ASRock A770 Crossfire Motherboard - BIOS, Overclocking and Energy Saving

Article Index
ASRock A770 Crossfire Motherboard
ASRock A770 Crossfire Up Close
Chipset and Motherboard Features
BIOS, Overclocking and Energy Saving
Test Setup, RAIDXpert and Subsystem Tests
ASRock A770 Crossfire Benchmarks
Gaming and Real-World Performance

ASRock A770 Crossfire 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.  This BIOS is pretty straightforward and we've only included a few of the BIOS screens that will be of interest.  Many sections like "Boot Order" have been left out as we simply can't handle that much excitement.  For now, the advanced bios settings will have to keep you happy - and tweaking your RAM, CPU and voltages until your heart's content.

BIOS - Main Setup
BIOS - Main Setup

 BIOS - Advanced Setup
BIOS - Advanced Setup
BIOS - Memory Tweaks
BIOS - Memory Tweaks
   
 BIOS - Processor Voltage
BIOS - Processor Voltage
 BIOS - DRAM Voltage
BIOS - DRAM Voltage

 

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.  CPU and NB voltage can be adjusted from 0.6v to 1.5625v in 0.125v increments.  All of this shapes up to offer a bit of promise for our test setup.

 BIOS - Hardware Monitor
BIOS - Hardware Monitor
 BIOS - Boot Config
BIOS - Boot Config

 

Basic hardware monitoring is present as well as basic boot configuration. Nothing too exciting in these last two screenshots so we'll carry on to overclocking.

 

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 3.34GHz no matter if we raised the multiplier and kept the FSB somewhat stable.  The maximum FSB we reached was 420MHz without immediately crashing, but the fastest stable FSB we reached was 400MHz.  For our overclocking results on the following page we opted for 400x8= 3200MHz which had better performance than the highest clock speed we reached - 3.342GHz.  This set a record for our processor and we were able to run rock solid for days at 400FSB with very little effort.  Above this, the system ran unstable even if we raised voltages and applied extra cooling to the passive chipset heatsinks.

 

ASRock includes a nice little overclocking tool called "OC Tuner" and it works very well and if you want to check it out in more detail please refer to our review of the K10N78hSLI-WiFi motherboard here.

Check out the screenshots below of the AMD Overdrive Utility and our overclocked settings.

OC - 3342MHz
OC - 3342MHz
OC - 400FSB
OC - 400FSB

 

Power Saving IES:

If you're feeling a little greener than power hungry, you may be more interested in the Intelligent Energy Saver feature of this motherboard.  This feature only works with Phenom Quad core processors at this time and puts the CPU into a lower power state and even drops the voltage regulation from 4-phase to 2-phase.  This is dynamic and when needed your processor will clock back up to normal speed.  Think of IES as an advanced "Cool & Quiet" for Phenoms.

IES - Duration

 

On the next page we'll take a look at the AMD's RAIDXpert then, jump into testing now that we know a lot about this board.