BIOS & Overclocking
When it comes to overclocking, we'd say Asus delivers 9 out of 10 times. We have had a great track record in the past few years and this appears to have become one of the main focal points of their performance boards.
Just recently we reviewed the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition testing it with different motherboards to try and squeeze the best result out of this new CPU.
The Crosshair III Formula matched the best overclocking results we had achieved with the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor so far taking it from 3.20GHz to 3.70GHz (more details below).
The first menu in the Crosshair III Formula BIOS is labeled Extreme Tweaker and this is where all the overclocking fun takes place. We set the Ai Overclock Tuner to manual, increased the CPU ratio setting to x18.5, and increased the vcore voltage to 1.3625v. This boosted the Phenom II X4 955 operating frequency from 3.20GHz to 3.70GHz giving us a nice 16% overclock.
However, this simple overclock can only be applied to Black Edition processors with unlocked multipliers. Other AMD processors that have fixed clock multipliers will require to increase the FSB (Front Side Bus), so we also tried this method.
Leaving the multiplier at the stock 15x meant that the FSB needed to be increased to 247MHz for a total clock frequency of 3.70GHz. We increased the voltage and DDR3 memory frequency as before. Now because we were using aggressive DDR3 timings of CAS6-6-6-20 and we wanted to continue using them the DDR3 memory frequency was backed off towards 1333MHz, but in the end we reached the 3.70GHz milestone without a problem.
As we were anticipating the Asus Crosshair III Formula provided us with a rewarding overclocking experience. Getting the most out of our Phenom II X4 955 BE processor was all too easy and when stress testing the overclock we noticed no kind of vdrop that could destabilize the system.