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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Monday, 06 May 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard
Closer Look: Z77A-G45 GAMING
Z77A-G45 GAMING Detailed Features
MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING UEFI
MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Software
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Benchmarks
Z77A-G45 GAMING Power Consumption
Z77A-G45 GAMING Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard Overclocking

MSI embed "OC Genie" in the EUFI and also in their Control Center desktop utility. After it is enabled a quick reboot is required and then it will go to work overclocking your CPU. With my Intel Core i7-2600K CPU, OC Genie raised the CPU multiplier from 34 to 42, and automatically found and applied the XMP profile in my Corsair memory, raising the memory frequency from 1333MHz to the XMP profile's 1600MHz.

I won't pretend to know how OC Genie reaches that particular overclock, but it does so very quickly and provides a substantial boost. You get a stable overclock, but you will get better results with the same CPU if you take some time to manually overclock it yourself. Slowly increase clock speed and voltage as well as the CPU multiplier until the system is unstable, then scale it down and start over. Sure it will take some time, but if you really want to squeeze the most performance out of your hardware then this process is necessary.

OC Genie is great for set and forget overclocking but it seems such a shame that control is out of your hands. The MSI Control Center desktop utility and the Command Center app for Android and iOS devices allow you to tweak these settings in real time while your system is running. Modern CPU's and motherboards have built in fail safe and fall back settings so you won't screw your hardware if you take it slowly. There's really no reason not to give it a go, unless you are an eco warrior of course.

MSI_Z77A-G45_Gaming_Motherboard_Manual_Overclock.jpg

Tweaking the values myself, I was able to achieve stable operation under AIDA64's "System Stability Test" with a maximum CPU multiplier of 45, and a CPU core voltage of 1.3V. This resulted in a significant increase in benchmark scores over stock settings, and I was able to easily program my hand-tuned values within Windows into MSI's Control Center utility.

I'll give my final thoughts and conclusion on this motherboard in the next section.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboardwill 2013-06-23 05:09
"Take from this what you will, but the results are clear cut enough to convince me that that it is worthwhile enabling the power saving settings available on the MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING motherboard. In the 60's and 70's there was a big ecology movement after oil prices had risen sharply and we collectively realised that we could not sustain our then current level of consumer lifestyles. In the ensuing years the economy changed for the better and consumption ramped up sharply. We now find ourselves consuming more than ever and we once again need to realise that natural resources can't possibly sustain us forever. We need to demand more energy efficient products. We need to demand better built and longer lasting hardware. But most of all, we need self control and a more conscious approach towards our consumer habits"

What a fantastic quote, very unusual for a MB review. Bravo
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# RE: RE: MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING MotherboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2013-06-23 11:07
Thanks for the kind words Will. :)
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# Knowing is half the battle...WhyNotV2 2013-06-24 02:47
"I didn't spot it right away but a closer inspection of the VRM/phase heatsinks reveals that they are shaped like the head of a dragon. This is a nice touch but it will be inevitably lost in an enclosed system with a large CPU cooler much like my own."

This may be true, but YOU know they are there :)
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