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ECS P55H-A Review


Closer Look:

I find it very funny that the overclocking settings are under the MIB II category. Why? Because Overclocking is awesome, and so were the Men in Black movies. Kidding aside, I was actually rather disappointed in the P55H-A's selection of overclocking features. Just looking at the category in the BIOS makes it appear very empty. The first setting you'll come to is the "Performance Level". You'll be able to set it to "Standard", or "Enhanced". Setting this to "Enhanced" will allow you to adjust the Multiplier, but even this left me disappointed. On other P55 boards you'll be able to set the multiplier to 21, however the P55H-A maxed out at 20.



















This next setting will allow you to adjust the DRAM frequency. You'll be able to select from four different speeds, although I didn't notice this actually doing anything. The memory still seemed to be dependent on the BCLK. Directly under this setting you'll find the "Configure DRAM Timing by SPD" option. If you want to be able to adjust the memory timings, you'll have to set this to manual. From there you'll be able to adjust the memory timings as you would on any motherboard.



In order to adjust the BLCK you'll have to set the "CPU Overclocking-Function" to "Enabled". Once you've done this you'll be able to adjust the BLCK by entering numbers via your keyboard. The same can be done to enable DOC overclocking, and even PCIe overclocking.




The following three options can all be enabled or disabled. "Spread Spectrum" I'd suggest Disabling if you're going to be overclocking. "Auto Detect DIMM/PCI CLK" again should be disabled when you're looking to overclocking. The third option is extremely important, and should be Enabled. This is of course the "Voltage Function". When Disabled you won't be able to adjust any voltages.



Every voltage setting can be adjusted the same exact way. The problem is that it's a horrible way of adjusting voltages. Rather then giving actual numbers the BIOS will allow you to select +0.XXV. This would be fine, but the BIOS doesn't update what the new voltage will be. This isn't much of a problem, but it will cause you to do some math when overclocking. While on the subject of the BIOS not updating things, the BIOS would not update any of the current hardware settings. I'm not sure if ECS' intent was for the user to do a lot of math, but, come on, make it easier on the user.



Now let's put this baby to the test!

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Bundled Accessories)
  3. Closer Look (The Motherboard)
  4. Closer Look (Drivers & Programs)
  5. Closer Look (The Bios)
  6. Closer Look (The Bios Continued)
  7. Specifications & Features
  8. Testing (Setup & Overclocking)
  9. Testing: Apophysis, Win RAR
  10. Testing: SpecView 10, PCMark Vantage
  11. Testing: SiSoft Sandra 2009
  12. Testing: Sciencemark 2.0, Cinebench 10, HDTune 2.55
  13. Testing: Far Cry 2
  14. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  15. Testing: BioShock
  16. Testing: Call Of Duty World at War
  17. Testing: Dead Space
  18. Testing: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
  19. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  20. Testing: 3DMark 06 Professional
  21. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  22. Conclusion
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