Saturday, January 20, 2007

Brag: XUG 2007 @ Intel (Pooling the world's greatest enthusiasts and overclockers in one room)

If you're an unbeliever that Intel doesn't hear gamer inputs, nor do they really care about what the enthusiasts wants (and needs), better check out a thread posted over at XtremeSystems. As posted, Intel invited the top enthusiasts around the world to discuss alot of things, focusing on understanding the needs of such community.

Among the big names, they invited the uber Intel FanBoy FUGGER (XS owner), BigToe (Tony of OCZ), The Stilt (world reknown 3D, CPU and mobo bencher and modder), Chilly1 (uber cascade specialist), and FreeCableGuy (world reknown 3D, CPU and mobo bencher and modder). They did invite Hipro5 (electronics engineer genius, uber motherboard modder) but he wasn't able to attend.

The two-day meeting had a face-to-face with Intel staff and discussed so many things, from BIOS options, to motherboard design, to chipset timing and the coveted GTL reference mod, check FCG's info about this mod here. Expand to read the full scoop.

Xtreme User Group meeting 2007 was a sucess , Intel invited several of the top guys from around the world, They were flown in and had their brain picked for two days to give Intel feedback to improve the desktop platform and give the enthusiasts the features we love.

First up and most exciting is the GTL reference mod, it will allow the needed adjustments to Intel 975x chipsets to run the Kentsfield to much high FSB speeds, this is fairly simple and gives more control of each cores FSB ability. To best describe the mods; when you clock up the Kentsfield FSB, the window of operation climbs out of reach, with the mod in place it will allow us to adjust that window. One could locate the correct pins on the CPU to locate the mod point on the motherboard.

Much of day one covered chipset and bios, we went over what features we would like to see and why. Everything from reporting MCH timing in bios to addition of an application like memtest to be enabled from bios.

One of the biggest problem is bios reset and we played with the watchdog timer to see it fails to meet the demands of its use. The board will re-post given the bios functions corectly. There was a new XBX2 bios posted two days ago on Intel. We wanted an option to hold the insert, home or end key on the keyboard to boot at default settings to recover a failed OC much quicker, we also request the BIOS config jumper to be moved to the PS2 stack at the back of the board.

We covered voltages, timing and latencies in what we would like to see. We suggested an option for xtreme overclockers to access even higher votlages and advanced settings, no soldering would be needed and it would require you to void your warranty to access these potentially dangerous settings. We went over FSB strap selection for both 975x and 965x chipsets, we went over the differences of both chipsets and undocumented features we would like access to. Such as 1T selecton that is present on 965x and left unused.

We were given a window tour of fab 20 were the chipsets are made, it was very cool to see the massive hardware needed to manufacture the silicon wafers and each step explained in detail from the engineers who manage that fab.

Day 2 started with chip lapping with the thermals engineer as well as IHS removal, we went into detail the poor surface level of the Intel IHS and the variation in core temps if left un-lapped.

I sent one of my cascade to Intel but it did not arrive intact, it was very low on gas and we elected to skip that portion with just a brief fire up of the units, it did reach -80c but it had no capacity.

We had a tour of the validation labs and met with many of the engineers in Hawthorne Farms Campus.

XS was allowed to invite six people to attend but Hipro5 was not able to make the meeting. Tony, The Stilt, Chilly1 Freecableguy, and myself were in attendance. It was good to meet Roger, a quiet guy and I am sure he had a blast.

I wish I had pictures but we were not allowed cameras in the buildings. We did take a group photo with the engineers that may be forwarded to us at a future date,

Many thanks to Intel for inviting us to your facilities for VIP treatment.

Source:XUG 2007 @ Intel

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