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    Gen-X Tech PIII Overclocking Combo Review
    September 19th, 2000

    Pentium III 700E's are notorious for their ability to overclock, especially since their new stepping came to market. Ever since they hit the streets, people have been looking for these babies everywhere but have been hesitant since there was a chance that they could get one of the older cA0 steppings that couldn't overclock as well. With luck and patience, one could get a 700e to run on a 133MHz bus, effectively making a 233Mhz overclock, without altering the voltage. Although some can overclock higher (1GHz+), it is not very likely that you will get over the GHz barrier without very effective exotic cooling or luck in finding a golden chip. That is where companies like Gen-X Tech come along. These companies go through all the hard work of finding processors that can actually overclock to the golden level.

    In The Box

    Pentium III 700 cB0 at 933 FC-PGA with Alpha HSF
    Asus CUSL2 815e motherboard

    The Processor

    The Pentium III Coppermine cores are notorious for their ability to overclock; there is no argument there. But what makes this combo especially strong is that it includes what might possibly be one of the MOST overclockable CuMines in existence. The 700e is known as the middle ground processor to balance performance and price. When the cA0 stepping 700e's were in abundance, no one gave them a second thought, the highest they could reach was in the high 800's but as soon as the cB0's started coming out with their enhanced cores, the 700e cB0's earned a reputation for being one of the most overclockable, most of them can reach 850 or 933, some can even reach 966 or 1GHz, you'll never know.

    Pentium III's in general are great overall processors, I've been using every variation of the Pentium III and I can say without hesitation that it is the best processor for use in gaming and simple tasks. The higher end duty processing and number crunching award goes to the Athlon. I'm sure most of you are aware of the performance and specs for the Pentium III so I will not restate them (saves me time too).

    The motherboard

    The Intel 815e chipset was designed to be a middle ground between the higher end 820 chipset and the 810 chipset. Although Intel planned it so as to not make it perform as good as an 820 with RDRAM, it does. Benchmark after benchmark proves that this board is probably the best board out there in terms of memory bandwidth and stability. Although performance isn't stellar, the 815e chipset performs admirably compared to its counterparts.

    The main reason Intel released the 815 chipset was to be able to support the new 133MHz (EB) FSB Coppermine processors since it's aging BX chipset was having trouble handling the high bus speeds. Intel didn't spec the BX chipset to run stable at 133MHz and therefore motherboard manufacturers didn't want to risk making a BX board that officially supported 133MHz (times have changed now with the CUBX, etc..) so many previous pro-Intel motherboard manufacturers turned to Via, who was at the time getting sued by Intel. The rush of Apollo Pro 133 based boards was incredible and many people purchased the boards for their new overclockable Coppermine processors and the EB processors. The great about the Apollo Pro 133 compared to the BX boards (aside from the low price) was the fact that it could run at 133+ while the SDRAM ran at FSB -33 and it's AGP divider was able to be set lower than the BX boards, eliminating the video card as a bottleneck for overclocking. If Intel would have released the 815 chipset at the time when they released the EB processors, they would have had a lot more Intel chipset boards on the market right now.

    Running at 133MHz with the AGP divider at ½ lets the 815 board be able to support AGP spec while running at the higher bus speeds, AGP 4X Support, Integrated ATA/100 support, 6PCI slots, ACP Pro 50 slot 7USB ports, TONS (100+) of FSB settings, etc… all the common features of Via based boards are present on the CUSL2. Although the board has everything hardware wise A-OK, there were a few problems on the software and firmware side. First of all, with the shipping 1001 BIOS, there were anomalies in the CPU temperature readings with the Asus Probe utility. It misrepresented the temperature by a variance of almost 20 degrees C. The BIOS and Probe updates fixed that problem easily. Then came the stability issue with the updates, some claimed that the new beta BIOS were buggy and sacrificed stability for overclockability (or vice versa depending on which BIOS). The current BIOS is 1003, which is stable and fixes all the big problems of the board.

    Outside from the small issues with the board, the CUSL2 is an amazing board with amazing stability even at high overclocks. You have a choice whether to use a jumper bank on the board or to use the SoftBIOS feature to change CPU settings, which is a plus. The only minor irks I have with this board is it's lack of a 4th DIMM slot and the position of the PSU connector on the motherboard (it's right in behind the 370 socket). All in all, I agree with most other people who used this board when they say that it is one of the best boards that they have ever used, even though it's on the expensive side.

    Gen-X Tech is currently offering our visitors who are interested in this package a discount to $475 with free FedEx shipping, visit: for more details and tell them sent you for the " Deal"

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    Article Navigation
    Article Navigation
    1. Intro/In The Box/The Processor/The Motherboard
    2. Cooling/Installation/ Overclocking/Price
    3. Performance 1 (SiSoft Sandra)
    4. Performance 2 (Quake3/Prime95)
    5. Pro's & Con's/Conclusion
    Article Info
    Author: Chris Oh
    Company: Gen-X-Tech
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