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MSI Eclipse Plus Intel X58 Express Motherboard Review

MSI Eclipse Plus Intel X58 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: As MSI Computer knows, sometimes overkill is a good thing. This seems to be the philosophy behind the MSI X58 Eclipse Plus motherboard - a jet black beauty built around Intel's X58 Express and ICH10R chipsets for the Intel Core i7 family of socket 1366 processors.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Jan 04 2010   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI Eclipse Plus

Overclocking and BIOS Screenshots

Overclocking the Motherboard

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Speed: 133 MHz

215 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

Overclocking an Intel X58 motherboard is a straightforward process, although it might take a little while to get yourself oriented with the new terminology. With the Front Side Bus gone for good, a new term has been introduced to describe the system's base clock speed, which is aptly named the Base Clock (BCLK).

To get the MSI X58 Eclipse Plus motherboard ready for overclocking, we first opened up MSI's Cell Menu in the BIOS, which contains most of the important overclocking configuration setting. To prevent Intel's automatic speed adjustment technology from interfering with our overclocking results, we disabled Intel Turbo Mode, and MSI's Dynamic Overclocking Technology.

The next step was to lower the CPU multiplier to x12, the lowest possible setting. This will largely remove CPU frequency as a constraint as we push for the highest possible base clock. Memory settings were left on automatic, and as a precaution to protect the CPU, all voltages were left at their default settings. Once this was all done, we were ready to start overclocking!

The base clock was raised from 133MHz in increments of ~15MHz. From here we climbed up to 150MHz, 175MHz, and then took the plunge and went past 200MHz. The final overclocking result was a healthy 215MHz Base Clock (BCLK).

With this kind of headroom on the motherboard, it's theoretically possible to get a 2.66GHz Core i7 920 CPU up to a delirious 4.3GHz on the MSI Eclipse Plus when paired with decent cooling and some voltage adjustment. As always though, motherboards and CPUs do vary and your results at home might not match those we get at the PCSTATS labs.

MSI Eclipse BIOS gallery

MSI's Cell Menu is the basic portal to all of the overclocking features of the MSI Eclipse Plus. From here you can access CPU settings, BCLK settings, QPI settings, as well as most memory and voltage settings.

The QPI link speed can be adjust to either Slow or Full-Speed mode. Pretty much every CPU that currently uses QPI can operate at Full-Speed mode, Slow mode is included for future budget processors that may not operate their links at high speeds.

Extreme Memory Profile support can be used with supported memory modules, and will push memory timings to their most agressive settings, as well as allowing higher frequency modules to run at faster speeds.

If you don't have XMP memory (or you do, but you like tweaking things manually), there's also an extensive list of manual memory settings that can be adjusted by clock cycles, with the nanosecond equivalent displayed alongside.

The MSI Eclipse Plus has dual BIOS support, as well as the ability to save settings to a USB flash drive. This can be particularly useful for backing up, overclocking, or when tuning multiple MSI Eclipse Plus systems at the same time.

MSI's Green Power energy efficiency mode will dynamically adjust the amount of power phases that the MSI Eclipse uses to power the chips plugged into it. In most cases this will shave off a few Watts of overall power. The Green Power Genie will give readings of the current power efficiency of the power supply to the motherboard.

The Clockgen tuner can synchronize the pulses of various system buses, which can help tune overclocking. This is an option for die-hard overclockers, and most people will leave this option on 'auto'.

Now that we have the MSI X58 Eclipse Plus motherboard set up properly, we can finally put it on the bench and see how it compares to some of the other systems in the PCSTATS labs...

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the MSI Eclipse Plus motherboard test system was configured for benchmarking, including the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this Intel X58 Express based platform is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System #1
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 (45nm)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (65nm)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (45nm)
Socket: Socket LGA1366 Socket LGA775
Clock Speed: 20 x 133 MHz = 2.67 GHz 9 x 333 MHz = 3.0 GHz
Motherboard: MSI Eclipse Plus (X58 Express)
MSI X58 Platinum (X58 Express)

ASUS P5NT Deluxe (NF 780i)
MSI P6N Diamond (NF 680i)
Biostar TF7150V-M7 (GF 7150)
Asrock Penryn1600SLIX3 (NF 680i)
Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 (P35 Express)
MSI P35 Platinum (P35 Express)
Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe (P35 Express)
ASUS BLITZ Formula (P35 Express)
Foxconn MARS (P35 Express)
Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (X38 Express)
ASUS Maximus Extreme (X38 Express)
Biostar TPower I45 (P45 Express)
ECS P45T-A (P45 Express)
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 (P45 Express)
MSI X48 Platinum (X48 Express)
ASUS P5E3 Premium/Wifi (X48 Express)
ASUS Striker II NSE (NF 790i)

Videocard: ASUS ENGTS250 DK
(Geforce GTS250)
MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E
(Geforce 8800GTS)
Memory: 3x2GB Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D DDR3

2GB Corsair Twin2X2048-8888C4D (DDR2)
2GB Crucial Ballistix PC3-12800 (DDR3)

Hard Drive:

74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740

CDROM:

ASUS BC-1205PT-BD

Power Supply:

PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 750W

Heatsink: Intel Reference 1366 Heatsink Intel Reference 775 Heatsink
Software Setup:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 9.1.0.1012
nVIDIA Forceware 182.08

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 9.0.0.1008
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

Benchmarks:

SYSMark 2007
SiSoft Sandra 2008
PCMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage
3DMark06
FEAR

As there are only two Intel X58 Core i7 motherboards on the books right now PCSTATS is including comparisons against older Intel Core 2 Duo motherboards. When a few more X58 boards come in the door we'll shift the reference charts around, but for the time being the difference in performance is quite obviously due to the eight-thread processor out pacing the dual core CPU. Performance differences between the two Intel X58 based motherboards are largely nil, on the other hand.

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: MSI Eclipse Plus
 Pg 1.  MSI Eclipse Plus Intel X58 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Performance Tuning Features and Controls
 Pg 3.  Motherboard Highlights Photo Gallery
 Pg 4.  Intel X58 Express / nForce 200 Chipsets and Power Draw Tests
 Pg 5.  — Overclocking and BIOS Screenshots
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSmark 2007
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra 2008 Processor
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra 2008 Memory
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FEAR and Conclusions

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