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More overclocking...

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by binary visions, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Well, my girlfriend spent the day on Saturday and part of Sunday making a scrapbook for her brother, so I spent a lot of time watching the Simpsons and overclocking my computer.

    Previously, my BIOS was very limited in overclocking options. I could change the multiplier and the clock speed, but that was it.

    My latest BIOS upgrade delivered a number of delicious overclocking options unto me. Most importantly, I now have control over the CPU/RAM speed ratio, and have a lock for my PCIe. I also have a ton of other options which I haven't explored fully, but am unlikely to do so as I don't need to squeeze every last mhz out of my CPU, I just want a performance increase and something to putter around with.

    My CPU is a 1.8ghz Athlon 64 Winchester core, stock multiplier and clock speed set at 9x200. My last overclocking efforts gave me a limit of 248x8.5, or 2108mhz. Any higher than that and I started getting memory errors - my guess was that it was due to the memory running outside of its limits.

    Turns out, I was right - my latest BIOS upgrade provides dynamic numbers as to what speed everything is running at. I had my budget DDR400 running at 496mhz - oops. No wonder it started taking a dump when I ran it higher.

    Dug into the BIOS and set the multiplier back to 9x, and left the clock alone. I dropped the CPU/RAM ratio down to 2/1.5 to take the RAM out of the equation as a limiting factor.

    I did a bunch of testing and got up to 9x267, or 2403mhz, before deciding to call it a day. Before I was done, though, I decided to tweak my RAM a bit, so I bumped up the ratio to 2/1.66. The tests ran fine but when I tried booting Motherboard Monitor in Windows, my system would freeze. I dropped the clock speed down to 265, and everything worked fine. Ran Prime95 all night last night with no errors or stability problems - and the temp never got about 40* C.

    I'm done testing for now, but if I get bored I might try some more tweaking. The low temperature indicates that I could easily go higher, but testing is a long tedious process (memory test takes ~20min. for one pass, I like to let it run 2 passes, and Prime95 should run for at least an hour for in between tests, and ~12 hours or more for final stability tests), and I'm satisfied for the time being.

    Final result: 2385mhz, an overclock of 32.5%. Not too shabby at all! I'd like to get my hands on one of those 2.2ghz 3500+ chips that Echo just bought, if I could squeeze 32.5% out of that, I'd be up at almost 3ghz. Probably need a better cooling solution, though.
     

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  2. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    (edit: removed my babble from a very informative thread)
     
  3. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    BV, is the memory tests in Prime?
     
  4. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    No, I run an on-boot memory scanner (memtest86 I think it was called), since that's the only way you can actually get ahold of the majority of your memory to test it.

    Prime95 has a test that will test your memory but I wouldn't rely on it. It's much better for stress testing your CPU.
     
  5. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    How are your overclocking exploits going, anyway, pau11y?
     
  6. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Kewl, thanx for that. One more thing, I'm sitting on an Opteron 165 and I'm trying to kick it to another level. Do you have a good page on AMD o/c-ing to where I can figure out what all these settings in my BIOS do? I think I'm not getting something right...HT freq, HT width, voltages...ect. I'm bottlenecked at around 2000 mhz w/ good ram and I know these processors can go at least 2.4 on stock voltage/cooling. Maybe H8R can chime in on this too...
     
  7. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    I don't have any of my links at work and am not sure any of them will be useful to you anyway since they're just an overview of the O/C process - I stumbled through most of it myself.

    Does your BIOS have a PCI-e lock and seperate adjustments for the memory speed? Those two things will bottleneck you right off the line. If you can't lock your PCI-e bus and you can't set your memory speed seperately (or at least reduce the CPU/RAM ratio), everything will grind to a halt.

    What's going on? Are you getting errors or is the machine refusing to boot?
     
