MSI 975X Platinum V.2 PowerUp Ed. - Overclocking and Software Applications

Article Index
MSI 975X Platinum V.2 PowerUp Ed.
Up Close and Board Features
975X Platinum BIOS Screenshots
Test Setup and Initial Testing
Overclocking and Software Applications
Synthetic Benchmarks - SiSoft and More
Real-World Apps and More
Game Tests and Conclusion

Overclocking:

I wasn't that impressed with the limited overclocking and tweaking features in the BIOS, so I really didn't expect much from this board.  The BIOS looked very similar to the MSI 965P Neo-F motherboard that we'd looked at previously and the overclocking results were dismal.  When I initially approached this board, I didn't have my hopes up.

I started with a decent jump from 266MHz FSB to 275MHz, and rebooted to see if there was any hope at all, and everything booted up fine.  Leaving the multiplier at 9x, I increased the FSB by 5MHz increments all the way up to 335MHz.  Here I bumped up the CPU voltage to 1.4 to keep things stable on my quest to find the limit of this board.  I continued with 5MHz increases until I hit 365MHz FSB.  When we use a 9x Multiplier we reach a sweet 3.28GHz clock speed on this 2.4GHz processor.  At this speed, things weren't stable however, and we had weird issues in Windows.  I backed the FSB down to 356MHz for a CPU speed of 3.2GHz.  That's not bad for a preproduction CPU and a motherboard that doesn't have hardly any voltage tweaks.

CPU-Z Overclocked - Main
 CPU-Z Overclocked - Main

CPU-Z Overclocked - Memory
 CPU-Z Overclocked - Memory

It just goes to show that even if a motherboard doesn't have a bunch of tweaks, it still can overclock well if it's put together right.  At the end of the day we are able to run our CPU faster on this board that we did with the Gigabyte 965P-DQ6.  When we left the CPU multiplier at 9x on that board, we weren't able to reach 360FSB.  However, that board was able to give us faster bus speeds when we lowered the multiplier.  We'll see how that compares in the benchmarks.

On The CD:

MSI Really includes quite a bit of stuff on the included driver CD.  They have the usual drivers for all of the integrated devices and they also have a Utilities section where you can install wonderful things like DirectX 9.0c, Norton Internet Security 2005, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and the Yahoo Toolbar.  What the heck kind of utility is the Yahoo Toolbar?  Nero "gives" you that as a bonus with their updates and now MSI includes it as a "feature utility" with their motherboards.  Yahoo must pay well.

Software CD
Software CD


 

Other utilities include MSI's Live Update 3, MSI PC Alert 4, and the MSI Security Utility.  One handy piece of software is the Dual Core Center Software that we'll touch on briefly below.

Dual Core Cell Software
Dual Core Cell Software

The Dual Core Center Software gives you the ability to monitor and adjust voltages and temperatures of the CPU and System.  You can run the board in different "modes" that slow the processor down if you have SpeedStep enabled.  This allows the board and system to operate in virtual silence if you so choose.  That's part of what makes this system VIIV ready.  Of course on the other side of the coin is the ability to make this system perform faster, and thereby generate more heat and noise as well.

Dual Core Cell Software
Dual Core Cell Software

Using this utility, you can perform Windows based overclocking that will help you get the most out of your system.  You can choose custom overclocking levels or throw caution to the wind and go for broke by choosing how fast you want to push things.

On the next page we'll finally jump into some benchmarks and compare the MSI 965P Neo-F and the Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 to the older 975X Platinum V.2 board from MSI.