BIOS and Overclocking
The PURE 790GX runs Phoenix AWARD BIOS and has some pretty impressive configuration options for overclockers. DRAM timings are configurable in multiple steps, with latency adjustable from 3T, 4T, and 5T. Individual memory timings can also be adjusted within BIOS, along with the memory divider. CPU clock speed is adjustable in single increments from 190 to 600Mhz, which is impressive although I doubt anyone could get close to that high number without some form of LN2. CPU voltage is adjustable from 0.800v all the way up to 1.550v, each adjustment an increment of 0.025v. Further adjustments can be made using the Vcore 7-shift feature, which will increase CPU voltage in 31 stages based on a percentage of the current Vcore voltage(5%-35%) should the system need a little more juice to maintain stability. Other voltage adjustments can be made on the chipset, PCIe, and memory.
Our overclocking results with the PURE 790GX weren’t as good as we had hoped, despite the plethora of options we had. Our AMD Phenom II 810 CPU wouldn’t run stable above 3.016Ghz, regardless of voltage and memory adjustments. While not a bad overclock, roughly 416Mhz, we have seen these CPU’s get as high as 3.3Ghz on air with other boards. Our reference board for instance, the MSI DKA790GX, was maxed out at 3.211Ghz. We are left to assume that perhaps there are still some AM3 tweaks or adjustments needed to be made on these boards to open up the full overclocking potential. Hopefully a BIOS update can unlock some overclocking overhead down the road. Let’s take a look at some performance numbers.