  8. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Ok, here's the list of the Neo4:
    PCI-E lock - yes, set at 100 mhz (will tweak w/ that and voltage later)
    CPU FSB: stock at 9x200. I'm going to try and drop the multiplier as I go up. I got it to go stable a 210mhz at 9.
    I've also slowed the HT multiplier from 5x to 4x and the width from 16 up/ 16 down to 8 up/ 8 down.

    First things first tho... memory. I want to make sure that's satisfied before I start messing w/ the CPU.
    Seperate memory clock/bus - yes
    Got the mem to go 250mhz at a much slower timing: 3-4-4-6.
    I'm going to try and push her a bit more... 265 or so...and then speed it back up bit by bit.

    Paully

    Edit: the CPU is a Opteron 165 Toledo core w/ the E6 stepping. Memory is the Corsair XLM 2x512 at 2-2-2-5.
     
  9. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Why are you running your RAM so slow?

    I wouldn't do the memory first. I'd do the CPU, with the RAM set conservatively, then work on the memory. If you want to eliminate your motherboard as the limiting factor, push your multiplier way down and start incrementing the clock speed. That'll let you find the max clock speed for the computer. You can proceed with the multiplier from there.

    RAM is generally the most flakey part of overclocking. Trying to set that first is asking for a headache.
     
  10. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Actually, change that. I have 4 sticks in, at 2T timing; 4x512.
    The reason I'm dealing w/ the ram first is just that, they're the bottleneck of any overclocking effort. Once I establish the limit of the memory, I'll operate w/in those confines. But like I said, the memory controls are entirely seperate of the CPU and display controls.
    I just pulled the MemTest86+ and will do a baseline w/ stock clock to make sure it's 100% before I start going off :D
     
  11. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    I read most of the thread so far, can you give me the cliff notes of your current settings? I didn't see any mention of core or memory voltage.
     
  12. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    :stupid:




    We need a new smiley that say's "I'm with uber-smart guy"
     
  13. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    That contradicts this:

    If you have control of the two seperately, why would the RAM bottleneck the processor overclock?
     
  14. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Core voltage: 1.4v + 6.6%
    Memory: 2.7v
    I've slowed the memory down to 3-4-4-7 and got 'er up to 250mhz...trying to get to ~ 265 or so and then will start to speed it back up... 3-4-4-6, 3-4-4-5...ect
    The CPU I had left at 9x and started to tweak w/ the FSB... stable at 210, won't boot at 220. So, I'm going to drop the 9x and slowly bump the FSB from 210.
    But first, I'm going to get a good baseline for memory at stock speeds to make sure I have good memory (200mhz @ 2-2-2-5). I have 4 sticks in there so it's running at 2T timing.

    BV, you're right. They should have nothing to do w/ each other. After I get the baseline done, I'll mess w/ the CPU w/ the ram at stock speeds. Thanx.

    Paully
     
  15. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Ohh, I gotcha - you're setting the RAM speed independant of your multiplier. That 250mhz is actually 500mhz since there's a RAM multiplier of 2. Was trying to figure out why you were having trouble running your 400mhz RAM at 250mhz :p

    You're pushing the RAM pretty hard... You said the timings were good on it, have you read anything about how friendly it is to overclocking? Frankly, I'm suprised my RAM even worked at 496mhz (248x2), since it was budget PQI. Some RAM isn't really friendly to overclocking, even some of the good stuff.
     
  16. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Bump the voltage to 1.475 (or maybe even 1.5), then slowly start the mhz bumping. Can you go at 1mhz increments? The Opteron may need the extra voltage push to stay stable if you push the clock. Watch your temps!!

    What mobo is this on? You temps and such may be fine on the CPU, etc but the NB and SB might be cooking.
     
  17. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    What sticks are these?

    I think that's a decent speed for 4 X 512. Are they all the same chips?
     
