FSB400: Setting new records with the nForce 2

FSB400: Setting new records with the nForce 2


The sparrows are already whistling from the rooftops and it will be in the near future the 200MHz FSB in the AMD Athlon XP based on the 'Barton' core will probably also become a reality. The first models for the FSB333 are expected to come onto the market at the end of the year, but since nForce 2 and probably also the KT400A should get along with the faster FSB400 (200MHz) without any problems, AMD will be hunting for the additional performance not to be missed by arch-rival Intel. This will probably take a similar step in the coming year and increase the FSB from 533MHz ('Quad-Pumped') to 800MHz. The reasons for such a product policy are quickly explained. In times of CPUs shaking at the 100 watt limit, another way must first be found to increase the performance further and the connection to the rest of the system, especially the memory, plays an important role here. In addition to the pure increase in bandwidth, the latency times can also be sustainably reduced and thus the waiting times in the event of a so-called 'cache miss', in which the CPU has to fetch missing data in the L1/L2 cache from the main memory.

While we were only able to risk a vague outlook in our article on the FSB800 for the Pentium 4, the nForce 2 and an ' unlocked XP ' offer all the requirements to be able to reproduce the performance of the FSB400 today.In addition to this aspect, we took a look at the most important operating modes of the nForce 2 and should clarify the most common questions about the configuration of FSB and memory on such a board.

Test system

As the basis for this test, we chose the nForce 2 board from EPoX, the 8RDA +, which has only been available for a few days. The board posed no problems for us and ran absolutely stable up to the highest clock rates of FSB400/DDR400 without complications. A Thoroughbred B in the form of an XP2400 + was used as the CPU, which was operated with an FSB of 133MHz, 166MHz and 200MHz each at a rate of 2000MHz (2400+). A Ti4400 from Asus and the brand new Detonator 41.09 served as the graphics card. In order to drive the nForce 2 to the best possible performance, both RAM banks were occupied with 256MB Corsair XMS3000 in order to enable the 'dual channel' operation. Ultimately, the following FSB/memory combinations were tested.

  • 133/133MHz
  • 133/166MHz
  • 166/166MHz
  • 166/200MHz
  • 200/200MHz

On the next page: Storage benchmarks