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XFX 680i LT SLI Motherboard


Closer Look:

The BIOS is where we can make all of the system adjustments to maximize the performance of the hardware that is installed, as well as setting up your basic configuration. Being a reference design board, I did not expect to find as many options available to tweak as I found.

The first thing I did was to update the BIOS to the latest version on the XFX website. For this board, that is version P04. The BIOS file did not come with a 'readme' file to specify the changes made in this BIOS revision.

Now that the flash is out of the way, we can dive a little deeper into the BIOS. The main page of the BIOS is where you will start. I will be concentrating on the Advanced Chipset Features page, because this is where we make the magic happen. One thing I noticed on the main BIOS screen, was the fact that my memory is not detected as SLI ready, even though it features an EPP profile programmed into the SPD chip on the memory.

On the System Clocks page, you are able to change the CPU multiplier from a low of six, to a high of ten for the processor I have installed - An Intel E6700. On the FSB and Memory configuration page, you will be able to set up the configuration options for both the CPU and system memory. If you plan on running at stock speeds and memory timings 'Auto' is the pre-set option. Now, if you choose to manually set your options, you have choices to make. 'Unlinked' means that memory speeds and processor speeds can be set independently from one another. 'Linked' is of course what it means - the processor and memory are linked together and you have a few pre-set options to overclock your memory.

The processors FSB can be adjusted to 625FSB (625x4= 2500)and the memory can be set to 700FSB(700x2=1400). Both of these are lofty goals to reach for. You may not make it there, but at least the option is available to at least give it a shot.

In the memory timings section, you have two options available. 'Optimal' for the no-hassle set-up method and 'Expert' for those that want to put in the tweaking time to maximize the performance of the system memory.

There were few voltages options to tweak in this BIOS. The four available are CPU core, CPU FSB, memory and Nforce SPP. The voltages on this board won't get you into any real trouble when it is time to increase them. 1.6v is available for the CPU core, 1.4v for the CPU FSB, 2.5v on the memory and 1.4v on the Southbridge voltage. There is plenty of leeway on the CPU core and memory voltages, just nothing too extreme.

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