ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi Motherboard - K10N78hSLI-WiFi BIOS and Overclocking

Article Index
ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi Motherboard
Closer Look at the K10N78hSLI-WiFi
Chipset and Motherboard Features
K10N78hSLI-WiFi BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup and Subsystem Testing
ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi Benchmarks
Gaming and Real World Performance

K10N78hSLI-WiFi BIOS:

The motherboard BIOS is probably one of the most boring areas to look at if you're not an overclocker or enthusiast.  Mainstream users will probably want to skip down to the overclocking section to see how easy it is to tweak and overclock this board.  For you hardcore users, check out the BIOS screenshots below.

Before we get into the interesting settings for tweaking, I thought I'd mention that this ASRock motherboard has several different boot screens for you to enjoy.  Yes, I said "enjoy".  Most of the time, a boot screen is lame, but I rather enjoy looking at the following boot screen instead of the standard issue ASRock one.

Boot Screen
Boot Screen

BIOS Main Screen
BIOS Main Screen
 BIOS Advanced Options
BIOS Advanced Options
   
 BIOS Advanced CPU
BIOS Advanced CPU
 BIOS Advanced Memory
BIOS Advanced Memory

 

In terms of tweaking, the CPU Frequency is adjustable from 150MHz to 500MHz in 1MHz increments and the PCIe Frequency is adjustable from 75MHz to 200MHz in 1MHz increments as well.  If you have an unlocked CPU, you can adjust the CPU Multiplier in 0.5x increments all the way from 4.0x to 25.0x.

 BIOS Advanced Chipset
BIOS Advanced Chipset
 BIOS HW Monitor
BIOS HW Monitor
BIOS Boot Options
BIOS Boot Options

 

For a mainstream board, the ASRock K10N78hSLI-WiFi has a lot of voltage adjustments and some pretty extreme ones at that.  CPU voltage is adjustable from 0.9875 to 1.7125v in 0.125 increments and DRAM voltage can be adjusted from 1.8v to 2.7v in 0.05v increments.  Both chipset and HT voltages are also adjustable in 0.05v increments and can be tweaked from 1.1v-1.25v and 1.2v-1.35v respectively.


Overclocking:

With all the adjustments that we just covered, I actually had some hope in this board when it came to overclocking.  Undoubtedly, the thing that will hold is back is an AMD processor.  For this review we used the 5000+ Black Edition in order to play around with multiplier and FSB adjustments.  In the end we were able to run stable at slightly over 3.2GHz no matter if we raised the multiplier and kept the FSB somewhat stable.  The maximum FSB we reached was 255MHz without immediately crashing, but the fastest stable FSB we reached was 251MHz.  For our overclocking results on the following page we opted for 246x13= 3198 which was reported as 3203MHz (246.6MHz actually).  That's not a record for a 2.6GHz AMD processor, but we didn't expect to hit much higher at all.  3.2GHz seems to be a pretty popular ceiling.

ASRock includes a nice little overclocking tool called "OC Tuner" and it works very well.  We used this utility to do some Windows based overclocking then tried to do better by going into the BIOS and fine tuning some settings.  In the end, the software utility worked just as well as the old fashioned way and we weren't able to achieve a stable overclock any higher through the BIOS.

OCTuner Main
OC Tuner Main

 

Below are more images of different settings and capabilities of the OC Tuner program.  Voltage, CPU Multiplier and FSB adjustments can all be made with this simple little piece of software.  Thankfully, it supports Vista x64.

 OC Tuner Monitor
OC Tuner Monitor
OC Tuner OC
OC Tuner OC
   
 OC Tuner Stable OC
OC Tuner Stable OC
 OC Tuner Voltage
OC Tuner Voltage

 

On the next page we'll jump into testing now that we know a lot about this board.