Intel X38 and SLI

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Intel X38 and SLI reportedly not going to happen

For those of us eagerly awaiting Intel's X38 based motherboards for our next upgrade, they ceratainly appear to be shaping up as something really special. But, for those expecting to have full SLI support on this motherboard, you may be disappointed. Quite a few sites have been spruiking the fact that the X38 will officially support not only AMD Crossfire dual graphics but also Nvidia SLI technology. However, according to our source, the rumours are untrue.

During Computex back in June of this year, a couple motherboard companies slipped up and claimed that their X38 boards would support SLI. Technically and as far as the hardware goes, X38 does support SLI but it is not officially sanctioned at all by Nvidia.

The source article went on to further suggest that the likelyhood of Intel ever getting an SLI license were virtually nil, zero and buckleys.

...we asked the question to an Nvidia senior rep who is high up on the food chain and the answer was something along the lines of that Intel would never get a SLI license unless Intel gave them (NVIDIA) a free CPU bus license in return (loosely quoted). Of course, neither are likely to ever happen...

So it appears that if you want to run SLI on any X38 based motherboard it will be through the use of hacked SLI drivers, many of which are outdated and don't support the current GeForce 8xxx series. Although the source article suggests that some motherboard companies believe that end-users (famous overclockers) are close to easily modding Nvidia drivers to support SLI on any platform.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out...

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Most Recent Comments

11-08-2007, 14:15:33

nrage
Hi,

I have read the official/sticky thread on overclocking intel cpu's and it mostly makes sense however when it comes to using my bios to follow those instructions I'm stumbling in the dark a bit. I'm hoping you guys can help me out.

MOBO:
I have an Asus P5N32-SLI (I know not the best choice for overclocking but to be honest I'm not looking to push my hardware to the limit - thus no water cooling - I just want to give it a go, nice and slow). I have the latest BIOS 0901. This MOBO should do FSB 1066 and/or 1333 (in the few attempts I have made I did get 1333 stable)

PROCESSOR:
I have an E6750, on spec it should run @ 2667mhz (1333 FSB or 333 x 8.0) @ 1.35v but it's currently @ 2133 (1066 x 8.0) @ 1.296v. I have managed to get it running at spec but I can't seem to get it and the memory there at the same time.

MEMORY:
I have some Crucial Ballistix (D9GMH chips) ram which should run either:
4-4-4-12 @ 400mhz (tRC:24T CR:2T tWR:6T)
5-5-5-15 @ 500mhz (tRC:30T CR:2T tWR:8T)
both @ 2.2v but are current at:
5-5-5-18 @ 400mhz (tRC:23T)

COOLING:
CPU, Coolermaster Hyper TX heatpipe cooler. 1 large front case fan (Coolermaster Centurion 532), no rear. Silverpower 600W PSU with large fan. Crucial ram has heat spreaders. I've been as tidy as I can with cables.

GPU:
XFX 8800GTS "XT", 560mhz clock

Now for the BIOS options, this is where I get confused. I have tried a number of things but often when I think I'm being gentle with my overclock it fails to boot, or hangs while booting (that has happened twice) so I think I am missunderstanding something fundamental here.

You could download the manual here:
[url]http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=P5N32-E%20SLI[/url]

But here are the settings I think are important...

Jumperfree config:
AI Tuning [auto, manual, standard, AI Overclock, AI N.O.S]

(w/ AI Overclock)
Overclock Options [disabled, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%,
FSB 960/800
FSB 1280/800
FSB 1000/667
FSB 1333/667
FSB 1200/800]

(w/ AI N.O.S)
N.O.S Options [disabled, 3%, 5%, 8%, 10%]

(w/ manual)
Frequency Control:
NB PCIE Frequency [100]
SB PCIE Frequency [100]
FSB Turbo [disabled, enabled]
MEM Turbo [disabled, enabled]

System Clock [auto, CPU precision, cpu-mem manual, Mem precision]

(w/ cpu-mem manual)
New FSB Speed [1066] can enter (1056 - 2100)
Current FSB Speed [1066]
Target FSB Speed [1006]

