MSI K9N SLI Platinum nForce 570 SLI Motherboard

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BIOS and Overclocking

 

BIOS and Overclocking

The K9N SLI Platinum is equipped with an AMI (American Megatrends) BIOS, which provides roughly the same level of flexibility as MSI's high-end platforms. The BIOS is clean and simple, but provides access to all of the necessary overclocking options which one needs to get the most out of their hardware. 

Main BIOS Menu

MSI Cell Menu

The majority of the tweaking controls are located in the "Cell Menu" area, which allows the user to up front side bus speeds, change CPU multipliers and voltage levels, force DDR 2 clock speeds and voltage levels, and adjust PCI Express frequency settings. MSI also supports Dynamic Overclocking (D.O.T, as they like to call it), with this motherboard, which allows the platform to overclock itself up to 15% when system loads demand extra computing power. D.O.T has never been particularly popular with enthusiasts who like to control how much their systems overclock, but it's not a bad feature to throw in. D.O.T can also be used and modified through MSI's Windows-based "CoreCell" software interface.

The BIOS also allows pretty decent fan speed control functions, although it's just limited to the CPU fan (not others as well, which some competing boards offer). MSI lets the user set their maximum temperature which they would like to see for the processor - which once set - will dynamically throttle fan speeds to help control noise levels. 

Dynamic Overclocking

Fan Control and Monitoring

One interesting thing to note about the BIOS is that on both the stock shipping BIOS and the latest version from MSI's website, the chipset's USB controller was oddly disabled by default. This led to some unexpected frustration, as none of our USB devices were detected upon boot or in Windows. As the vast majority of platforms enable USB by default (as there are very few reasons to consider disabling it), this is quite an odd choice by MSI. Something to keep in mind if you're thinking of purchasing this board - make sure the USB controller is enabled.

This board really isn't designed for heavy overclocking, but in our testing, was able to rock some light overclcoking with our testbed's Athlon64 X2 3800+ processor. With this platform and a stock cooler, we were able to go up from 2.0 GHz clock speed to 2.35 GHz (235 MHz FSB) by upping the bus speed levels and kicking up the voltage a bit. The single-chip nForce 570 isn't an overclocking champ, especially with a passive cooler in tow, so don't expect miracles here. It should also be noted that despite using a custom-sized chipset cooler, the MSI K9N SLI Platinum can also be used with third-party chipset coolers too - as MSI includes the mounting holes for smaller coolers as well. So, if you want to go for the gusto, nothing's stopping you.


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