BIOS Features

The MSI Eclipse Plus motherboard uses American Megatrends, Inc. BIOS Version 2.61. This is the latest non-beta version available on MSI’s website.

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This is the main menu screen when you boot into the BIOS. There are three special sections on the Cell Menu (for overclockers), Green Power (power saving information), and M-Flash (create user profiles) that should be interesting to consumers.

 

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Under Standard CMOS Features, the usual information is available including date, time, SATA devices, eSATA devices, and general system information.

 

 

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Here’s a quick shot of the system information under the Standard CMOS menu option.

 

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The Advanced BIOS Features menu gives users options for configuring BIOS flash protection, enabling/disabling the full screen logo, quick booting, and also the boot sequence and trusted computing.

 

 

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The CPU Feature sub-menu screen has options for enabling hyper-threading, execute bit support, setting limit CPUID to 3, C1E support, and overspeed protection. For overclockers, we recommend disabling overspeed protection. 

 

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The usual options are available under Integrated Peripherals, including USB, LAN, Firewire, eSATA, and RAID.

 

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There aren’t alot of options available for power management because some of them have been moved under the GreenPower menu. Users can configure the Advanced Configuration and Power Management interface function, ACPI standby state, restore on AC power loss, and set up wake up events.

 

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The Hardware Monitor menu hosts critical inforamation on CPU temps, system temps, fan speeds, CPU core voltage, and other power-related information.

 

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Under the GreenPower menu, their are several items that can be configured like CPU, QPI, IOH, and DDR phase controls. The motherboard’s various system LEDs on board can also be enabled or disabled in this menu. The GreenPower Genie hardware adapter provides the ICore, I12V, Pout, and Effeciency information when installed between the power supply and motherboard.

 

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Here’s where the bread and butter of the BIOS is located – the Cell menu. Don’t ask me why the named it “Cell” instead of Overclocking, but this is where all the major components can be manipulated including the CPU, QPI, and RAM.

 

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The Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology can be set to disabled, enabled, or auto to set the performance level of the CPU whether the computer is running on a battery or AC power.

 

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The Intel C-STATE option is a power management state that reduces the power to the CPU during idle.

 

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The base clock can be manually configured in 1MHz increments when Intel C-STATE is disabled. users can also adjust the CPU ratios if their processor supports it. Our i7-920 usually runs at 133×20, but with Intel Turbo Boost enabled, we get an extra clock cycle added on for maximum performance.

 

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QPI link speeds can be set to auto or full speed and QPI frequencies are available between 4.8GT, 5.866GT, and 6.4GT.

 

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Under the Memory-Z sub-menu, users can browse all of their DRAM’s specific settings. This is pretty handy to see the exact timings of your memory without having to open a program like CPU-Z when you boost your system.

 

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The Advanced DRAM configuration sub-menu is where users can manuall adjust their memory timings.

 

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When the Advanced Memory Setting option is set to manual, the BIOS opens up all the micro tweaks that can be made to the memory timings. This is great for the most elite overclockers looking to get every advantage they can to pull every megahertz out of their RAM.

 

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The ClockGen Tuner controls CPu amplitude, PCI Express amplitude, CPU CLK skew, adn IOH CLK skew. Adjusting these settings can definitely help the CPU reach higher overclocks.

 

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The CPU, QPI, CPU PLL, and DRAM voltages can all be individually configurated to meet the consumer’s needs. The Eclipse Plus is targeted at extreme overclockers and enthusiasts so having these features readily available is critical to meet the requirements of these specific target audiences.

 

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CPU voltage options can be manipulated in .01 volt increments up to .14 volts.

 

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QPI voltages can be configurated to run as low as .88 volts all the way up to 1.83 volts. The default QPI voltage setting is 1.2 volts.

 

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DRAM voltages usually depend on what the manufacturer set them at, but users can easily change these settings in the DRAM voltage sub-menu. This motherboard can handle DRAM voltages up to 2.77 volts, which is more than adequate for even the most hardcore enthusiasts looking to pull the most out performance of their hardware.

 

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Even the NF200 chip can be manipulated to run between .4 volts and 1.83 volts.

 

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Sometimes making tweaks to the BIOS can be tedious and difficult, but now overclockers can save their OC settings under User Settings to keep stable overclocking settings while being able to try out new settings under a different user profile.

 

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The M-Flash memory will update or load a new BIOS from a USB drive. The M-Flash function allows users to flash the BIOS from a USB drive or other storage devices or allows the system to boot from the BIOS file inside the USB drive.

This full-featured BIOS gives power users every incremental option imaginable for overclocking with this motherboard. Whether its the CPU, QPI, NF200, DRAM, or even general system power, the Eclipse Plus offers all of these features right in the BIOS and makes it pretty easy for users to save their settings in different user profiles. Configurating and saving overclocking settings is very simple and intuitive and should be considered a critical feature for those extreme overclockers in need of a feature-rich board with highly-configurable hardware.

 

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