Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe Intel nForce4 SLI Overclocking Review

Motherboards/Intel S775 by KeithSuppe @ 2005-12-08

Today we explore Asus nVidia SLI solution for Intel, we?ll take full advantage of Proactive AI and determine just how smart the board is. Read on for Madshrimps first IQ test designed for a motherboard.

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Test System / Memory Benchmark

Madshrimps (c)

Asus has been a friend to the PC-Enthusiast and Overclocking communities, even to the extent they were admonished by Intel back in 2003 for unlocking Intel's PAT. Of the reviews on the Asus P4P800, more astute writers such as Dr. Michael Schutte of Lost Circuits Fame had un-wittingly revealed Intel’s binning process. While Springdale’s FCGBA count at 932 was less then it's sibling Canterwood (875) at 1005, it was essentially identical in architecture. As it's more costly to design and fabricate two separate North Bridge chips, many manufacturers will "bin" chips either by quality testing (those not up to 875 specs become 865) or as often happens, forced binning to ensure a budget chipset is produced. Insight into these processes are basically "Keys to the Kingdom of Overclocking."

The AI acronym in Asus overclocking software stands for Asus Intelligence Asus software was well thought out, offering a series of pre-programmed overclocking combinations which have been pre-tested for stability. Of course every CPU and brand of memory will react differently and Asus engineers have tested a long list of memory brands (ICs) prior to programming the software. When you drop down a submenu on the GUI pictured above you can choose between a percentage such as 105%, 110%...etc. or a FSB/Memory combination displayed as FSB 960/800, FSB 1280/800, FSB 1000/667, FSB 1333/667..etc. Whether you’re an Overclocker or not, the pre-programmed settings can assist you simply by exemplifying what's possible and what combinations work best (most stable). While I tested the AIBooster I prefer to overclock using the BIOS for its diversity.

Intel Test System
CPU Pentium 630 Retail (SL7Z9 3.0GHz 2MB L2 1.25V ~ 1.388Vcore) Socket-775
Mainboards Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe (BIOS 0605)
Memory Corsairmicro 5400UL (2x512MB DC CL3-2-2-8)
Graphics 1.) 2x Asus EN6600GT 256MB GDDR3.
2.) AOpen Aeolus 7800GTX-DVD256 (SLI)
Power Supply PCPower&Cooling TurboCool 850 SSI
Cooling Alphacool 12V Cora 662 XP (passive H20-system)
Operating System Windows XP


Most articles will feature a plethora of tests usually including an overclocking section. As the P5ND2-SlI Deluxe has been out for sometime now, benchmarks will cover the basics, however; the entire review can be considered an endeavor in overclocking. The overclocking process was simplified thanks to Asus AIBooster and the Phoenix Award BIOS. This platform has been rock solid and running my P4 630 from 3GHz to 4GHz the system was stable under all conditions.

The Pentium 630 will be watercooled for all tests, using Alphacool CAPE KC42-X2 Copper CPU cooler with Socket-775 Lucite through mount. Our pump is the Alphacool AP1510 centrifugal 12V made by OASE, which is controlled by Alphacool DC Voltage converter which allows settings between 12V and 24V to increase/decrease cm height. Our heat exchanger is a passive design, Alphacool CAPE CORA 642 convect. MAXI (Silver) free-standing using Alphacool supplied Lucite hardware. Tubing is 10/8mm our non-conductive liquid from Midwest Cooling Technology MCT-5. Water-temps were measured using Thermaltake T-Type water temp indicator. Ambient temps, Case and other temps were measured using T.T.G.I. Digital 610 Rheostat.

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Corsair Twin2X1204A-5400UL (2x512MB) was designed in cooperation with Asus to run in the nFocre-4 based P5ND2-SLI Deluxe at 675MHz at 3-2-2-8. I was able to run this memory at 3-2-2-6 and have overclocked the memory on this board as high as 850MHz. The C19's Divisor is setup to run DDR2 at 667MHz from a Default bus speed of 800FSB, therefore the base speed for this review will be 810FSB which allows the memory to be set at 675MHz.

I decided to test this board as a midline SLI test system. Today we'll use Asus EN6600GT (256MB GDDR3) in SLI and Single card modes.

Memory Bandwidth and Latency Benchmarks
Benchmarks were run under the following system settings:
810FSB - 675MHz Memory CL3-2-2-6 SLI Mode
1066FSB - 775MHz Memory CL4-4-4-17 SLI Mode
1072FSB - 750MHz Memory CL3-2-2-8 SLI Mode

810FSB - 675MHz Memory CL3-2-2-6 Single Card Mode
1066FSB - 775Mhz Memory CL4-4-4-17 Single Card Mode
1072FSB - 750MHz Memory CL3-2-2-8 Single Card Mode

I've included CPU-Z screenshot for each series of CPU/mem speeds/Latencies maintained throughout the review. Of course there's no reason to include six CPU-Z screenshots since SLI mode has no bearing simply verifying these speeds. At no time did I have to raise the CPU Vcore or VDIMM beyond default (CPU) or manufacturer recommended (Memory).

810FSB/675Mem | 1066FSB/775Mem | 107FSB/750Mem

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The P5ND2-SI Deluxe offers a truly flexible DDR2 platform. I've seen my highest DDR2 frequencies and ran tightest latencies at speed 750MHz at 3-2-2-8.

Onto Sandra CPU Multimedia, Arithmetic and PCMark benchmarks ->
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