Gigabyte EG41MF-US2H

My 2nd brother’s comp broke down the other day, and with my vast experience, I realised that the motherboard has broke down.

It’s a 3 years old MSI P35-Neo board. It’s about time I would say.

Anyway, I went back to Sim Lim and looked for a new board under S$200 mark.

My main features required:

– 1 PCI-E 16x slot
– 4x RAM slots supporting dual channel
– Has integrated graphics
– No useless Serial port or Parallel ports on back I/O panel

So after doing some soul searching, I settled for Gigabyte EG41MG-US2H

I loved the nice colour scheme, very refreshing.

And it fits under the bill… Just S$150. You probably can get it cheaper if bundled with a CPU (in which I didn’t, I still have a spare E8400 lying around doing nothing).

Anyway, the blue PCB has a tint of blue and white… Good choice of colours! Not the usual Red/Orange combos you usually see in most Gigabyte boards. Colour scheme looks like it’s more well uniformed and not so distracting to the eye.

Anyway, it’s a mATX board which is good enough, since my brother doesn’t do gaming or and video rendering, in which he don’t need a lot of PCI slots or even CrossFire and SLI support.

As usual, Gigabyte’s patented Dual-BIOS is what makes me attracted to in the first place. My brother cannot stand computer breakdowns! He’ll jump the moment the computer doesn’t work!

Also, another consideration I took was the touted 2 oz copper. Not sure what it does, but seems like it will help in overclocking.

But is this an overclockable board? I haven’t personally tried it yet.

My brother is still using e4200 CPU, which works quite well and ran cool with stock fan (idle @ 36′, load @ 65′)

Will post some overclocking capabilities when I managed the time.

Cheers!

My initial review:

Cons:

– slightly expensive for their range of boards across other brands, but who doesn’t want that Dual-BIOS?
– No front panel ez-connectors like Asus board has
– No passive coolings around MOSFET areas
– No eSATA
– Requires separate IEEE 1394 connector for Firewire
– Probably makes 2 SATA useless when fitted with a super huge graphics card like the GTX295.

Pros:

– Well laid out board
– DVI, HDMI & VGA support back I/O. Good for diagnotics purposes
– Uniformed RAM slots, more aligned, meaning room for a good RAM cooler

Initial rating: 3.5/5

Will see how the overclocking does in the next few days when I’m free…

Iklan

My E8400 at 3.8 GHz… :)

Previously, I only mild overclock it to 3.6 GHz.

Seeing that this cpu is capable of more, I decided to up it’s clock to 3.8 GHz, a 200 MHz increase. My ultimate target will be 4 GHz, but I will have to invest on the Thermalright Ultra 120 first and get it lapped to perfection.

Anyway, here’s my CPU-Z validation.

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My voltage is at 1.296 v, which is quite good in my opinion. Anything under 1.3v is always good.

Actually, before this I was running 3.8 GHz at 1.34v, which is bad. Then I decided to reduce it notch by notch, and running IBT (Intel Burn Test) to test for stability. IBT managed to cook my CPU to 60’C, and that’s nothing worrying. Personally, I won’t try to exceed 70’C, I’d rather underclock than having such a hot CPU.

Other settings includes my OCZ handling 4-4-4-15 2.1v at 850 MHz. Not bad I would say.

NB was set to 1.24v. Still relatively under the safe operating voltages for optimum performance.

Damn I gotta love this CPU. I will update once I reach 4 GHz with good voltages and temps.

My very own XFX 9600GT

Yes, you heard it right…

MY VERY OWN.

Which means, I just bought it! Oh and if you’re wondering how or why, it’s because I sold my old graphics card to Ace. He set up a sweet new computer for under S$900 inclusive of a monitor! Isn’t that great or what!

So since he bought my 3-month old ex-HIS Radeon HD4670, I thought I’d use some extra cash for that 9600GT I’ve been eyeing for months. 😉

So what’s the nice thing about this? It just great card since it’s Nvidia (I used to have bad experiences with Nvidia graphics card during AGP 8x era), and ever since Nvidia has been producing very good graphics solutions. So companies like Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, just to name a few, started producing these Nvidia graphics card. The only difference is the amount of power used, and the cooling solution it gives.

If you’re wondering how my graphics card looks like, take a look below:

9600_gt_4jpg

And these are the screenshot from GPU-Z:

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The price tag for HIS HD4670 and XFX 9600GT is almost the same, with Nvidia card faring $10 more. So what’s the difference if you asked me? Let’s take a look at my findings below…

HIS HD4670

– Does not require 6-pin power
– Cooler running, idle at 35-40, load at 50-55
– UV reactive
– Requires 2 PCI slots to be used, thanks to the super big fan
– Catalyst Control Center easily used to maximize core clock and memory clock
– Fan speed not adjustable

XFX 9600GT

– Requires 6-pin power
– Slightly warmer to the touch, idle at 40-45, load at 60-70
– Single PCI slot only
– Nvidia PhysX technology
– Can’t overclock, without using another software
– Fan speed adjusts itself for optimum usage

The winner? For my DFI board, of course would be the HD4670, because I would be able to crossfire it easily. But in terms of overall, I’d say the 9600GT is a gamer’s dream.

Cheerios!

Asus P835

asus-p835Yey for an ASUS phone! I’m sure this new baby would bested most touchscreen-phone competitions such as the Apple iPhone.

For the price tag of S$800, I think it’s worth it… Come to think of it, I might be interested to know how it fares once it’s out.

3.8 GHz on my E8400

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I dunno why, but I’m just bored. So I decided to increase my bus speed from 400 Mhz to 423 Mhz to hit 3.8 GHz.

Voltages now reads: 1.344v

I don’t know why the validation doesn’t want to display the voltages. Some kind of secret I guess? Everyone is INTERESTED in the vcore. Anyway, here’s my screenshot (no secrets from me)

e8400_1344v

In my BIOS, I had to Special vcore add of +150mV. I haven’t really tried to find the lowest possible vcore for this overclock though.

One thing for sure is that the older BIOS seems to overclock better at LOWER voltages. Because I used to be able to hit 3.6 GHz WITHOUT any voltages increase. Screw new BIOS.

Anyway I’ll be sticking with 3.8 GHz for a while now. Will be doing basic home computing so that should determine if it’s stable or not.

Foxconn Quantum Force Blood Rage

If I wanted to get my hands on a X48 board, it’s gotta be this board (Foxconn Quantum Force Blood Rage x58)

foxconn_quantum_force_x58

What I liked about this board:

– 4x PCIe 2.0 x16, which means I can load 4-way SLI or CrossFire setup for blazingly fast graphics solution (at 8x-8x-8x-8x)
– 3 DDR3 slots, not 6 like most other boards. Overclockers are going to rejoice using simple set ups
– Cool red and black theme, just like my blog! (It’s my favourite colour combination 🙂 )
– BloodRage sounds cool! Fierce and powerful!

I’ve been looking around the few x58 boards selling here, they don’t even catch my attention at all. Except DFI boards of course… If this Foxconn doesn’t make it to Singapore shores, I’ll probably order online, it’s a decent piece of equipment (from the way I see it).

Check out the review here.

My computer needs a new transformation

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And I wanna buy 3 of these fans to make it cool!

Problem is: money. 😦 I fan = $18

xlf_f1253_12cm_fanj