|by MAC | July 28, 2008|
Our voltage regulation testing is compromised of two factors being tested. Since this ASUS motherboard provides 'Loadline Calibration', we will be testing the vCORE fluctuation with and without this feature enabled in the BIOS on our stable overclock. Intel specification outlines a droop in voltage for Intel processors when switching from idle to load conditions. This droop is referred to as Vdroop in the overclocking community and generally regarded as a bad thing because it requires setting a higher vCORE to make up for the droop that occurs at load. Loadline Calibration in the ASUS BIOS is basically an option to eliminate the Vdroop from occurring. So our testing will not only be showing the difference between the two different states of Loadline Calibration, but it will also let us know how well Loadline Calibration does at eliminating Vdroop.
The second prong of our voltage testing will be a look at the various voltages and the differences encountered between what is selected in the BIOS, what is reported by digital multi-meter (DMM). We have found five voltage read points on the motherboard so the vCORE, PLL, vFSB/VTT, vNB, and vDIMM will be recorded with the DMM. Both vCORE and vNB will be read from the underside of the motherboard at the output side of the corresponding inductor for each voltage supply. PLL and vFSB/VTT voltages will be read from points on the top of the motherboard. vDIMM will be read directly from an open DIMM slot using the VDD pin closest to the key. The ground point used for all readings will be a screw hole. Here are a few photos showing the various read points used.
Now that we have established where the read points are, letís have a look at the results. In the chart below, vCORE (LLC) is the vCORE with Loadline Calibration enabled and vCORE will be with Loadline Calibration disabled. These measurements were taken at 7x400Mhz, the highest officially supported FSB, and the FSB that will most likely be used by those seeking mild overclocks. Everything else in the BIOS is set to auto. Here are our extensive findings:
As you can seeÖwe have a lot to talk about, so letís examine each voltage separately.
Now letís have a look at a couple of OCCT vCORE charts over a two hour stress test.
vCORE w/Loadline Calibration Disabled
This result was with the processor set to 8x400Mhz with a 1.325 vCore. Overall, the regulation looks quite good. The slight vDroop is noticeable once the stress test actually kicks-in, but otherwise the fluctuations are quite minimal, and there are no zero worrisome spikes. Evidently, the eight-phase power design is doing it's job quite well.
vCORE w/Loadline Calibration Enaled
This time once the stress test kicks-in the motherboard actually increases the vCore by almost 0.01V, which should help ensure stability under heavy load. As you can see, once the test gets going the vCore is straight as an arrow until the last 5 minutes, when OCCT enters the low load monitoring stage.
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