ASUS PEG Link Mode & NVIDIA
ASUS introduced a unique BIOS feature called PEG Link Mode in their Intel motherboards last year. Other than the fact that PEG Link Mode stands for PCI Express Graphics Link Mode, nothing much is known about it.
ASUS was initially very tight-lipped about the mysterious PEG Link Mode. But recently, they have been forced to announce and even hype it up! In fact, they now promote it as "a new graphics enhancement technology" for their Intel and AMD PCIe motherboards.
There have been hints that ASUS kept quiet about PEG Link Mode because they wanted to upstage their competitors by shipping motherboards that magically outdo their competitors. Of course, the secret was soon exposed and ASUS was literally forced to reveal the PEG Link Mode as one of their unique motherboard features.
Let's take a look at their press release.
The ASUS Press Release
The entire press release is pretty long so I will just post an abridged version of it. Here's the first part :-
Taipei, Taiwan, Aug 4 2004 --ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS), the worldwide leader of motherboards, today announced an exclusive innovation for graphics performance enhancement on its 915P- and 925X-based motherboards. This latest technology, PEG (PCI Express Graphics) Link Mode, is a unique feature that enables users to boost graphics card performance for superior video quality.
And here's the specific section on PEG Link Mode :-
Let's begin with PEG Link Mode, which has received a lot of interest recently. This feature, found only on ASUS 915P- and 925X-based motherboards, allows users to raise GPU and VGA memory throughput via the motherboard BIOS the same way system bus and memory bus are tweaked. PEG Link Mode enables powerful video performance on DX8 and DX9 applications. ASUS engineers carefully fine-tuned the parameters for every single PCI-Express card to provide system stability during high-speed graphics operation.
Under PEG Link, there are five settings for this unique function: Auto, Slow, Normal, Fast and Faster. The default setting is Auto, which means the motherboard will automatically adjust for the correct frequency according to system configuration. For advanced users who demand more precise overclocking, they can select the other four settings to achieve the most suitable graphics card performance.
Although ASUS now admits that PEG Link Mode is no more than a graphics card overclocking utility built into the BIOS, they are still very vague about what each setting does.
The Purpose Of This Guide
Earlier, we took a look at how NVIDIA cards perform with PEG Link Mode in our article ASUS PEG Link Mode & NVIDIA.
In that article, we tested the PEG Link Mode using the NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT PCIe graphics card. Unfortunately, we only tested the card with PEG Link Mode set to Normal and Faster. At that time, we assumed that Normal meant the feature would be disabled.
But we now think we may have been wrong to do so. First of all, there have been anecdotal reports that PEG Link Mode seemed to affect NVIDIA cards as well. In fact, we noticed some questionable results when we recently tested the ASUS P5AD2 motherboard to compare against an ABIT motherboard.
In addition, ASUS actually provides a variety of options, ranging from Slow to Fast to Faster. There's even an Auto option! But until today, ASUS refuses to comment on what each PEG Link Mode option does.
Therefore, we decided to retest PEG Link Mode using all available options. Then we will know for sure if PEG Link Mode affects NVIDIA cards as well as ATI cards. This also gives us the opportunity to test its effects on ATI cards and make this guide truly complete.