  18. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    I got them because they're "overclocker friendly". They're being baselined right now. Yeah, sorry about the confusing numbers. The POST screen did show DDR500 when I started up. I'll see if I can push them a bit more once the MemTest is done (I think 265 is the next jump...?). It's funny tho, in the MemTest, it's matching the memory bus speed to the CPU bus speed... I had left my CPU FSB at 9x210 and the memory at 200 - 2-2-2-5. But in MemTest, it's showing DDR420...hummm...
    So, I think 2 passes for a good baseline will do before I start going off
     
  19. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah, they're all the same stuff: matched Corsair XLM 512mb sticks.
    As for the temps, I have aftermarket cooling (air) on it. But just in case, I've loaded Everest so I can track the temps.

    Sidenote: bummer Everest Home edition is being discontinued! If any of yaz need a copy, let me know.

    12 mins in, 36% done on 2048mb of memory...

    Edit: the MoBo is a MSI K8N Neo4 SLI. There's cooling on the NB. I'm not sure where the SB is tho. And yeah, there's 1mhz increments on this board
     
  20. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Motherboard monitor does a good job of monitoring temps and voltages and such.

    Yeah, the memory test takes a while, especially if you let it do two passes. Takes a bit less than 20 minutes per pass to do my 1gb.
     
  21. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    I don't know why, but everytime I see H8R's avatar, I want to dust it down w/ a bottle of talc powder and let it rip down one of those plastic kiddy corkscrew slides you find on the playgrounds... :D
     
  22. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Tha mobo I'm RMAing is too new to show up in MBM. It comes with a nice software monitor of it's own though. All in all a great board except for the bad slots. And they aren't completely bad - I can jiggle the RAM around enough to get it to boot, then it errors out at the splash page.

    GRR.

    What annoys me is you can look at temps and voltage in the BIOS, in MBM, Speedfan, Sandra, etc and get wildly different numbers. Speedfan reported my CPU as 170 degrees C. :help:
     
  23. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Or slather it with crisco and play "hardwood floor to fireplace hockey"
     
  24. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Are you sure the individual programs are looking at the correct sensors? There are usually a bunch of sensors on the board and the default temperature sensor in the program isn't always the right one.

    When I initially install MBM, it registeres my temp as 71 degrees C. I'm not sure what it's got ahold of there, but it's not a temp sensor. Probably a fan sensor or something. Just need to change which sensor it looks at.
     
  25. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    It's more fun to dust it and let it rip up one of the corkscrew slides. If you get enough body english into the pitch, you can really get some distance when it comes out the top.
     
  26. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah, I don't want to hurt the thing, even if it does have 9 lives :D
    But nice visual tho!
     
  27. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Ok, 2.75 passes (2.5 hours) into the ram test and I got 2 errors. BUT, just found out that I'm undercooking the ram... should be at 2.75v, and I've got mine at 2.70v, and slightly overclocked. This is prob what caused the errors.

    Edit: update on the O/C-ing... at 8.5x multiplier, the FSB is at 235mhz = 2.0 ghz. Interestingly enough, I had thought the memory bus was seperate. But looking at Everest reports, my memory FSB isn't at the setting of 200 as I had set it, it's at 222mhz (DDR444). So, I slowed 'er down to 2.5-3-3-6, just to be safe. I also reversed a case fan to blow air into the case, directly over the CPU and got the temp down another 5 degrees. This case has a scoop to direct the incoming air down onto the CPU cooler fan, as well as blowing across the CPU heat sink. CPU core is at 1.44-6v, memory was set at 2.75v.
    Another weird thing I noticed is Prime95 doesn't make use of my cpu 100%, only uses 50%. I wonder if that's related to the dual core...?

    Edit II: Ok, so apparently the key in my case is related to CPU vCore. At the above voltage, I was able to take it back up to 9x250 for a 2.25ghz (25% o/c'd), from a 1.8. I slowed the memory to 2.5-3-3-5. The ideal memory voltage (per the manufacturer) is 2.75, 0.5 above what's recommended in BIOS. For a crash test, I use Prime95 AND DVD Shrink to rip Batman Beginnings using AnyDVD in the background. It pegs the CPU at 95 - 100% for about 25 mins. Temps are at 48 degrees loaded like this, and 40 idle. I've got another fan from a Gateway server that moves more air, but is louder, I may try next to drop the temp a couple of more degrees. I'm going to shoot for 2.4ghz, and under 50 degrees loaded. We'll see how that goes... A lot of ppl are getting Opteron 165s into the 2.6s. But I think most are using water cooling.

