As usual, an MSI board comes with an AMI BIOS. The hyped "Cell" feature is still much too crude for real overclocking fans. The steppings for the voltages are defined by the BIOS, oc-freaks have no chance to fine tune via BIOS. MSI needs to improve the BIOS especially when the oc-market is targeted. Also some voltage settings are way too high.
1.9250V Vcore is needed for overclocking records with nitrogen-cooling, but for normal users this is quite insane. When the board can't boot up, the BIOS behaves strangely and does change some voltages, especially VCore on its own. We think this is quite dangerous and if someone does overclock, the BIOS should not override any settings.
This MSI does very well. Of cours,e we did expect a high overclock. The board booted with 570MHz, the board run stable with 560MHz, very nice.
It was not difficult to reach 4.40GHz. We set the VCore to 1.6000V but as you can see, the VCore dropped to 1.55V. The VRM is quite good to keep the drop below 0.05V.
MSI claims the board runs with DDR3 1600MHz, and indeed it does. Going any higher it gets difficult. With reduced latencies we could manage 1700MHz, but we weren't able to do 1800MHz, which was the specified rating of our Corsair Kit.
FSB BIOS clocking:
We have to state that we always recalculate the bench results to nominal frequencies. Most vendors do an overclock to their products, maybe to get more bench points, but we nullify such attempts. MSI always overclocks and we don't like that.