23rd April 2014 

 
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Table of Contents
Introduction
Specification
Installation
SoftMenu II
Overclocking
Performance
Conclusion

Reviews
ABIT BX6 2.0 Motherboard
Page 4 of 7

SoftMenu II
The advantage of the ABIT BX6 Rev 2.0's Setup BIOS is worth mentioning in a separate chapter like this.



It is now quite popular among mainboard manufacturers to introduce their own ways of adjusting CPU settings through Setup, but no one managed to reproduce the unique opportunities provided by ABIT SoftMenu II.

The first and the most attractive characteristic is a wide range of supported FSB frequencies: 66, 68, 75, 83, 100, 103, 117, 124, 129, 133, 138, 143, 148 and 153MHz. Nobody doubts its usefulness as far as especially the intricate art of CPU overclocking is concerned. However, frequencies exceeding 133MHz are not so often used Ė it is expensive to find any memory that'll work at such high frequencies. Moreover, the suggested range does not cover the frequency interval from 103 to 112MHz which may turn out a "dead zone" for the majority of processors.

"ABITís innovation caused a great boom among overclockers, and forced Intel to suppress it immediately. Starting from August 1998 all Intel 100MHz processors do not support SEL66/100# signals at all."


Having introduced frequencies exceeding 133MHz, ABIT has also made it possible for users to choose the PCI bus frequency divider equal to ľ. According to the accepted standards, this frequency should be equal to 33MHz because not all devices can perform properly at higher frequencies (especially SCSI-controllers). The divider may be successfully applied starting from FSB 117MHz. However, I think that in overclocking it may be important that we be able to set the PCI divider equal to 1/3 in the case when FSB is 83MHz. But ABIT doesnít seem to share my opinion and to take into account this case in its BX6 Rev 2.0. So, you should bear in mind that when you buy a new Celeron 366 or 400 (which do not work with FSB=100MHz), you may fail to make it work with 83MHz. The problems with PCI-devices will hamper your success.

For your graphics card, you can set the AGP bus divider equal to 1 or 2/3. The specification, however, restricts the AGP frequency to 66MHz and 100Mhz. So in the case when FSB exceeds 100MHz there is no chance to get the required frequency with a 1 or 2/3 divider. The following blunder has a very simple explanation: i440BX does not support any other AGP dividers so if you want your videocard to work perfectly with bus frequency over 100MHz, you have to wait until a new i820 chipset appears. In other words, you will either have to use a PCI-videocard or to forget about all frequencies over 133MHz.

As you know BH6 allowed us to set the signal SEL66/100# (Real Power Overclocking technology), and now so does rev 2 of the ABIT BX6. You remember that if you set the signal as Low, you could avoid locked CPU multiplication and control all multiplication operations in 100MHz CPUs manually. This peculiarity could make a Pentium II 350 work as 4x100=400MHz. ABITís innovation caused a great boom among overclockers, and forced Intel to suppress it immediately. Starting from August 1998 all Intel 100MHz processors do not support SEL66/100# signals at all. This means that there is no use in applying this option for such processors with a 100MHz bus. All this is, of course, a part of Intelís anti-remarking policy.

Finally, it turns out that the only essential and important peculiarity of SoftMenu II is the core voltage control for the CPU. This Setup BIOS option allows to increase core voltage by 0.05, 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3V, which helps to achieve better results and higher reliability in overclocking. However, if you use this option to increase the stability of the overclocked system, you should be careful and provide sufficient cooling so as not to damage anything.



 
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