MSI Eclipse SLI Reviewccokeman - December 22, 2008
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Getting the Eclipse SLI up and running requires another step after the operating system installed. That would be installing the drivers that tell the hardware how to interact with the operating system to gain as much performance as possible and to work as efficiently as possible. Additionally, I will show the applications MSI includes on the driver disc that provide added functionality. These include an overclocking tool, a software monitoring tool and the Green Power Center.
The first part of this little puzzle starts by inserting the driver disc into an optical drive and letting the autorun feature bring up the installation GUI. There are four tabs available to explore. The first tab includes the drivers. Here you will install the INF chipset utility and the balance of the drivers excluding sound, which has its own driver disc. Next up would be the utility tab, here you can install the Green Power Center, MSI Overclocking utility, Live Update 3 and the Drive Booster Manager.
The third tab is Website. This tab lists an assortment of links that are MSI related as well as links to free software you may find useful. The last tab contains the manual in an electronic form. If you feel you want to manually search for the drivers you can always browse the supplied driver disc to find the drivers you wish to install.
The Creative X-Fi sound card comes with its own driver disc. Just insert and allow the auto run feature to start the installation. Choose the programs you wish to install with the drivers and complete the installation.
Under the Utility tab MSI has included some useful applications you can use to overclock your system, reduce the carbon footprint of your system and to provide updates for the BIOS, programs and utilities supplied by MSI. These are the Green Power Genie, MSI Live Update 3 and the Overclocking Center. Each of these utilities has a specific purpose. The Green Power Genie enables you to make adjustments to the power profiles you will use with the Eclipse SLI. When you first open this application you can view the system information about the board, the installed system memory and the PCI bus.
From there you can move onto the Green Power section. There are two tabs here, Basic, which allows you to choose from three different power profiles, to the Advanced section that has the same three options but allows them to be configured. The last item that can be configured is the onboard LED functionality. You can choose to leave it on for the max bling factor or shut it down. When run in the max power saving mode, you really are in a max saving mode. The CPU and voltages are downclocked to reduce the energy needed to the lowest possible amount. Even running Prime 95 with eight threads did not push it into a high performance mode.
The Overclocking Center has a look similar to the Green Power Genie. This utility has the System Information tab to view the system information and the D.O.T. overclocking section. This tool includes a basic section where you can enable five different profiles to meet a specific need or you can go to the advanced section to manually configure a profile or modify the existing profiles to make one that best suits your needs.
Live Update is a program that monitors and checks to see if there are updates for the BIOS or drivers for specific hardware used in your system. These are more specific to MSI products but is useful nonetheless.