975X Express Motherboard Round-Up: Foxconn, Abit, and MSI
MSI 975X Platinum v2: BIOS and Overclocking
MSI did a nice job with the 975X Platinum v2's BIOS. There are toggles for all of the board's integrated peripherals, and a moderate compliment of overclocking tools.
The 975X Platinum v2's standard BIOS menu screens don't reveal anything out of the ordinary, but they will give you a feel for the general layout and organization of the options. Each individual screen has a host of menus that tunnel deeper as the options get more complex. Overall, the standard menus are very similar to the BIOS derivatives used on most other motherboards.
In the Cell Menu section of the BIOS users are given the ability to alter a number of key settings, like memory timings and the front side bus and PCI Express frequencies, but there are only moderate voltage options for the CPU, memory, and PCI Express link. FSB speeds up to 550MHz are available in 1MHz increments and the PCI Express clock can be dialed in manually too. The CPU voltage can be increased up to 1.58v, the PCI Express voltage to 1.8v, and the memory voltage to 2.4v. And using MSI's included Core Cell software, users can alter many of these settings from within Windows as well.
Overclocking with the MSI 975X Platinum v2 was fairly smooth and painless. We followed the same procedures outlined earlier, but with a CPU voltage of 1.4v. When all was said and done, we were able to take the MSI 975X Platinum v2's font side bus frequency all the way up to 396MHz for a final CPU clock speed of a 3.56GHz. It wasn't a smashing victory, but the MSI 975X Platinum v2 posted the best overclocking result of the bunch.