New MEM Speed [800] can enter (400 - 16000)
Current MEM Speed [800]
Target MEM Speed [800]

Voltage Control:
VCore [auto, 1.225 thru 1.6]
Mem [auto, 1.8 thru 2.55]
1.2v HT [auto, 1.2 thru 1.35]
CPU VTT [auto, 1.2 - 1.55]
SB [auto, 1.5 thru 1.65]
NB [auto, 1.4 thru 1.75]
vcore over voltage [disabled, 200mV]

PEG Link Mode [auto, disabled, normal, fast, fastest]

SLI Ready Memory [disabled, mem max, 0% thru 5% CPU OC, CPU max OC]

Finally, a bit of searching in the ASUS forums turned up this example, on the same MOBO, different CPU, different RAM, and water cooling though so it's not exactly what I would be expecting to get.


i run at 350mhz fsb daily on intel 6420 C2Duo.
Maximum achieved is 1440mhz `360mhz with all volt settings at maximum..
My hardware is:
Asus P5N32SLI Premium
2 X 512 DDR Geil 667 cas 3 run @ 1066mhz 2,35v
Water cooling kit Corsair
Silverstone Zeus 650W power suplly
Nvidia 7900GS
3 X 320 WS JS raid 0


more setings:

NB PCIE Frequence [110]
SB PCIE Frequence [110]
FSB Turbo Mode [Enabled]
MEM Turbo Mode [Enabled]

System Clock Mode [CPU/MEM manual-mode]
FSB Speed [1440]
MEM Speed [800]

Voltage Setting
Vcore [1.5000] Procesor voltage
Memory [2.35V] Memory voltage
1.2 HT [1.35V] Hypertransport voltage
CPU VTT [1.45V] FSB Voltage
SB Core [1.50] Southbridge Voltage
NB Core [1.70] Northbridge Voltage
VCore Over Voltage [Disabled]


I suspect I should concentrate on "CPU/MEM manual-mode" and ignore the AI overclock and N.O.S options.

I have CPU-Z, Orthos Prime and Everest ready to stress test. Let me know if there is any more info you need... this post is big enough it should have everything ;)

Helooo.. Is there anybody out there.. :)

12-08-2007, 18:33:00

Ham
Ok ive read through that twice and you haven't actually posed any direct questions. What exactly is it you need too know?

13-08-2007, 04:34:53

nrage
My question is... "if you were in my shoes how would you go about overclocking, given the options in the bios".

Like for example the sticky/guide thread mentions setting the clock multiplier but I dont seem to have direct control over that at all.

So, how do I go about finding the max fsb for the mobo, cpu, and memory if it's going to keep changing things around by itself.

Also, I have no idea what to expect from air cooling, what sort of level of overclock is reasonable.

How much juice/voltage can my NB and SB take, given they're passively cooled? and what are the default voltages, I found the SB default but I have not idea for the NB.

Likewise the memory, it has heat spreaders so does that mean it can take a bit more voltage? 2.2v is the performance voltage, but will it be okay at 2.25 or 2.3? Where can I find that info, the crucial site doesn't seem to mention it.

What does the PEG link actually do?

What do you suppose the FSB and MEM turbo settings do?

What about the PCIE frequency, should I be increasing that or leaving it alone (locked, as mentioned in the sticky/guide).

What exactly does the SLI ready memory setting do? Is this useful for OC'ing?

As you can see I am a total begginner at this sort of thing and I think it's important I know exactly what each thing does, otherwise I'm just plugging numbers in and hoping and that's unlikely to get me anywhere except by luck.

13-08-2007, 06:59:58

Dav0s


As you can see I am a total begginner at this sort of thing and I think it's important I know exactly what each thing does, otherwise I'm just plugging numbers in and hoping and that's unlikely to get me anywhere except by luck.



its ok, we all start somewhere. as you can see, i also know very little about c2d overclocking. good luck with the overclocking, and hopefully somebody can answer the rest of your questions. if you have any new ones, post them up, we will see what we can do!