    Edit III: This concludes Pau11yz o/c session. I did get to 2.4 at 3-3-3-6 and 47 degrees loaded case open (did the fan swap - slightly noisier). But at about 4 mins into the 100% stress load, it blue screened on me. So, I settled for 50mhz less and lightly speedier ram of 2.5-3-3-5 at the same temp case closed. It's ripping now and I'll do the torture test tonight (but it's only running at 50% cpu load - I like to get my hands on the old Seti@home as that pegs a cpu at 100%). Not bad for the cheapy 1.8 w/ full 1mb of L2 on both cores :D
    - final vcore: 1.44v
    - final ram: 2.75v
    - final loaded temp: 48 degrees case completely seal'd up (haven't seen the idle, but should be around 40C)
    - Rip time dropped from 33 mins to about 20 for Batman Beginnings (GOD DAMN! that's fast compared to my old PIIIs 1ghzs)
    - 30.6% increase in CPU speed, but slight decrease in RAM speed from 2-2-2-5 to 2.5-3-3-5
     
  28. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Hmm. I'm gonna have to go for 2.5 after I get the new mobo. You just threw down the RM OC gauntlet buddy.

    :blah:
     
  29. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Might look into one of these Opteron CPUs as my next upgrade :D

    Yes, your Prim95 only using 50% is related to the dual cores. It's in the help file - I think it's the "affinity" option to take advantage of both cores.

    Good job :thumb:
     
  30. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Now I need to try this on my older box...3500+ and see how far I can push it w/ this new found info :D
     
  31. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Gotcha on the affinity. Installed a 2nd instance on the machine and running the full torture test.
    My core 0 errored out in 5 mins of running, so I think I'm going to reduce it to 2.3ghz and fly it again. Make you a bet it's related to those couple of errors I got on the MemTest... Methinks mez a going to have to have a chat w/ Corsair about some warranty-ing...

    Hum...haven't reduced it yet and she's past the 5 min mark....holding steady at 49 C.

    Called Corsair. They recommended 2.80v since I'm running 4 modules.... Going back to MemTest to do more baseline on indiviual modules...oh boy!
     
  32. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Especially since you're O/Cing the memory, make sure you do a full 24 hour torture test with Prime95. If you really want to hurt it, download CPU Burn as well and run them concurrently.

    IMO, if you can't run Prime95 for 24 hours with zero errors, it's not stable enough for me.

    Oh, and I let MemTest86 run for 10 passes when I was settled on an overclock, before I called it stable.
     
  33. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Copy that on the MemTest. I'm just running them individually at stock speeds to get a baseline on errors. I'll prob do like 3 or 4 passes as they're booking right along. Once that's done, I'll do them each o/c'd to get a 2nd baseline at speed. Then I'll do them all together for a final run to see if it errors out. If they do I'll be singing the warranty song :D
    Roughly 14.5 min each pass per stick at stock speed...
     
  34. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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  35. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    :stupid:

    Good way to test that HSF too.

    :)
     
  36. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    I paid a bit more... $335. But it was a known good batch/stepping for o/c (E6). I think the $300.00 is for OE from newegg.com w/o HS/F...and I'm not sure about the warranty on them. If they're retail, the sweet deal!
     
  37. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Scratch that. I RMA'd my Biostar board and went for stability and features over OC.

    MSI K8NGM2-FID Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150

    Onboard video w/ 128mb of frame buffer, D-sub and DVI output, component video, 4 X SATA II, 7.1 audio, firewire, gigabit ethernet, PCIe X 16 and X1, etc, etc...

    The OC functions are not super extensive but it has enough goodies on it to make it do almost anything. It'll end up in later life in an HTPC I think.
     
