The Processor Is Willing, But The Motherboard Is Weak
I’ve been working with a Newegg 2100+ and an Asus A7N8X.
The CPU is fine. I’ve been able to get it over 2400MHz at 1.89V. I’m very pleased by that.
The motherboard is another story. It has a mind of its own.
You change multiplier settings; sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t.
You change FSB speeds, sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. I have a cold boot issue, too, sometimes.
Yes, I’ve gone with the latest BIOS, etc., etc., etc. . . .
It’s really a bad idea to save changes and exit; then it usually vapors on you. We’re not talking about vaporing at 200MHz+; we’re talking vaporing at 140MHz at low CPU speeds. You had best save your changes, then exit.
And here is the problem with a product review. If you look at what is being said about this in the forums, yes, the board has some quirks, but it’s not that quirky, especially with the latest BIOSes.
It turns out that I can put this board in a good, undemanding home, and the sooner I do that, the happier the owner of that home will be.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to get myself another one.
The Real Story
This CPU is the real deal, but high-end processors need a good supporting cast, too.
This sucker gets pretty warm even with watercooling at 2400MHz. I was getting temperatures of over 50C with MBM running Prime (yes, with all the beta fixes), and
while temperature readings are screwy at best with this board at the moment, the “touch the water tubing test” indicates that it’s getting pretty warm in there. This
is not a processor to use a cheapo cooler with.
The Northbridge gets pretty hot, too, not as bad as with the 845PE boards, but you’ll want to give it some help.
If you’re looking at dual channel mode, folks are running into some difficulties even with brand-new RAM; keep in mind that unlike heads, two memory sticks aren’t necessarily better than one. Especially if it’s older RAM.
What About Barton?
I really doubt these CPUs are going to go away; so you don’t have to buy one right away. You can certainly wait a month or so to see how Bartons do, see what the difference between the two are and whether they’re worth the extra money or not. That’s not a bad idea.
But now at least you have a good cheap fallback if Bartons cost too much and you need something sooner rather than later.