DFI 865PE Infinity: Armed with their excellent CMOS Reloaded technology, we take a look at DFI's latest Springdale based board.
January 14, 2004
The BIOS of the motherboard is among the best places to change things, performance wise. So lets look at some of the features of the BIOS that can help improve performance.
The main BIOS screen offers pretty standard options, though the CMOS Reloaded option is interesting, which is something we will look at a little later on. Next is the PC Health screen, which offers the standard temperature, voltage and fan speed monitoring options that we have come to associate with most PIV motherboards.
First something that is really different from most other motherboards, that of CMOS Reloaded. This allows you to save up to four of your favorite settings to reload at any time you want. This is an interesting option as it allows you to make your safest settings and your most extreme settings together so you can have the best option used. Then there is the Genie BIOS screen which is where most of the overclocking takes place. You have the standard overclocking options for FSB, locking SATA/AGP/PCI buses, and voltages. The voltage for the CPU can be changed up to 1.9v, while the DIMM voltage can only go up to 2.9v. Otherwise, DFI has put what they call Super Patch in, which is much like any other overclocking software used by other manufacturers.
Then there is the Advanced Chipset menu. Here is basically where you change the timings on the memory, which helps improve performance. Also you can choose your memory speed, from 400 to 333 among others. There are a few other options of which aren't mentioned in the manual, such as TRAS, Fast Chip, and Soft Patch mode. The SATA RAID BIOS offers all the basic control functions over the RAID array, both in creating the array and also in repairing the array as well.
This motherboard has a fairly good combination of good voltages and the ability to change the FSB in one MHz increments. For those who don't like taking the risk of overclocking on their own, the BIOS still offers the automatic overclocking options. That being said, and having looked at two completely different motherboards, first the MSI 865PE which seemed to offer the best overclocking but only reached 250MHz; then the Albatron motherboard reached over 260MHz mark. So how does the DFI board fair, let's see.
We can see that the motherboard allowed an acceptable overclock, at about 260MHz with the memory at 208MHz. The only downside to the overclock, as you can see in the image, is that the core voltage is only 1.632v. However, in the BIOS the voltage picked was 1.825v. This is a difference of 0.2v, which is quite a lot especially when you are overclocking. Compared to the MSI board it's actually better, as the memory multiplier can change with any type of memory.