I will now cover all the overclocking specific hardware features this motherboard offers.
MSI provides OC features towards the bottom of the motherboard. This makes it better for those using liquid nitrogen to cool the memory, CPU, or GPUs. Power, reset, BCLK up, BCLK down, OC Genie, and FastB1 buttons are provided. The OC Genie buttons works in unison with the OC_SW1, providing two OC performance profiles that we will check out later in this article. The FastB1 button goes straight into the BIOS upon reboot.
MSI provides a JSLOW1 switch that will reduce the CPU and Cache ratios to 12x when it is engaged. The second switch is used to select between two BIOS ROMs.
MSI provides a POST code display, but they also programmed it to show the real-time CPU temperature!
CPU and BCLK Overclocking
Max CPU Overclock is found by setting the VCore to 1.5v, Input voltage to 2.1v, cache voltage to 1.2v, CPU multiplier to 45x, memory and cache multipliers to 12x, and disabling any features that would result in CPU frequency fluctuation.
5.0GHz is the maximum of our CPU on many boards, including the X99S MPower.
Max Stable Overclock (BIOS settings are located further down):
I was easily able to pull off 4.5GHz on the CPU with 3.0GHz cache, and a 2400MHz memory overclock (16GB) on my memory, by manually tuning the UEFI. I will cover auto OC features later on.
Max BCLK is found at the 1.67x (if it's operational), with fixed PCH Core voltage of 1.25v, and System Agent Voltage of +0.3v. All other ratios are tuned back to 12x (memory at 8x), to ensure they don't bottleneck the BCLK overclock.
The maximum BCLK OC I could achieve with optimal settings was 169.99.
Memory overclocking with G.Skill 3200MHz 16GB Kit (Single sided Hynix modules)
Maximum clock on this memory is usually achieved by using the 1.00x BCLK ratio, and the 32x memory multiplier. If these don't work, then I use 1.25x BCLK and 24x memory, and higher multipliers instead. DRAM voltage is set to 1.5v, and system agent to +0.5v; timings were set at 16-16-16-36 2T, and the rest on auto. These high voltages are for testing purposes. For the efficiency test, the 1.25x divider is used with 21.33x memory multiplier. The 24x multiplier is used for CPU and Uncore. HyperPI 32M is used for the efficiency test.
Max OC: 3277MHz
Efficiency time: 15min 44.514s
The X99S MPower does support dividers higher than 26x; both 26.66x and 32x are fully supported. I was able to boot at 32x (with XMP, and without), but I had stronger memory overclocking using the 1.25x BCLK divider. The memory OC frequency is among the highest I have done on the Intel X99 platform.
BIOS Settings for 4.5GHz Overclock with 32GB of 2133MHz Memory
I set the CPU frequency to 45x, selected fixed mode (which disables Turbo and EIST), set ring (cache) to 33x, and DDR to 24x.
These are the controls for the VRM, specifically to increase power limits. You really don't need to touch anything, the board has good auto rules, but in this case, I decided to increase a few things like LLC and current. I also increased the switching frequency, as MSI said it helps in their provided OC guide. The other image above shows the VRM settings when you select the aggressive LN2 profile.
Here I set the voltages; you just need to type them in.
On the left are the advanced CPU features; you don't really need to mess with them. If you OC the BCLK, the option to disable DMI Gen2 is here. On the left, we have the fan controls, which are very nice. I would say this is possibly the best in-BIOS fan control GUI I have seen to date.
BIOS OC profiles are also available.
OC Recovery Experience:
Overall, this is pretty good. I really liked the fact that upon reboot the BIOS would ask if I wanted to load the last settings, clean the settings up, or load a profile. MSI has done an excellent job of polishing the OC experience in the UEFI.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Voltage Regulator Circuit Analysis]
- Page 3 [Overclocking and BIOS Setup]
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