For our overclocking tests, we swapped our Core 2 Duo E6700 engineering sample for a retail E6300 we've had up to 3.3GHz without extra voltage or cooling. Memory timings were relaxed and the memory bus speed lowered to take our DIMMs out of the equation. Next, we set the CPU multiplier at 6Xits lowest settingand started cranking up the front-side bus speed. System stability was tested with Prime95 and the rthdribl HDR lighting demo.
Interestingly, both boards topped out at a front-side bus speed of 410MHz. We've had identical hardware running at 490MHz on other P35 boards, so it shouldn't have been holding us back here. No amount of fiddling with voltages would coax higher speeds from either board.
410MHz is certainly a respectable overclock for a $90 motherboard like the D2, but it's considerably less impressive for the $160 D3. Of course, overclocking isn't an exact science, so you may have different results.
We measured system power consumption, sans monitor and speakers, at the wall outlet using a Watts Up power meter. Power consumption was measured at idle and under a load consisting of a multi-threaded Cinebench 9.5 render running in parallel with the "rthdribl" high dynamic range lighting demo.
Lower power consumption is supposed to be a key benefit for DDR3 memory, but Biostar's D3 doesn't bear that out. The board's CPU utilization is close to 20W higher than that of the D2, although it's at least lower than that of its DDR3-equipped competition from Asus. Among DDR2 boards, the D2 fares well, turning in the lowest idle power consumption we've seen from a P35-based motherboard.