MSI P55-GD65 Reviewccokeman -
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The Cell Menu section of the BIOS is where you can manually or dynamically improve the performance of the installed CPU and memory. In this case an Intel Core i7 870 and 4 GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 memory. You can chose to leave all of Intels energy saving and performance enhancing tools in use or can make a break from the normal and tweak the performance for faster computing or improved FPS in games.
The first couple items are the CPU Specifications and CPU Features tabs. Under the specifications tab you have information on the CPU that list the top line specs such as Cache size, VID and CPU Micro code. Under the CPU Features tab you have the ability to turn off the energy saving and performance enhancing technologies that the processor is designed to use such as EIST, C1E and Hyperthreading if your processor has the capability.
Active processor allows you to utilize all of the cores available on the CPU. Intel EIST C1E and Turbo technology are either enabled or disabled depending on how you want to run the system.
Adjust CPU base frequency allows you to increase the bclock to gain additional performance from the CPU. The maximum setting is 600 but this has proven to be an unreachable number. Heck even 300 at this point is unreachable. Even so this is the clock speed that the rest of the system clocks are based from. Right under this option you see the OC stepping tab. Under this section you can set one clock speed to boot at and then dynamically increase the clock speed in set intervals both in time and in clock speed. This feature can work to get you a higher overclock when you find you cannot boot any higher but can run at a higher level once into the Operating system. The Adjust CPU ratio section lets you adjust the CPU clock multiplier to increase or decrease the clock speed of your processor. Of course you cannot go any higher than your processor will allow.
The OC Genie and base clock button functions can be turn on or off if you chose not to use them. Although the OC Genie does provide a nice boost in performance at the touch of a button.
The Memory Z function allows you to see the SPD programming of the memory modules you have installed including the XMP profile information. DRAM timing mode can be left to auto or you can chose manual to do all of the tweaking on your own. If you chose to do so each memory channel can be adjusted independently.
XMP is a memory profile that is setup to work right from the start when you boot up your system. This make memory tuning almost as easy as the 1 Touch OC Genie. You can however gain more performance by manually tweaking the settings yourself. The DRAM timing mode lets you set the memory multiplier so that your memory can either reach its rated speeds or give you the ability to reduce the multiplier when overclocking so that you do not exceed its capabilities. The QPI Ratio has two settings when used with the i7 870. When increaseing the bclock you will get to a point where you can use the lower multiplier to reach a higher bclock speed.
Clockgen Tuner lets you tweak the voltage supplied to the CPU and PCI Express bus. The PCI Express bus is set to 100 but can be increased to help with reaching a higher bclock setting once you reach a wall.
Last but not least we get to the voltages that you can use to tweak the overclocking ability of the system and components. Load Line can help smooth out the transitional dips in voltage when overclocking. I found that I would either under volt or over volt the CPU based on how this setting was enabled. The CPU voltage can be adjusted to 2.07v, the VTT voltage to 2.018, the PCH 1.8 to 2.4v, the memory to 2.4 volts and the reference voltages can hit the 1.15v mark with the PCH hitting 1.95v. There is plenty of room on the voltages to get as high as you are comfortable with to get the highest clocks from your hardware. Spread Spectrum can be enabled or disabled.