When it comes to the 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard, it is definitely unlike past ASRock motherboards that were often limited in the overclocking abilities not only from the BIOS options but also in the poor volt modification possibilities. However, over the past few months that the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 has been in existence, there has certainly been numerous modified BIOS' as well as volt modification guides. The modified BIOS' available are able to raise the HTT frequency past the stock 275MHz limit. Also available for this motherboard are a few various VCore and VDimm modifications. Using the standard BIOS options, we were able to run the CPU frequency upwards of 240MHz using stock voltages with stock multiplier and running the memory at 2.5-4-4-8 timings. However, when we surpassed the 240MHz mark we encountered problematic areas inside of Linux where we were plagued by inconsistencies and stability. Running the system at 2097MHz (233 x 9) and DDR-466 at 2.5-4-4-8, these problems were quickly eliminated. Of course, the overclocking abilities can be pushed much further through tweaking and using the modified BIOS' with volt modifications.
Below is our system configuration used during testing.
|Processor:||AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Winchester)|
|Memory:||2 x 1GB OCZ EB PC-4000|
|Graphics Card:||eVGA 6800GT 256MB (PCI-E)|
|Hard Drives:||Western Digital 160GB SATA2|
|Optical Drives:||MSI 16x DVD-ROM|
|Power Supply:||SinTek 500SLI 500W|
|Operating System:||Fedora Core 4|
|GCC (GNU Compiler):||4.0.0|
|Graphics Driver:||NVIDIA 1.0-8174|
As with the stacks of past ASRock motherboards we have tested, the 939Dual-SATA2 offered great compatibility with Linux and the 2.6 kernel. We did note one problem, however, and that was the detection of the JMicron SATA2 controller by Fedora Core 4 Anaconda installer, while the integrated ULI ports worked without fault. After upgrading to the latest 2.6.14 stable kernel, we ran our various tests and exercises and were pleased to see the SATA2 controller was the only major cautious area. The ethernet controller and the audio with ALSA 1.0.10 also worked accordingly. Under the system devices tab of the Red Hat Hardware Browser we had noticed three unknown devices (524b, 524c, and 524d), which was another slight problem with the Linux compatibility.
Another positive note with the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 and Linux was compatibility with LM_Sensors v2.9.2. Detected was a w83627hf-isa-0290 ISA adapter that monitored the various voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds. The only sensors outputting inaccurate numbers was the -12V and -5V rails. Also displayed with LM_Sensors were the various minimum and maximum numbers for each of the sensors with the sound alarm enabled.
For testing today, we ran the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 at stock speeds as well as overclocked values at 2097MHz (233 x 9) with DDR-466MHz. In addition, we ran the Tyan K8E-SLI S2866 with the same setup for comparison values. The K8E-SLI is a new motherboard from Tyan, was recently reviewed by Phoronix, and is presently available in limited quantities. The K8E-SLI is based off of the NVIDIA nForce Professional 2200 Chipset rather than the nForce4 SLI, and in our tests thus far the K8E-SLI has proved to be an incredible performer and one of our favorites on the Socket 939 front. Comprising our updated benchmarks today, we have Enemy Territory, Doom 3, Quake 4, SPECViewPerf, HDparm, diskWriggler, Gzip Compression, LAME Compilation, LAME Encoding, BlueSailSoftware Opstone benchmarks, and FreeBench. SPECViewPerf was added to reflect additional workstation performance numbers for the motherboards with its OpenGL performance under various environments while diskWriggler is designed for testing hard drives through the testing of file-system storage throughput of film and video frames. As always, our standard Phoronix benchmark methodology and practices were applied.