RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.30.06]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte



And now, what you've all been waiting for: OVERCLOCKING!

To test overclocking, the memory divider was set to as low as possible, and on the P965, the CPU multiplier was lowered to 6x. Unfortunately the 945P board does not feature CPU multiplier settings, so it was left at 10x. This will introduce the CPU as a limiting factor, as we'll be pushing it to its maximum speed (at least with stock cooling and moderate voltage).

First, the GA-945P-S3 results:

In my opinion, 350 MHz FSB is pretty impressive for this old chipset. At this point, the CPU is running at 3.5 GHz! The current fastest Core 2 Duo only runs at 2.93 GHz!

Now for the P965. I had heard of some insane overclocking results with this chipset, so I was excited to see how far I could push it:

What? That's it? For some reason, I was unable to push the FSB past 350 MHz, even with increased voltage and a far decreased CPU multiplier. The CPU was most certainly not the limiting factor in this case, so I don't know what was. It should be noted that the Northbridge was getting EXTREMELY hot, and in fact was unstable during Prime95 testing at 350 MHz. It wasn't until I directed an 80mm fan at it that it was 100% stable overnight. This is an issue that Gigabyte should look at before sending this board out to retail (if they haven't already).

I looked up some other reviews of the P965 chipset, and found people reaching between 430 and 480 MHz FSB, even with this exact same motherboard. So something is going on that I am unaware of, or I have a bad sample with heat issues. I would expect most samples of the GA-965P-DS3 to reach 400 MHz and beyond though, perhaps even without extra cooling to the Northbridge.

As you can see, overclocking results really do vary! It's not always the case that reviewers get a hand-picked sample that overclocks better than others. Sometimes we get duds too!

Next Page: (Conclusion)