On MSI P35 Platinum we could find these overclocking options (1.0 BIOS):
- FSB clock: Can be adjusted from 200 to 500 MHz in 1 MHz steps.
- PCI Express clock: Can be adjusted as auto or from 100 MHz to 200 MHz in 1 MHz steps.
- PCI Express x4 clock: Auto, 2x or 4x.
- CPU voltage: up to +0.7875 V in 0.0125 V increments.
- Memory voltage (DDR2): 1.80 V to 2.10 V in 0.05 V increments and 2.10 V to 2.70 V in 0.10 V increments.
- North bridge voltage: 1.250 V to 1.600 V in 0.025 V increments and 1.650 V.
- South bridge I/O voltage: 1.5 V to 1.8 V in 0.1 V increments.
- South bridge voltage: 1.05 V or 1.15 V.
- External bus voltage (FSB voltage): 1.200 V to 1.550 V in 0.025 V increments and 1.600 V.
These are basically the same settings found on MSI P35 Neo Combo. The main difference between the two, though, is on the D.O.T. (Dynamic Overclocking Technology) feature. On P35 Platinum you can configure D.O.T. for the CPU only, for the PCI Express only or for both of them. Also, D.O.T. can be individually selected from 1% to 20% in three levels – on P35 Neo Combo there is only a single D.O.T. option that goes up to 15% (a.k.a. “Commander”).
This motherboard also provides several memory timings adjustments, as you can see in Figure 11.
On this motherboard there is no way to lock the memory clock at a specific clock rate, so overclocking the CPU you will automatically overclock the memory as well. This may be a problem as the maximum clock your memories can achieve may limit your overclocking. On the other hand, you can configure the FSB/memory clock ratio, so you may increase this when you think your memories are running at a too high clock.
The PCI Express clock configuration is also very important, as you can lock the PCI Express clock at a given value (100 MHz, for example). Usually when you increase the FSB clock you will automatically increase the PCI Express clock as well, and sometimes your overclocking will be limited not by the CPU but by the devices connected to the PCI Express bus. Thus with this option you can increase the probability of setting a higher overclocking.
The maximum external clock rate we could configure on this motherboard was 305 MHz, what made our memories to run at 915 MHz (FSB/memory ratio of 1:1.5). With this overclocking our Core 2 Duo E6700, which normally runs at 2.66 MHz, was running at 3.05 GHz, a 14.66% increase on its internal clock rate. With this overclocking our system performance increased 14.77% on Quake 4 and 9% on PCMark05.
We could configure our external clock above that but the system was unstable. We only consider our overclocking to be successful after we can run at least four times Quake 4 and PCMark05 with no errors.
We could set a higher overclocking with almost all other motherboards we reviewed recently: on ASUS P5N-E SLU we could set our CPU running at 327 MHz, on ASUS P5B Premium we could set our CPU running at 323 MHz, on ASUS P5B we could set our CPU running at 316 MHz and on MSI P35 Neo Combo we could set our CPU running at 314 MHz.
We, however, didn’t play with voltage settings or any other fancy adjustments, so you may achieve a better overclocking than we did with more time and patience – on this motherboard and also on the other motherboards we reviewed.