Gamers around the world seek out motherboards which allow the user to adjust basic system values such as processor and memory speed. almost all motherboards allow some adjustments of these settings. These motherboards are typically the upper- end of the normal consumer line such as the DFI Infinity series and ASUS P5 line. The motherboards that gamers normally flock to allow several more adjustments including voltages to the CPU, ram and even north-bridge chip-set. these voltages are typically enough to squeeze out 20 - 50 % more performance than a stock configuration. For example typically a gamer will buy a mid-range CPU such as the sub- $200 E6400 from Intel which runs at 2.13 GHz stock, and by overclocking the speed in bios can fairly easily achieve 3.0 GHz or higher. the x6800 Extreme Edition cpu in contrast operates at 2.93GHz and costs about $1000. As you can see the savings is $800 which is used for video cards, fancy peripherals etc.
Another type of motherboard are what are called “enthusiasts boards”. These boards offer adjustment to almost every possible voltage and timing setting imaginable. They are extremely complex boards and their price reflects that. The best Examples of this class is the DFI LAN Party series and the ASUS R.O.G. series. Almost every Enthusiasts board is capable of operating at twice the stock speed with proper adjustments. For most Enthusiasts boards the chip-set cooling as well as mosfets for power supply are cooled by exotic heat-pipe configurations due to the heat increase that is associated with raising the voltages and speeds. a good example is DfI’s Trans-piper as seen on the P35 model. A top enthusiasts board will also allow control of the memory systems latency settings, Manufacturers usually set these very loose to allow a greater compatibility between different brands and types of ram. adjusting these settings can allow a dramatic improvement in both speed and latency (Basically the time between a request for data and when the data is available). another invaluable asset of an enthusiasts board is the built in De-bug function, normally a two digit l.e.d. which displays the sequence code for the operations the board is performing during post. By watching the l.e.d.’s you can determine what stage of the post (power on self test.) the board is failing at.