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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.20.06]
Manufactured by: Foxconn


nTune Rules

I have to say it now; nTune rules. Well, the latest version does at least, and only if the board fully supports all of its functions like the C51 does.

In the past, nTune has given the ability to change things like FSB speed on the fly, allowing you to overclock from within Windows. The latest version, when paired up with a board like the Foxconn C51, allows you to change most of the BIOS settings from within Windows as well! This is a boon to overclockers, even moreso than being able to change bus speeds, etc.

From this page, you can change any of the settings you'd see within the "Chipset" area of the BIOS. Everything from HTT speed to chipset multipliers is here, along with all of the memory settings. Memory ratios can be set here, along with the important CMD rate setting.

The two settings exclusive to the 590 SLI chipset are "NVIDIA GPU Ex" and "SLI-Ready Memory". SLI-Ready is given to memory modules that support Enhanced Performance Profiles. In other words, if you buy memory from Corsair or OCZ and it has an "SLI-Ready" sticker on it, you can enable that BIOS function which will automatically overclock your memory and tweak its settings. Of course, it's nothing you can't do yourself, but if you have more money than overclocking knowlege, it might be worth looking at.

NVIDIA GPU Ex has seemingly no documentation that I can find. Apparently it only works when NVIDIA video cards are used, with 9x.xx video drivers. I ran some tests with this turned on and off, with the latest 91.31 drivers, and it made absolutely no difference whatsoever. Most likely it's reserved for future graphics cards, and will probably only make a difference in SLI mode.

As I mentioned earlier, you can change almost any setting imaginable, on the fly, from within Windows. About the only thing you can't change here is the CPU multiplier; you'll have to go back into the BIOS for that.

Unfortunately the C51 doesn't feature control over fan speeds whatsoever, so you'll be stuck with "default" for every fan connected to the motherboard.

nTune also includes "NVIDIA Monitor" which, you guessed it, monitors everything from CPU to memory, to disk and network usage. Again, not every motherboard supports monitoring of voltages and temperature, but the C51 does.


In the BIOS, you'll find the following options for speeds and voltages:

HT Bus: 100-500 MHz, in 2 MHz increments
PCI-E Bus: 100-200 MHz, in 1 MHz increments

LDT Multiplier: 1-5x
SPP > MCP: 1-5x
MCP > SPP: 1-5x

DRAM divisor can be set at DDR2 400, 533, 667, or 800 MHz

CPU: 0.375-1.85V, in 0.025V increments
Memory: 1.825-2.5V, in 0.025V increments
SPP: 1.225-1.4V, in 0.05V increments
MCP: 1.525-1.75V, in 0.025V increments

Armed with the latest version of nTune, memory locked at DDR 400, and the CPU multiplier set to 5x, I attempted to discover the highest HyperTransport speed the C51 was capable of. Numerous reboots and Prime95 torture tests later, I came to the conclusion that the top speed of this particular board was 312 MHz.

I'm sure this is plenty for almost everyone.

Next Page: (Test Config; Memory Bandwidth)