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MSI X48 Platinum Intel X48 Express Motherboard Review

MSI X48 Platinum Intel X48 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: In this review PCSTATS is pleased to be testing out MSI's flagship Intel X48 Express motherboard, the aptly named MSI X48 Platinum.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Nov 10 2008   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI X48 Platinum

Overclocking the MSI X48 Platinum

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Speed: 333 MHz

475 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

MSI's X48 Platinum motherboard provides a wealth of overclocking options, so hardware enthusiasts can tweak every last feature of the board to get the most speed out of their system. We slapped in some of Corsir's Dominator Twin3X2048-1800C7D memory and an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 processor for this round of overclocking.

Starting with the front side bus at 333MHz, we increased the MSI X48 Platinum's clock speed by 5MHz increments. The board cruised through 350, 400 and 430MHz FSB speeds, but at 450MHz we encountered a bit of instability and had to move up the X48 Northbridge voltage up to 1.33 volts. Lucky for us the MSI X48 Platinum has a CMOS reset button at the rear I/O, and very accessible power on / reset buttons on the motherboard.

This voltage bump gave us the juice we needed to get all the way up to a 475MHz FSB. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get the system stable at 480MHz, even after bumping up the X48 Northbridge as high as 1.58v, raising memory up to 1.79V, or CPU to 1.4125V. No amount of cajoling would get the system to remain stable, so we left if at 475 MHz.

Overclocking up to 475MHz is a decent accomplishment, but given that our Foxconn DigitalLife X38A board overclocked to a mighty 555 MHz FSB on nearly the same chipset, seeing these results from the MSI X48 Platinum are a little underwhelming. We should note that this latest overclocking effort seems to have partially fried our trusty Core 2 Duo E6750 - it won't go any faster than 475MHz FSB overclock on any board, so as always with overclocking components, your results may vary.

A quick look at the BIOS:

You can tweak pretty much every aspect of memory timing on the X48 Platinum, as well as adjusting the voltages and memory profiles.

The Cell menu lets you access the MSI X48 Platinum's D.O.T. control, which will automatically overclock the CPU according to the cpu workload and internal temperature. The other options here give manual control over the FSB frequency and memory ratios.

The voltage control options allow for dramatic increases to the amount of power the CPU, Memory and Northbridge controllers get. We've listed some of the maximum voltages above, watch out, a CPU voltage of 2.125V is enough to fry your processor, so be careful before you start cranking up the power!

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the MSI X48 Platinum 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 X48 Express based system 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 2 Duo E6750 Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (775)
Clock Speed: 8 x 333 = 2.66 GHz 9 x 266 MHz = 2.4 GHz
Motherboard: MSI X48 Platinum (X48 Express)

Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (X38 Express)
Asus Maximus Extreme (X38 Express)
Asus BLITZ Formula (P35 Express)
Foxconn MARS (P35 Express)
MSI P6N Diamond (NF 680i)
Biostar TF7150V-M7 (GF 7150)
Foxconn DigitaLife X38A (X38 Express)
Asus P5NT Deluxe (NF 780i)

Videocard: MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E
Memory: Corsair DOMINATOR Twin3X2048-1800C7D (DDR3)

Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF (DDR2)

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Intel E6750 Reference
Software Setup:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 8.30.1013
nVIDIA Forceware 163.75


SYSMark 2007
SiSoft Sandra XII
Super Pi Mod 1.5
PCMark Vantage
Quake 4

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Contents of Article: MSI X48 Platinum
 Pg 1.  MSI X48 Platinum Intel X48 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Intel X48 Express - Performance Tuned
 Pg 3.  Motherboard Highlights Photo Gallery
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking the MSI X48 Platinum
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark06, Quake 4, FEAR
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSmark 2007 Preview
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Super Pi & Conclusions

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