MSI Eclipse Plus ReviewRHKCommander959 - June 11, 2009
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Installing the drivers is very easy, GreenPowerCenterII is a straightforward installation. Installing the OverclockingCenter is just as easy, although that program failed to operate under Vista Ultimate 64-bit Service Pack 1, unfortunately. GreenPower CenterII has various categories ranging from operational voltages and drivers revisions, BIOS version, power usage and efficiency, temperatures, and the ability to customize energy efficiency and voltage levels on the fly for performance or energy savings. The program is pleasant enough, blending in with Vista's default theme very nicely, also it seemed to work problem-free and with the voltage options combined with the Easy OC knob on the motherboard, overclocking can be pushed even further - especially if the OverclockingCenter application worked - although stable overclocking is best done through the BIOS. Overclocking in Windows can be good for a suicide run in which users go for their highest unstable speeds.
With GreenPowerCenterII loaded, the first main tab is the System Info tab, with Motherboard as the sub-tab. Motherboard manufacturer, name, chipset information, and BIOS vendor/version/build date are listed. To the right of the motherboard information, the installed CPU name, core voltage, external clock, number of threads, processor ID, and family/model/stepping information is available, as is the main videocard name/BIOS/driver. Clicking the memory sub-tab brings up a page detailing the total amount of system memory, memory in use, and specific SPD information about each installed memory module and their possible settings under the Timings Table.
Switching to the GreenPower tab brings about a page detailing energy efficiency, consumption, and effective voltages. The amount of power saved can also be viewed, as can the power consumed. Chipset and CPU temperatures are also listed here; the more efficient a system runs, the cooler it should run. Switching to the Advance tab to the Motherboard opens up voltage controls ranging from CPU, memory, and motherboard voltages. The listed controls mirror the available options in the BIOS, and should help extend the amount of overclockability that the Easy OC knob can deliver.
Installing the DriveBooster application is really simple, with a better looking interface than the prior programs - one that matches the GreenPowerCenter II application's user interface. Once installed, it allows drive management, information, and drive status. The program can manage RAID arrays as well.
Configuring Drive Booster is simple, just the clicking of a picture sets the drives up, with the ability to add a password for added security. If any problems or other events occur, they should be recorded into the Event Log for analysis, the logs can also be saved elsewhere which should allow novice users to get expert opinions.
MSI also provides a driver update program called Live Monitor, it keeps an entire system updated with the latest drivers and software. Installation is a breeze and takes only a few moments. Once installed, the program searches for drivers to update any of the system's hardware, displaying any applicable updates that can be downloaded for each device. The frequency at which the application can be automatically executed is adjustable making it easy to choose how up-to-date users want to be while keeping the startup somewhat less bogged down. This is a good application for users who like to be up to date, although the old adage to "don't fix what ain't broken" still applies - do research before installing updates and generally only when the situation necessitates it, because not all updates work properly!
Let's see how far we can tweak the MSI Eclipse Plus in the BIOS!