nForce 4 SLI Motherboard Round-Up
MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI: BIOS & Overclocking
Like the DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR and Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI, the K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI's BIOS is a Phoenix / Award derivative that's been customized for this particular board. The standard menus look very much like the others we've already shown you in this review...
If you click through the standard BIOS menus, you won't find anything revolutionary, but all of the common options for tweaking / enabling / disabling all of the K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI's integrated peripherals are there. The K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI's BIOS is very complete and easy to navigate. And MSI also does a good job of explaining some of the more obscure options in the right margin. But it's in the Cell Menu where you can have the most fun.
The Cell Menu is home to all of the K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI's overclocking and memory configuration options. MSI's Core Cell chip monitors fan speeds, voltages, and temperatures, and all of the readings are available in the BIOS or in Windows when running MSI's Core Cell application. Using the data being monitors by the Core Cell chip, the K8N Neo4 can also dynamically overclock a processor, but we left that option disabled in the name of fair play. Obviously, users can also overclock their processors manually using some of the other options available in the Cell Menu. Processor bus speeds can be set to any speed between 190MHz and 400MHz, in 1MHz increments, and the PCI Express clock can be configured to operate at any speed between 100MHz and 145MHz, also in 1MHz increments. Processor multiplier between 4x and 25x (.5 steps) are available. CPU, memory, and chipset voltage adjustments are available, as well. The CPU voltage can be set as high as 1.55v, and then bumped up an additional 3.3%, 6.6%, or 8.3%. Memory voltages range from 2.5v - 2.85v, and chipset voltages range from 1.5v - 1.85v, all in .05v increments.
To overclock with the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum, we followed the same procedure that we outlined earlier. We increased the CPU core voltage to 1.7v, dropped the multiplier, dialed down the HT speed, increased the memory voltage to 2.9v, and slowly raised the bus speed until the system was no longer stable. The MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum ended up hitting the second highest bus speed of the bunch. The maximum stable bus speed we were able to attain was an impressive 329MHz.