DDR600 1T will be the ideal situation for now with this board. If your plan is to purchase FX55, DFI and MSI boards are the best choice. I surely hope the upcoming K8 E0 with SSE3 support will allow the use of all 4-DIMMS at above DDR400 speed. I gained 25 MHz using 256 x 2 @1T.
Here are two screen shots showing memory bandwidth and 32-seconds SUPERPI (1M) @ 300 x 9, 2.7 GHz.Click to enlarge
I'm sure the scores are not top notched; however with stock air cooling this setup is the most carefree for day-to-day use with consistent performance which I strive for.
I have spent excessively much time in the last few weeks with all NF4 boards, it has been both painful and much pleasure at the same time; sounds weird, does it not? I had wished I could do some SLI testing for you.
The DFI will run very stable at 300 x 8 using TCCD 512x2 @1T, achieving 300 x 9 with simple air-cooling credits to how well the BIOS, memory controller and the quality of this board to work in concert with each other. This board is simply splendid in reaching the best possible performance.
1) Formidable HTT frequency and excellent voltage option
2) Nicely bundle and high quality
3) VDIMM voltage up to 4 volts.
4) The new BIOS works wonder.
5) Ram arrangement provides good cooling
6) Ability to run @1T using 512x2 DDR 600
1) Manual is insufficient
2) Too many variables in both CPU and Ram settings (but also a challenge to some)
In the last few months, I have had the opportunity to toy around with NF4 chip from MSI Neo4, Epox 9NPA, Asus A8N, DFI NF4 and Abit AN8. Here is my opinion/ranking (strictly personal reference) about them;
HTT/Controller scaling – DFI, MSI, EPOX, ABIT, Gigabyte, Asus (over 300 FSB, 2T becomes necessary)
CPU/RAM voltage options – DFI, EPOX, MSI, ABIT, ASUS and Gigabyte (latest version from MSI has increased voltage option)
Overall Performance – DFI, ABIT, MSI, EPOX, Gigabyte and ASUS
Again, I must emphasize the ranking is based on my personal preference while others must disagree; and the use of other setup might well alter the result which effects different results.I like to explain why I put my “name” on some of the photos. They are there to prevent our Chinese friends from mainland China an easy “copy” of my work.;)
Until next time …… thank you for allowing me to share with you my NF4 experience.
Question/Comments: forum thread