ASRock H55DE3 Motherboard - BIOS and Overclocking

Article Index
ASRock H55DE3 Motherboard
Closer Look at the H55DE3
H55DE3 Features and Specs
BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD Testing and More
Synthetic System, CPU and Memory
Real World Apps and Gaming
Final Thoughts and Score
 

ASRock H55DE3 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 of the 1.70 BIOS below.  During testing, ASRock released the 2.10 BIOS, but it didn't apply to our particular test setup so we stuck with the 1.70 BIOS.  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
BIOS - Main

 

ASRock has put a lot of the tweaking and overclocking features of this board under the "OC Tweaker" section and here you can find almost everything you need to overclock your CPU and memory to your heart's content.  If you have a compatible CPU that uses the "Turbo 50" feature you'll be able to quickly and easily overclock.  If you don't have a compatible CPU, the CPU EZ OC Setting and Memory EZ OC Setting will still make things very easy for you.  I'm sure that most hardened overclockers and tweakers will bypass this, but it managed to take our 2.8GHz Core i7 860 up to 3.8 without issues.  In fact we weren't able to reach much higher with 100% stability.  In the end I believe the CPU was the limiting factor.  

If you have fast memory and want to overclock it farther than the "standard" DDR3-1600, the H55DE3 supports memory speeds of 1866MHz, 2000MHz, 2200MHz and even 2400MHz with a simple profile switch.  This should make using that expensive memory you bought just a little easier.

BIOS - OC Main Top
BIOS - OC Main Top
BIOS - OC Main Bottom
BIOS - OC Main Bottom
BIOS - OC Memory
BIOS - OC Memory
     
BIOS - Mem Speed
BIOS - Memory Speed
BIOS - OC Mem Timings
BIOS - OC Memory Timings
BIOS - OC Mem Volt
BIOS - OC Memory Voltage

 

If you like to void warranty, ASRock has you covered - especially in the memory voltage department.  With voltage adjustments up to 2.0v, I'm sure that you can cook almost any kit of DDR3 that you drop in this board if you're not careful.  I'd exercise caution when exceeding 1.7v unless you have good active cooling on your RAM.

The Advanced BIOS section has a couple of interesting settings that are worth checking out. If you disable the "Turbo" feature you can choose your CPU multiplier and run anywhere from 9 to 21 and even manually set "Turbo" with locks in at 22 on this particular chip.  If you want to be super efficient, enable the "SpeedStep" and kiss overclocking goodbye until you change it back.

BIOS - Advanced
BIOS - Advanced
BIOS - Advanced CPU
BIOS - Advanced CPU

There are a few more BIOS screenshots available over here if you want to check out all of them.  For those that are getting bored, let's keep on rolling.

 

Overclocking:

This board was not a bad overclocking board at all.  We managed to clock up the CPU FSB from 133 to 202MHz stable, but found that that our best performance was at 180x21=3.78GHz.  We may been able to get it higher than that but you have to keep in mind that due to time constraints we didn't spend hours tweaking this board to perfection.  Out of the box, I was able to speed up the PC from 2.8GHz to 3.78GHz without issues at all.  Even when we dropped the multiplier, we hit a brick wall at 3.8GHz - no matter if we raised the FSB to 200MHz with a 19x Multiplier or we left the multiplier at 21 and raised the FSB to 180MHz.

CPUZ - Main
CPU-Z Main
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory

 

As mentioned we ran the overclocked benchmarks at the 21x180MHz as it yielded the best performance overall.  Even though memory bandwidth was slightly higher at faster FSB, it actually worked better with perfect stability for over a day running Prime95 at the speed shown below.

 CPU-Z OC
CPU-Z OC

 

On the next page we'll start testing out the board and dive into the HDD and Network subsystems before we get into overall performance testing.