Intel Core 2 Duo 'Conroe' E6700 & X6800 Benchmarks
Published: 22nd August 2006 | Source: Intel | Price: |The 'Bad Axe' D975XBX
One of the first Conroe compatible motherboards to hit the market was Intel's very own D975XBX motherboard. In an interesting turn from Intel's "no overclocking" rule, the board was actually aimed at enthusiasts and contained a whole plethora of overclocking options normally only found on boards manufactured by companies like Asus, Abit and DFI.
The initial reception from the overclocking crowd was a good one, with some highly respectable results being obtained without little to no modifications being made to the board.
Without further ado let's take a quick look at the board we are going to be using for todays comparison..
A welcome and rather 'snazzy' addition to the board is 5 blue aluminium heatsinks responsible for cooling the mosfets. It is worth noting that these are actually soldered to the motherboard and would prove quite difficult to remove. Users planning on water-cooling should also be aware that the popular Swiftech Apogee block will not fit this board without modification. At this point I am unsure if the Swiftech Storm block (which a shares similar layout to the Apogee) will fit.
The 4x blue SATA connectors pictured on the right are provided by Silicon Image's Sil 3114 controller and are only capable of first generation SATA (1.5Gb/s) speeds along with RAID 0, 1 & 0+1.
Interestingly the board comes complete with 3 PCI-E (x16) slots. At present it is unclear exactly what the 3rd slot could be used for as no graphics card are capable of working as a 'threesome' at present. Many people have suggested that the slot could be used for a dedicated physics processor, but at this point in time the slot is essentially useless.
Also included are 4x USB 2.0 ports, 1x IEE1394 port, 1x Gigabit Network port and Intel's own High Definition sound card with coaxial and digital outputs.
Listed below are the available voltage selection options present in the BIOS:
DDR2 Voltage: 1.8v - 2.2v
Vcore Voltage: 1.275v - 1.600v
MCH Voltage: 1.525v - 1.725v
FSB Voltage: 1.271v - 1.395v
For processors running on lower vcore (such as the Conroe), most of these options should be sufficient. The only area that really lets the board down is the DDR2 voltage selection, which only goes up to 2.2v. This is the default voltage for some DDR2 modules and means that overclocking of some memory modules may not be possible.