HTH

13-08-2007, 07:28:08

nrage


the clock multiplier might be able to be changed downwards, but it is most likely to be locked at a maximum of 8.

whats changing by itself? i dont understand what you are saying.




I was referring to the clock multiplier. I assumed it was changing from 6x to 8x depending on the rated?/total? fsb I entered i.e. 1066 or 1333 or whatever.

i.e. what clock would it use if I entered 1596 (which is 266 x 6) or 1998 (which is 333 x 6), would it use a x6 clock or would it set the FSB to 199.5 (1596 / 8) or 249.75 (1998 / 8).

Everest tells me my CPU does 6x and 8x, not sure where it gets that info.

13-08-2007, 07:29:38

Mr. Smith
You need to set your FSB to 1333 - the new e6x50's require this to work properly.

I don't have time to look through the manual (although you do/should!) but the CPU multi is sometimes found under advanced/cpu/multi. Something like that.

If your mem settings/CPU settings are changing on their own you must have the software OC enabled in the bios. As previously stated by Dav0s set to manual.

OC depends on chip. Cooling has no effect of max stable OC (orthos etc) if chip has a limit. I have 1st hand experience of this :) Extreme cooling lets you bench/boot in @ higher speeds but did nothing for stability (for me...)

SB can be left at stock - maybe a little extra on a big OC.
NB can stay at 1.5v for most OC's - over 400fsb then it needs more.
In the past, I had my NB at 2.0v 24/7 passivly cooled, no probs...

Depends what your mem is rated for. I would only go 0.1v over rated volts WITH a ram cooler. Pumping extra volts in for short periods is OK, done at your own risk!

SLi mem is for when you buy... SLi memory. This mem has tighter timings etc and can be used when this option is enabled.

:)

13-08-2007, 07:44:09

nrage


SLi mem is for when you buy... SLi memory. This mem has tighter timings etc and can be used when this option is enabled.

:)



My memory is "SLI ready" according to:
http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=BL2KIT12864AA804

and it should run 4-4-4-12 @ 400mhz or 5-5-5-15 @ 500mhz. Are you thinking I need to set "SLI Ready Memory" to something in order to get those timings?

I can get 4-4-4-12 @ 400 but 5-5-5-15 @ 500 will boot as far as the desktop then freezes. I wondered if I needed to OC the PCI-E or SB/SB to get it running at 500mhz, as the memory is, or if that was even related/important at all.

Thanks for all the great info and advice guys, I'm slowly coming to understand all this :) There will definately be +reps for y'all.

13-08-2007, 07:47:25

Ham

I was referring to the clock multiplier. I assumed it was changing from 6x to 8x depending on the rated?/total? fsb I entered i.e. 1066 or 1333 or whatever.

i.e. what clock would it use if I entered 1596 (which is 266 x 6) or 1998 (which is 333 x 6), would it use a x6 clock or would it set the FSB to 199.5 (1596 / 8) or 249.75 (1998 / 8).

Everest tells me my CPU does 6x and 8x, not sure where it gets that info.



If ive understood this right....

The multiplier and the FSB are two separate variables used too obtain the cores clock speed. When set up in 'manual' mode these should have no effect on each other. The hardware configuration you have can use multis between 6 and 8.

If its changing by itself you'll need too turn off speedstep or CE1 or w/e intel decided too call thermal throttling.

13-08-2007, 10:07:59

nrage

If its changing by itself you'll need too turn off speedstep or CE1 or w/e intel decided too call thermal throttling.



I have those disabled. By 'changing by itself' I meant when I enter the cores clock speed it sets the FSB and multiplier. It doesn't change during boot, or while running, as far as I know.

The sticky/guide mentions setting the multiplier as low as possible and increasing the FSB to find the max FSB speed. But as I can't set the multiplier, or the FSB, what do I do?

i.e. when I set 1333 for the core speed, it selects 333 FSB and 8x multiplier. When I set 1067 it selects 266 FSB and 8x multiplier.

I guess I just start from a core speed of 1333 with a low voltage and slowly increase the core speed until it wont boot, then increase the voltage, repeat till I have a max core speed.

Does that make sense?
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