Some Comments On Canterwoods

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For The Bleeding Edge Only

This board is for those who want to go where no man has gone before, and aren’t too concerned about the cost.

Outside of a memory tweak which Canterwoods have and Springdales don’t, the real difference between the two is that the Canterwood chips are supposed to be built to higher specifications than the Springdale chips: Intel-plus standards, so to speak.

For overclockers, this ought to be a good thing to have when you’re trying to O/C 200MHz MHz CPUs and trying to run FSBs around or over 300MHz.

Will it actually make that much real-time overclocking difference? We don’t know yet. If the price tag gives you heartburn, it will probably be best to wait and see.

If it doesn’t, you might as well get what you paid for, and so far, the Canterwood boards that are out there seem to be lacking in one feature or another.

What You Have To Have

  • A Minimum 300MHz FSB To be able to overclock a 2.4GHz 200MHz to reasonable heights, that’s what you’re going to need, and a lot of these boards don’t provide that.

    If you’re wondering, “How the hell am I supposed to do that when no RAM runs at 300MHz,” you’re behind the curve. Read this.

    While it’s possible that some of these FSB-challenged mobos might crank higher later on with a BIOS, when you’re laying out $200, don’t leave yourself hoping and praying for a necessity some day.

  • Reasonable Overvolting

    While voltages up to 1.85V seem excessive for current Northwoods, some boards are only officially allowing up to 1.6V. This is too restrictive for overclockers. The motherboard should allow for voltages up to around 1.7V.

    A Bunch of Other Things

    This is an expensive board. It’s also meant for workstation use. So we’re going to see a bewildering set of configurations, from barebones boards to cut down costs to everything-and-the-kitchen-sink boards to pad the profits.

    So far, we’ve mostly seen everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, but even there, just because the Intel chipset provides for a neat feature, don’t assume it’s there in a deluxe board.

    Whether you need the feature or not usually depends on your particular set of current and future circumstances. For instance, you might think you don’t need a gigabit Ethernet controller, much less one with its own separate channel, but if you ever network your computers, these both suddenly start sounding like mighty fine ideas.

    Sometime in the not-too-distant future, we’ll try to sort all this out, but in the meantime, this isn’t a five-minute project. At the moment, there’s not a single Canterwood mobo available yet that has what I want. This ought to tell you something.

    There’s More Coming

    More Canterwood boards are on the way. More importantly, the lower-speed 200MHz FSB CPUs still haven’t arrived yet, either. That’s the primary reason anyone would want this board to begin with, so hold your horses a bit.

    If you need new RAM, waiting a bit won’t do you any harm and may do you some good. Boards have been getting finicky about RAM lately, and this setup is going to require two sticks to play together well at over 200MHz.

    Of course, with one exception, the “regular” Intel chipset for this platform, Springdale, hasn’t shown up yet, and I suspect most people will end up buying that.

    Per that one exception, in the past, when that particular company has come out with a mobo long before anyone else, it was less than half-baked. Sorry, but it’s “guilty until proven innocent” in my books.

    A Likely Future Tip

    The chipsets themselves may well run at 300MHz or better.

    However, the cooling for those chipsets is meant for 200, not 300MHz.

    If you’re going to get wild and crazy with the FSB, start figuring out how you’re going to cool those chips.

    Email Ed

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