|ABIT BX6 2.0 Motherboard - Part 4
SoftMenu IIThe 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 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.
"ABITs 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
Having introduced frequencies exceeding 133MHz, ABIT has
also made it possible for users to choose the PCI bus frequency divider equal to ¼.
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 doesnt 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. ABITs 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 Intels 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.