  38. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Dude, what form factor is it, full atx? You'll have to post a review of how the vid performance is w/ the onboard. I want to check into chassis for HTPC that can do dual DVD drives (that really nice A-Tec one only does a single slim one and doesn't take MSI MoBos). I think Lian-Li makes a dual ext 5.25 HTPC case...but is kinda fugly.
     
  39. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Well you're in luck.

    It's micro-atx, and it f&ckin cheap considering the video on it. I have the Biostar 6100 board, and the onboard video on that is better then some lower end dedicated cards out there.


    The 6150 board have even higher clock speeds and better LAN, firewall, etc. Also it comes with extra bracket for compnent video and sound. It's pretty much the goddamn bees knees for HTPC.






    And might I suggest this Inwin case. I built a system for my sister with one of their micro atx cases and they have to be the best cheapo cases out there. Really practical and solid. I'd even say better than Antec if they spec'd better PSU's:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811108347






    Here's the full spec on the mobo:

    http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K8NGM2-FID&class=mb

    CPU

    • Supports 64-bit AMD® Athlon™ 64FX/64 processor (Socket 939)
    • Supports 3000+, 3200+, 3500+, 3800+, 4000+, 4400+, 4600+, 4800+, FX53, FX55, FX57, FX60

    Chipset

    • NVIDIA ® C51PV (GeForce6150) Chipset
    - HyperTransport connection to AMD K8 Athlon64 processor
    - 8 or 16 bit control/address/data transfer both directions
    - 1GHz "Double Data Rate" operation both direction
    - Supports one PCI-E x16 slot
    - Graphic integrated

    • NVIDIA ® MCP51 (MCP430) Chipset
    - Supports dual channel native SATA controller up to 300MB/s with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5
    - Ultra DMA 66/100133 master mode PCI EIDE controller
    - ACPI & PC2001 compliant enhanced power management
    - Supports USB2.0 up to 8 ports
    - Supports HD audio

    Main Memory

    •
    Supports dual channel DDR 266/333/400, using four 184-pin DDR DIMMs.
    • Supports the memory size up to 4GB
    • Supports 2.5v DDR SDRAM DIMM

    Slots

    • One PCI Express x16 slot
    • One PCI Express x1 slot
    • Two 32-bit Master 3.3v/5v PCI Bus slots

    On-Board IDE/SATA

    • An IDE controller on the NVIDIA MPC51 chipset provides IDE HDD/CD-ROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA 66/100/133 operation modes, 4X ultra DMA 100/66/33
    • Can connect up to 4 IDE

    BIOS

    • The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
    • The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.
    • Supports boot from LAN, USB Device 1.1 & 2.0 and SATA HDD

    Audio

    • 7.1 channel audio codec RealTek ALC880
    - Compliance with AC97 v2.3 Spec.
    - Meet PC2001 audio performance requirement.

    LAN

    • VITESSE vsc8201RX
    - Compliant with PCI v2.2
    - Supports ACPI Power Managment
    - Supports 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s or 1000Mb/s (for VSC8201RX only)

    IEEE 1394

    • Supports two IEEE1394 ports, transfer rate is up to 400Mbps
    • Controlled by VIA VT6307 chipset

    On-Board Peripherals

    - 1 floppy port supports 1 FDD with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
    - 1 VGA port
    - 1 DVI port
    - 2 IEEE1394 ports (rear x 1 / front x 1)
    - 1 parallel port supporting SPP/EPP/ECP mode
    - 8 USB2.0 ports (rear x 4 / front x 4)
    - 1 Audio (Line-in/Line-Out/MIC) port
    - 1 Audio header (Rear/central/side output)
    - 1 TV-out header
    - 1 RJ-45 LAN Jack
    - 2 IDE ports support 4 IDE devices
    - 4 serial ATA ports

    Dimension
    9.61 in (L) x 9.61 in(W) Micro-ATX Form Factor
     
  40. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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