While MSI have generally always offered
overclocking options with their motherboards, they never seem to be "extreme
enough" for the hardcore overclocker. Things have changed, and MSI has made a
huge comeback with the overclocking crowd with their new 875P and 865PE Neo2
Starting at 200 MHz FSB we
raised the FSB slowly. At 215 MHz FSB we ran into a few problems but luckily
that's nothing bumping up the DIMM voltage to 2.8V didn't fix.
We hit another snag at around 220 MHz
FSB, and raising the CPU voltage to 1.7V fixed that problem as well. We finally
settled for a FSB of 235 MHz but I'm sure the motherboard could do better as I
believe the processor is holding us back a little. I also did not want to try
the higher voltages as I'm just using air cooling in the lab.
MSI gives the end user complete control
over the memory timings. We have the usual CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to
CAS Delay, Precharge Delay and Burst Length options.
Ahh the overclocker's haven. We'll get
into Dynamic Overclocking in a second, there are a whole slew of memory divider
options and the MSI Neo is one of the few motherboards out there that allows you
to run your memory faster then the FSB. 200 MHz based Pentium
4's can go up to 500 MHz FSB.
As you can see from the picture above there are some
hardcore voltage options available to the overclocker. Of course most
overclockers out there would never even
imagine feeding their P4's with 2.3V, but that's something the hardcore overclocker
with perhaps a Prometeia would use.
The MSI 865PE Neo2 is the first
motherboard in the world that offers dynamic overclocking.
Basically what the board does is when the system is near 100% CPU usage the BIOS (via CoreCell chip) will
overclock the system without letting you know to try and make things a bit faster for the end
user. While this is a neat feature it didn't seem to work very well and only
overclocked the system when running 3DMark tests.
I think MSI should rename the options for this feature as using military rankings does not
tell the end user anything. At the General setting, the system would overclock
about 10% while running 3DMark2001SE or 3DMark03. Up next the