The BIOS on the 870A Fuzion is an AMI BIOS, although it might not look like ones you are familiar with. It looks a lot like an Award BIOS, but rest assured it is an AMI.
The left hand side of the BIOS layout deals with the common or typical features that control the mundane functions of the board. Items like the boot order, integrated peripherals; you know the type of thing. Where you will spend the majority of your time (if you are an overclocker or enthusiast) is in the Cell Menu.
As you can see, there are a ton of options for kicking your AMD CPU into high gear. There are a few sub menus here that give you some additional options, but for the most part they can be left alone as the wrong setting can really hinder performance.
The Advanced DRAM page is another one that can help with stability (and performance), but again can lead to some problems if the wrong settings are played with.
There are also a few more tweaks available on the CPU settings sub-menu under the Advanced tab.
CPU features and supported technologies are also listed out in the Cell Menu (well, one of the sub menus.).
MSI gives you more than a few slots (six to be exact) to store your overclocking settings.
Of course you will need to spend some time on the left side of the BIOS, but more for general functionality than anything.
Overclocking the MSI 870A Fuzion was something of a pain. Although the tools were there and easy to use, the board was picky about settings and voltages. We tried for a 4GHz clock speed but ended up backing into a 3.92GHz clock (245x16). To get this we had to turn off Cool and Quiet as well as push the voltages a little higher than I normally like on an AMD CPU. Still, 3.92GHz is about normal for the Phenom II X6 1090T we normally use.
You can see the validation for the 870A Fuzion here.
OC Genie and Control Center
The OC Genie is supposed to give you a quick overclock with a single push of a button. In our case (with the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T) we saw a 4MHz increase on the bus for an overclock of 3.264GHz; not even enough to make a difference. I am sure that if you use this with another CPU (like an X3 or X4) your results will probably be better, but with the X6 it just was not there.
On the other hand, the included Control Center software has some nice features. Like many Windows based overclocking software, there is a lot you can do, but again there are some things that you cannot. You cannot adjust the memory speed using this utility; to do that you have to head back into the BIOS and adjust it using the multiplier in the Cell Menu.
Still, the MSI Control Center is a good piece of software. Besides overclocking it is able to give you a lot of information about your system and how it is performing.
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Box and What's Inside]
- Page 3 [The Motherboard]
- Page 4 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 5 [Test System Setup and Comments]
- Page 6 [Synthetic Tests - Part I]
- Page 7 [Synthetic Tests - Part II]
- Page 8 [Synthetic Tests - Part III]
- Page 9 [Real-World Tests - Part I]
- Page 10 [Real-World Tests Part II]
- Page 11 [Power Usage, Heat Tests and Final Thoughts]