Another key target audience who might benefit from upgrading to the MSI H55M-ED55 are novice and intermediate PC builders who want to increase the performance of their LGA 1156 processors through light overclocking. This board can be overclocked in two ways — manually through the BIOS or by using the OC Genie one-click button located directly on the motherboard itself. We tested both ways to see if we could break the 4GHz barrier on our Intel i7-860 2.8GHz processor.
Overclocking Option 1 – Manually overclocking through BIOS
The first overclocking option we tested was by manually altering the CPU base clock and voltages through the BIOS. After flashing the BIOS to v1.4, we started to work on increasing the base clock by 5MHz increments. After reaching over 210MHz, we began to see instability issues so we had to decrease the BCLK to around 202MHz before we saw more stable functionality from the H55M-ED55. We were going to start increasing the CPU voltage, but we were already around 4.010GHz, which was our goal for the overclocking portion of this review. I’m sure with a little more tweaking and time we would have been able to reach 4.2-4.3GHz with ease.
Overclocking Option 2 – MSI OC Genie button on motherboard
The next overclocking option was focused on was by clicking on the OC Genie button. With the system fully powered down, we clicked the OC Genie button and then the power button. After the system booted, we noticed on the boot screen a warning that stated users should not make any adjustments to the CPU in the BIOS when OC Genie is enabled. This is good advice because OC Genie is dynamically altering the CPU’s base clock frequency, CPU speed, and memory timings to get the most stable overclock it can. When we finally booted into Windows 7, I checked CPU-Z to see what speeds we were running at. The highest speed OC Genie accomplished on our i7-860 was 3.34GHz. This is a pretty weak overclock for experienced overclockers, but for regular users it is a good balance between adding performance and keeping the CPU in optimum conditions to function for longer periods of time.
See below for all of our BIOS settings and Cinebench screenshots detailing how we successfully overclocking the H55M-ED55 manually through the BIOS and by using the OC Genie technology.
This screenshot was taken when we achieved a 4.010GHz overclock by manually adjusting the CPU settings in the BIOS.
This screenshot was taken when we achieved a 3.393GHz overclock just by using the one-click OCGenie button on the H55M-ED55 motherboard.
|CPU Speed||BCLK||CPU Multiplier||DMI||DRAM Frequency||DRAM Timings||CPU Voltage||Temp (Idle)||Temp (Load)|
|3609MHz||1202 MHz||7-7-7-20 1T||1.304v||35c, 35c, 37c, 37c
||68c, 72, 67c, 74c|