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TweakTown's Ultimate Intel Skylake Overclocking Guide

By: Steven Bassiri | Guides | Posted: Dec 21, 2015 3:11 pm

The Board




MSI's Z170A XPOWER is unique with its white/silver PCB color. Most everything matches white, so if you want a unique overclocking board, the MSI offers something different. The MSI Z170A XPOWER was used for stability testing in this review. MSI has their own extreme overclocking guide here.





MSI's Z170A XPOWER has an external overclocking board, which is quite convenient, offering the simplicity of buttons on a secondary PCB. There is also a knob that controls auto overclocking. More information can be found here. There is one really nice thing I like about OC recovery on the Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION, the motherboard offers you multiple options after a failed overclock (if the board auto recovers) to speed things up when it comes to re-setting BIOS settings.



LLC Performance




MSI's LLC implementation is interesting; they offer 100% and then 40%, but they are effective.



BIOS Memory OC Profiles




MSI offers a list of memory preset profiles, and also provides a "MemoryTryIt!" option to select the type of DDR used.



BIOS Power Savings




MSI provides a CPU Ratio Mode option that will setup Turbo and EIST so you can have a Fixed Frequency (without power savings) overclock or a Dynamic one (with power savings). C-States are located on another page.



BIOS PWM Options




MSI offers PWM control in their UEFI as well. Over/under voltage protection, over current protection, switching frequency, power duty control, and over temperature protection can help you maximize overclocks under extreme conditions. MSI's guide does a good job of maximizing these, but you can select LN2 mode under OC setup that will maximize these for you.



OC Software




MSI's Command Center offers novice users with GUI friendly overclocking. However, for the enthusiasts, MSI has provided Command Center Lite for quick in-Windows tuning.

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