Here's a collection of the most frequently asked motherboard related questions we get.

- Will the different coolers fit in my case and on my motherboard?

- Which motherboard is the best for overclocking?

- How do I change FSB speed, core voltage and multiplier on my motherboard?

- Will it increase system stability if I cool the chipset on the motherboard?

- Will it increase system stability if I raise the I/O voltage on my motherboard above 3,3V?

- Can I put an ATX motherboard in an AT case?

- How do I monitor the different temperatures and voltages from within Windows?

 

Will the different coolers fit in my case and on my motherboard?

That's a tough question to answer, since we don't know the dimensions of every motherboard and case on the market.
However, we can say that the CoolWhip™ Air series should be able to fit on any motherboard out there, since it's one of the most compact super-coolers available on the market. We have not come across a motherboard that couldn't house the CoolWhip™ Air coolers. Even when they are paired with TEC's they should be able to fit.
The CoolWhip™ Air is also one of the only Hi-performance coolers, that will fit in Slot 1/2/A Dual boards, since they usually have very little room for coolers, and again, your Dual board probably even have room for the TEC versions too.

When dealing with the CoolWhip™ Liquid series, it gets a little more difficult to give a direct answer. The 120/x series will probably need a roomy full-tower case with at least 140mm height-clearance above the PSU and about 180mm width-clearance for the cooler to fit in.
If you have a midi-tower or a "not-so-big" full-tower, you will probably have to go with the 80/x series. 

If you HAVE to have the best of the best cooling system, but your case can't house the 120mm cooler, you can always use 2x80mm. coolers in series, for 2x the performance of one 80mm cooler.

 

Which Motherboard is the best for overclocking?

That's also a tough question to answer, since there are so many different motherboards on the market, and theres coming new models out every week.
However, there are some features you should look after, if you intent to overclock your CPU:
- Adjustable core voltage
- Lots of FSB options
- BIOS controlled cpu settings like FSB, core voltage, AGP divider... (not strictly necessary, but it makes it easier to overclock)
- Plenty of space between the Slot1/SlotA connector and the memory slots, so you can fit a big cooler in there.
- Good stability

Should we recommend some specific motherboards it would be:

Celeron PPGA/Socket 370 CPU's without Slocket (Socket370 to Slot1 adapter):
- Abit BM6 has the needed features, but suffers from inferior stability to some of the best Slot1 boards.

Celeron Slot1 or PPGA with Slocket:
- Soyo SY6-BA+III or SY6-BA+IV (great boards for the Celeron PPGA)
- Asus P3B-F (great board, but not as good as Soyo when dealing with PPGA CPU's)
- MSI 6163 Pro (great board, but there's not room for a big cooler there though)
- Abit  BE6-2, BF6 and BP6 Dual (We haven't had much experience with these boards, but some of the earlier Abit boards suffered from stability problems)

PII and PIII CPU's
- Asus P3B-F (the ideal PIII board in our testings)
- Soyo SY6-BA+III or SY6-BA+IV (great choises too, but maybe a bit inferior to the Asus P3B-F when running PII's and PIII's )
- MSI 6163 Pro (great board, but there's not room for a big cooler there though)
- Abit  BE6-2, BF6 and BP6 Dual (We haven't had much experience with these boards, but some of the earlier Abit boards suffered from stability problems)

Athlon CPU's
- Asus K7M (good board, but make sure you get the version with a heat sink on the voltage regulators)
- MSI 6167 (good stability, but no overclocking features at all)

The motherboards listed above only represents a small part of the motherboards on the market, and there's definitely other great overclocking motherboards out there. But these are some of the boards we have tested, and we can therefore not recommend other boards -yet.

Should we recommend a Slocket adapter it would definitely be the MSI 6105, which has voltage settings, allows Dual operation (2 CPU's in a Dual board) and have some of the best signal/noise characteristics we have measured in a Slocket adapter.

 

How do I change FSB speed, core voltage and multiplier on my motherboard?

 That depends on the motherboard, and is usually described in the manual.

Most modern boards let's you change the settings from within the BIOS, but some boards still use jumpers or DIP-switches to change the different settings (if changeable at all on your board).
Look through you manual for the settings, and if they are not mentioned there, your motherboard probably doesn't support them. 
For easy FSB speed adjustments we recommend that you download the newest version of SoftFSB, that let's you change the FSB speed from within Windows.

If you have a Slocket adapter that supports voltage selection, you can change the core voltage there.

 

Will it increase system stability if I cool the chipset on the motherboard?

Normally it won't. However, if you are running at 133MHz FSB (or more) on a BX motherboard, it can help a little.
Also, if you are using an Asus K7M with an Athlon, it can increase system stability when running at FSB speeds above 105MHz. But were talking about serious peltier cooling here!

It's always a good idea to use some heat sink compound between the heat sink and the chipset, regardless of which heat sink you are using.

 

Will it increase system stability if I raise the I/O voltage on my motherboard above 3,3V?

We haven't had good experience with this method of voltage tweaking. Actually we have destroyed a memory module by doing it, so be warned!

 

Can I put an ATX motherboard in an AT case?

The short answer would be: No!

But actually, it  depends on your case. If your case was prepared for ATX mounting (appropriate placement of screw holes in the base plate, holes in the back of the case that lets the ports stick out) it should be possible. You should also have a new power switch on the front of your case, and no matter what, you will need a new power supply.
So it's seldom a good idea to convert an AT case for an ATX motherboard, since it is often cheaper to buy a new ATX case instead.

 

 

How do I monitor the different temperatures and voltages from within Windows?

Some motherboard manufacturers include a utility for doing just that. 
If you motherboard didn't came with such an utility or the utility was of somewhat questionable quality, we strongly suggest that you download the newest version of Motherboard Monitor.
This excellent program was developed by Alex van Kaam, and provides all the monitoring features an overclocker could wish for. On our request, he has even included the ability to set a lower limit alarm (useful if you are using peltier cooling to avoid condensation), and a small program (it calculates prime numbers) that can stress the CPU so it generates more heat (also very useful for avoiding condensation when using peltier cooling).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More to come...