Asus A7M266-D, MSI K7D Master-L and Tyan Tiger MPX in the test: First look at AMD's dual mainboards

Asus A7M266-D, MSI K7D Master-L and Tyan Tiger MPX in the test: First look at AMD's dual mainboards


One area of course we want to address this too. The overclocking. At the beginning you have to say that dual mainboards are much more difficult to overclock than mainboards with only one processor. This is mainly due to the timing of the two CPUs. Another point is, the dual processor boards are unfortunately not always as well equipped in terms of overclocking as one is used to from single processor boards. If you can change the FSB (Front Side Bus), that has always been a lot. Although it has to be said that dual AMD boards have only been available since there was also the option of changing the CPU's multiplier. With the dual Intel boards, which were previously only available, changing the multiplier would not have made sense, since the multiplier with the Intel CPUs is fixed in theCPU is set.

Asus A7M266-D

First of all, let's take a look at the Asus. As already explained in the description of the bios, a lot can be set here. However, the CPU's multiplier is left out; unfortunately, it cannot be set on the A7M266-D. That leaves only the FSB (Front Side Bus). As you are used to from Asus, this can be set in single steps. With the Athlon MP2000 + used in our test, we tried 140 MHz first. That is a little more than five percent more than the standard clock of 133 MHz. We set the memory timings to the optimal values ​​for the Nanya modules of 2-2-2. We set the optimization, which can be set between normal mode and turbo mode, to turbo. We do not change the voltage of the CPUs, which can only be set via jumpers. Well, the Asus boots up perfectly, Windows XP also starts up perfectly and a few subsequent runs of benchmarks confirm the assumption that the benchmark values ​​change in relation to the increased FSB. The Asus A7M266-D survived a continuous run of the 3DMark2001SE overnight without any complaints.

The next step in increasing the FSB (Front Side Bus) is 144 MHz. We'll leave everything else set right away. The Asus starts again without grumbling, Windows XP also boots up perfectly, but after a few seconds there is a reset and the Asus restarts on its own. We start the Asus again, but the same picture, after a few seconds in Windows XP, the Asus crashes completely. We try to lower the timings, but that is actually not an alternative, because it makes the board dramatically slower, but the Asus does not run stable even with reduced timings. The time until the crash was only increased to a few minutes. We then set the timings back onMaximum, and slowly go back with the FSB. Only when we reached 140 MHz did we manage to get the board running stably. 141 MHz were still possible, 142 MHz also ran stable at first glance, but a little work with the board, such as surfing with Internet Explorer or listening to music, caused the Asus to crash. So all that remains is that the Asus can be operated stably at 140 MHz with the sharpest timing. Incidentally, increasing the voltage for the CPUs had no effect.

MSI K7D Master-L

With the MSI K7D Master-L, a dual-processor mainboard is finally on the market, with which you can also adjust the multiplier. Unfortunately only up to 12.5. That doesn't help us much with our powerful MP2000 +, since the 2000 already runs at 12.5. So we proceed in a similar way to the Asus to determine the maximum FSB (Front Side Bus). So we set the FSB back to 140 MHz, one of the 11 levels with which you can adjust the FSB on the MSI, we set the timings to 2-2-2, the multiplier to 12.5 and the voltage of the two CPUs adjusted we neither. No problem for the MSI, the board including Windows XP boot up perfectly, and as with the Asus, the results of short benchmarks increased in the same proportion as the FSB.

Second attempt. The next possible value for the FSB that can be set on the MSI is 144 MHz. We leave all other values ​​the same. Both the computer and Windows XP start without problems. However, with the first benchmark, a further attempt with the same settings found that it made no difference which benchmark we ran; Windows always froze. Only a push of the reset button released the MSI from its rigidity.

There was already a peculiarity of the MSI herenoticeable, which causes Windows XP and Windows 2000 to only recognize one processor. Although two processors are always shown on the start screen, Windows does not always start with both. You can see this in the Task Manager, where there is only one field for the processor load. Even shutting down several times or performing a reset does not always help. Only a cold start, i.e. switching off the computer with the power supply switch, caused Windows to start again with both processors in most cases.

But now back to Changing the FSB. So after Windows froze after adjusting the FSB to 144 MHz, we tried the same FSB with increasing the voltage for the CPUs. We set 1.80 V and restarted the computer. Everything as usual, start the computer and operating system and we try a benchmark. Looks good, the benchmark ran without a crash or the system freezing. Even after three runs of 3DMark2001SE, the MSI is still stable.

So far, so good. There is still one setting for the FSB at the MSI. The 150 MHz. So we shut down the computer, set the FSB to 150 MHz and, to be on the safe side, set the voltage to maximum, i.e. 1.85 V. To our amazement, the computer starts, but when Windows starts there is a blue screen. A second start does not help either. Even by lowering the timing, Windows could not be persuaded to start with 150 MHz FSB. Since the MSI can adjust the multiplier and the MPs are unlocked, we next try to set the multiplier to 12.0 to convince Windows to start with 150 MHz FSB. But here too, Windows crashed with a blue screen when it started. Lowering the multiplier to 11.5 was also unsuccessful. To rule out that the memory cannot handle 150 MHz,we briefly tried a 256 MB Nanya module in the PC333 version, but Windows could not be started successfully with it either. All that remains to be said is that the MSI runs very stably at 144 MHz with the sharpest timing, at least with the Athlon MP2000 + available to us.

Tyan Tiger MPX

The last board for the overclocking test is the Tyan Tiger MPX. As the description of the BIOS and the board already shows, there is not much to set. Only the FSB (Front Side Bus) can be changed. No timing of the memory bar, no increase in voltage, nothing can be changed here except the FSB. Well, we won't let that put us off, so we set the FSB to 140 MHz as the first attempt as with the other boards. The computer boots up, Windows XP also starts, but we have hardly logged on - blue screen. Oh dear. So reset and set the FSB to 138 MHz. Start - but also here again: A blue screen immediately after logging in. The next lower setting is 136 MHz. We don't actually expect to be able to log into Windows, but oh wonder we can come in and run a few benchmarks. Working with other applications also went smoothly at 136 MHz. An overnight running 3DMark2001SE as a stability test did not crash the mainboard from Tyan. So there is not much you can overclock the Tyan Tiger MPX, but that is, and never has been, Tyan's claim. Rather, Tyan is known for its good server motherboards.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the temperatures of the CPUs were between 51 and 55 degrees, at 23 degrees room temperature. Perhaps also interesting that the MP2000 + no longer ran stably when overclocked at temperatures higher than 57 degrees. Spontaneous resets and freezes were the result, which only stopped after the FSB was reduced to 133 MHzoccurred. When not overclocked, the boards and the CPUs were still stable at 64 degrees.

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