A Phoenix AwardBIOS powers the MSI
Most the options will be quite familiar for those who have navigated an AwardBIOS before:Standard / Advanced / Advanced Chipset options are almost identical to any other nForce2 board
In the Integrated Peripherals menu, we also find options for the RAID controller, which spans both IDE and SATA! Up to 6 ATA devices can be hooked up to this motherboard.
Power management allows you to configure the system when it should power down, or start up by setting a timer. The H/W monitor page displays readouts of all the sensors this boards features. Everything is in specs for this setup so far!
If you take a closer look at the second photo from the right (4406), you will notice that this board offers you the possibility to have the CPU and NB fan to be temperature controlled. This is quite a useful feature, but more on this later on.The last section of the BIOS holds all controls for the CPU, Memory and voltages, the custom “Cell Menu”.
Look at the adjustments you can make, almost everything can be increased well beyond specifications, 2.3v for the CPU, 3.3v for the Memory and 2.3v through the AGP port! Although I miss to possibility to increase the voltage to the north bridge, this can be limiting factor when trying to push the FSB past the default 200Mhz.
The FSB can be set to an unrealistically high value of 300Mhz in steps of 1Mhz. Full multiplier control and the most important memory timings can be set either using increasingly more aggressive presets, or manually. There is also a long list of different CPU:MEM dividers allowing you to run both asynchronous.
For those who are not experienced in overclocking MSI offers a Dynamic Overclocking possibility. When setting the “High performance Mode” to Turbo or High performance it is automatically activated, setting the mode to “Manual” allows you full control. The Dynamic Overclocking option can then be set to either disabled or any of the other 6 steps, beginning at 1% and maxing out at 11%. A quick fix for those who do not want to bother with tweaking every part of their system. More experienced users want to keep this setting disabled as it will increase the FSB, and if you are already running at "the edge" it will cause problems.
Let’s save settings and start the system!
How high can we push the FSB? Find out on the next page ->