ASUS P7P55D Deluxe Reviewtacohunter52 - September 29, 2009
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The biggest section of a motherboard's BIOS is almost always the section where the overclocking happens. For this reason, I'll go into much greater detail about it. The P7P55D's overclocking settings can be found under the AI Tweaker tab. Before you can start overclocking, however, you'll need to decide which "Overclock Tuner" you'll be using. The first choice is manual, which will only allow you to increase and decrease some of the minor settings. Next up is auto, but that will just keep you on the auto settings. This isn't any fun, so most users will be using one of the next two options. D.O.C.P. and X.M.P. are the choices that will give you a slightly better overclock potential. I prefer D.O.C.P. because it gives you the most control, but some users may not be looking for this. In D.O.C.P., you'll be able to adjust BCLK, CPU Ratio, and memory parameters. XMP will automatically set the BCLK, CPU ratio, and Memory parameters. In other words, it's pretty much like the Auto setting. When in D.O.C.P. mode, you'll be allowed to choose a DRAM OC Profile. This will automatically overclock your memory, but be aware it will lower your other settings to do so. I suggest leaving it on whatever speed your memory happens to be.
The CPU Ratio acts the same as what most users call the CPU multiplier. In other words, multiply your BCLK by your CPU Ratio and you'll get your CPU speed. You'll be able to increase the CPU Ratio to 21 by pressing the + button on your keyboard. If you're looking to lower the CPU Ratio, you'll need to hit the - button. Both Intel SpeedStep and the Xtreme Phase Full Power Mode can be enabled or disabled. When overclocking, I'd suggest disabling SpeedStep, but to try the Full Power Mode enabled. The latter will supposedly get you the best possible overclock for your CPU. More importantly, it will disable the EPU's auto power saving feature. BCLK is easily increased by pressing the + button on the keyboard, and decreased by pressing the - button.
The PCIe Frequency can also be increased by pressing the + button. However, I'd suggest locking this in at 100 from the start. DRAM Frequency can't really be changed unless you're increasing the BCLK. That's right, there's no longer a changeable memory multiplier. You will, however, be able to select between three speeds for each given BCLK. I found that selecting a lower speed didn't really help overclockabilty. In other words, if you can run your memory at the faster speed, run it at the faster speed. You'll have two different choices for the QPI frequency, and four different choices for the CPU Differential Amplitude. Adjusting the amplitude has the possibility to increase overclockablity, so I'd suggest trying out a few different settings when overclocking. I won't be going into the DRAM Timing Control, but under this section you'll be able to adjust your memory timings.
Much like amplitude, different Clock Skews may help increase overclockability. If you've got a lot of time on your hands, feel free to play around with different settings and see which works best for you. To adjust the voltage, you'll have to choose between doing it manually or offset. I prefer manual, but in both cases you'll be increasing the voltage with the + button, and decreasing it with the - button. The IMC voltage can also be adjusted. Again you'll be using the + and - buttons to do so.
Speaking of increasing and decreasing voltage, every setting in the BIOS that says voltage can be adjusted using the + and - buttons on the keyboard. Load line calibration, when enabled, can help improve Vdroop. I'd suggest the user try it out and see what happens. CPU Spectrum is just irritating and should be disabled when overclocking.
Now that we've had a good hard look at the BIOS, let's overclock this baby and see how she performs.