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MSI K9A2 Platinum AMD 790FX Motherboard Review

MSI K9A2 Platinum AMD 790FX Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The MSI K9A2 Platinum is built on AMDs venerable 790FX and SB600 chipsets, which incorporate Hypertransport 3.0 and bus speeds of up to 2600MHz.
 81% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Feb 19 2008   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI K9A2 Platinum

Overclocking the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Speed: 200 MHz

360 MHz

If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard >

When it comes to MSI motherboards, PCSTATS generally has a fun time overclocking them into the stratosphere... but as with all things, this isn't always the case. Overclocking is a crap shoot, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. Let's see how the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard stacks up against MSI's long history of overclocking prowess!

Before the motherboard was overclocked, the processor multiplier was first set to 8x and the memory to run at DDR2-800 MHz mode. The MSI K9A2 Platinum actually turned out to be a pretty good overclocker, and there was little that had to be done to the motherboard to get the board well past the 300 MHz mark.

To overclock the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard we booted up and went into MSI's Cell Menu section of the BIOS where all the overclocking and memory timing controls are. The AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ processor was initially set to run with an 8X CPU ratio, and the Corsair XM2-6400C4 memory set to run at 800MHz speeds. From there we adjusted the CPU speed in 5-10MHz increments and began overclocking! The the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard proved it was up to the challenge and easily rose from the starting point of 200MHz to 325MHz FSB without any issues whatsoever.

At 330MHz, the K9A2 Platinum became a little unstable, so we changed the CPU ratio from 8X to 5X. At 345MHz te system became unstable again, so memory voltage was increased to 1.9V, and Northbridge to 1.2V. After that the memory Ratio was changed from 'auto' to a 1:1 ratio, and we were able to reach 355MHz, then 360MHz. At a bus speed of 365MHz the system to crash while loading Windows Vista so we left things at a healthy 360MHz overclock. Nice!

Inside the MSI K9A2 Platinum BIOS:

There are the usual CAS Latency, RAS to CAS and RAS precharge options along with a ton of advanced memory timing adjustments available in the MSI K9A2 Platinum BIOS.

If you like to tweak, you're going to head straight into the MSI Core Cell menu in the BIOS. You can adjust the FSB from 200-600 MHz in 1 MHz increments and here you can also adjust the CPU Ratio.

Here in the voltage control section are the memory/chipset/CPU voltage options. You can increase the CPU voltage to 1.676V above stock, memory 3.10V, northbridge to 1.525V, Hypertransport to 1.525V. That's a lot of voltage (especially the CPU and memory) so use caution when increasing the values. The last thing you want is to fry your shiny new hardware!

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard test system was configured for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions is indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this AMD 790FXn based motherboard is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results on the next page.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System #1 Reference System #2
Processor: AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ Intel Pentium D 940
Clock Speed: 14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz

16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz

Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum (AMD 790FX)

ASRock AM2V890-VSTA (VIA K8T890)
Biostar Tforce 6100 (GF 6100)
MSI
K9N SLI Platinum (NF 570 SLI)
Foxconn C51XEM2AA (NF 590 SLI)

Asus M2N32 WS Professional (NF 590 SLI)

Foxconn 975X7AA-8EKRS2H (975X)
Videocard: MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E
Memory: Corsair Twin2X2048-8500
Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: AMD Athlon64 FX-62 Reference

Thermaltake Jungle 512

Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware 9.35
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
Intel INF 7.22
nVIDIA Forceware 91.27

Benchmarks:

SYSMark 2004
Super Pi
SiSoft Sandra 2005
PCMark05
3DMark06
FarCry
Doom 3

Quake 4

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: MSI K9A2 Platinum
 Pg 1.  MSI K9A2 Platinum AMD 790FX Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Motherboard Highlights Photo Gallery
 Pg 3.  — Overclocking the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard
 Pg 4.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark06, Quake 4, FarCry, Doom3
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark 05, Conclusions

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