iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS P6T Deluxe OC Palm Edition Motherboard

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This motherboards bundle (its full title contains "OC Palm edition") has an extra component we've never met before. It's a small plastic box with rounded corners, the size of a usual PDA, with an LCD and several buttons. This module is called OC Palm (OC seems to stand for overclocking).

This module cannot work without the motherboard. It's plugged to the board with a standard USB cable (the box has a mini-USB port) to any port on the rear panel. You can hold OC Palm in your hands to operate it and then put it on the desk, lean it to something, or rest it on its pull-out foot.

As you can see, there are buttons on top of the device, not only on the front panel.

Overclocking interface of OC Palm OC Palm's main menu

Now as to what this module actually does. In fact, OC Palm really has to do with overclocking. Buttons on top of the case increase or decrease the base frequency, which affects clock rates of a CPU, QPI, and memory controller. The system is overclocked (or slowed down) immediately, in real time. And the current BCLK frequency is shown on the display, which temporarily leaves its previous indication mode. If you are not interested in overclocking (especially in this way), you can still find use for this device choosing another mode in its main menu.

TurboV's interface in OC Palm Clock widget on OC Palm

The list of applications supported by OC Palm includes TurboV (it just displays four monitored parameters in inconvenient font size), a monitoring utility (when we tried to run it, it crashed, but we get its general idea anyway) and Yahoo! Widgets.

Weather widget on OC Palm Calendar widget on OC Palm

Indeed, you can select some of the installed Yahoo! Widgets to run on OC Palm. The photos above show the device running several widgets -- weather forecast, analog clock, and simple calendar with notes. As you can see on closeups, they look good.

And now about drawbacks of this solution. We shall not even mention its price, although the OC Palm edition of the motherboard is more expensive by at least $30. We are very disappointed with poor functionality of this module. Almost all problems can be written off to software bugs (this awkward font size and crashes of the monitoring utility are software problems for sure). They could have at least tried to provide communications with the standard Windows application. For one, a widget must be open on Windows desktop (not just started). Thus, OC Palm cannot display useful information without cluttering the desktop. For two, OC Palm cannot interact with a running widget, you cannot even browse the calendar or notes. But if you do it with the widget on the desktop, this device will honestly display everything.

So this device is just a concept, a toy for technicians (and probably for some overclockers).

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Page 1: Introduction, features

Page 2: External module

Page 3: Functionality, performance

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