Like the ASRock product packaging, the BIOS on the ALiveNF7G-HDready is also basic and nonchalant. ASRock uses an American Megatrends Inc as their BIOS provider and found inside are all of the basic BIOS options one would expect, but not much more. For overclocking, the CPU frequency can range from 150MHz to 400MHz and the vCore maxes out at 1.40V. For pushing the memory, the maximum vDIMM supported is 2.05V. The GeForce 7050 shared video memory can be adjusted from 32MB to 256MB. Also supported through the AMI BIOS is basic system monitoring of the various hardware sensors.
While ASRock motherboards aren't designed for overclocking and very few of their motherboards can overclock up to enthusiast standards, we had attempted to overclock the system with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+. Unfotunately, any hopes of obtaining a nice overclock using the ALiveNF7G-HDready were quickly diminished. With our hardware and after tweaking the BIOS, the system would fail to POST when pushing the CPU frequency past 220MHz.
Aside from the lackluster overclocking abilities, this motherboard does work out quite well with Linux and Solaris. Using Fedora 7, Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn, and Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 2 were all successful as well as the Sun Check Tool. We had no compatibility problems and everything had worked out quite well. The hardware we had used was an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2 x 1GB of OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8500 memory, ATI Radeon X1950PRO 256MB, Western Digital 160GB HDD, and a SilverStone Zeus ST75ZF 750W power supply. For comparison we had compared the ASRock ALiveNF7G-HDready to an ASUS M2A-MVP motherboard. The ASUS M2A-MVP uses the AMD 480X CrossFire Chipset with the ATI SB600 Southbridge.
With the GeForce 7050 we have already conducted a number of graphics tests using this motherboard, which can be read in this GeForce 7050 review. The benchmarks included in this review are hdparm timed disk reads, Gzip compression, LAME compilation, LAME encoding, and RAMspeed tests. We had run the ALiveNF7G-HDready at its stock speed and then with a FSB of 215MHz (X2 4200+ @ 2365MHz), which hadn't crashed the system. The operating system used was Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon with the Linux 2.6.22-8-generic kernel, X server 1.3.0, and GCC 4.1.3.
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