K7M Athlon Motherboard - Page 5
Well folks, I must add that
ASUS had it all planned out.
Foreseeing the need for a greater memory space to
offer more control options in the AMI BIOS, the K7M comes
with a 2Mb extended firmware.
Now, as before, I will only
highlight the various “enhanced” features offered:
Extra RAM Settings
If you’re fortunate
enough to have some SPD (Serial Presence Detect) SDRAM DIMMs,
and need to refine its settings to offer optimal or more
stable performance, one can further tweak their RAM settings
with the K7M. Note
that SPD must be disabled in the BIOS to make these
- Page Idle Timer, Precharge Time, CAS Latency, RAS Active Time, RAS-to-CAS Delay can all be adjusted via the BIOS.
Numerous Soft FSB Settings
Besides the ability to
adjust FSB settings via external DIP switches, the BIOS also
caters for this with even more settings than before.
Through the BIOS, one can select the FSB “through
Jumper” (meaning external DIP switches), 95MHz or another
extensive FSB range at 1MHz increments (from 100 to
150MHz)!! This is
similar to ABIT’s BE6-II that also provides for such
comprehensive settings. However,
it is debatable if including both hard and soft FSB settings
was really necessary, as the clumsy DIP switches’ settings
are typically a subset of the BIOS’.
Nevertheless, it seems certain that this sets a
precedent, where all future ASUS motherboards will
incorporate FSB adjustments of 1MHz increments through the
safeguard option selectable in the BIOS:
- Thermal Slow Clock Ratio [50-56.25%]: This determines the duty cycle of the STPCLK# signal when the THRM# pin is asserted LOW. In other words, this feature sets the percentage by which the CPU slows down when the CPU is overheated! Pretty cool stuff
Guess we’ve rattled
enough on the K7M features, let’s see how it actually
in “Features” heaven… But is its performance on par?