|MSI A75MA-G55 AMD FM1 Llano Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Sunday, 11 September 2011|
Page 16 of 17
Overclocking the Lynx platform is quite a bit more difficult than it was on the previous generation of AMD platforms. The Athlon-II and Phenom-II series of CPUs were excellent overclockers, and it was easy to do. With Black Edition Processors, the CPU multiplier was unlocked and you could crank it up as high as it would go and still boot. This is the best way to overclock the CPU alone, as increasing the reference clock ends up overclocking the RAM and GPU (if one is onboard) as well. On the A-Series APUs, however, the reference clock is the only way to overclock. Overclocking enthusiasts were dismayed when the Sandy Bridge CPUs were locked down tight on the H67 boards and severely limited on the P67 boards. Luckily, the AMD A-Series APUs are not limited to Turbo overclocking only, but, as I said, the only way to overclock them is through increasing the reference clock. The CPU and GPU are completely locked.
I must admit that overclocking the MSI A75MA-G55 motherboard was a little more difficult to do manually than it was on the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that the A75MA-G55 uses a BIOS instead of a much more friendly uEFI. Still, the manual overclocking wasn't that difficult. Unfortunately, the AUTO settings for voltage didn't increase automatically as I pushed up the reference clock like they did on the ASUS motherboard, so I had to manually adjust CPU and RAM voltages in addition to the reference clock. Just like with the ASUS motherboard, I had to tune down the RAM settings on the A75MA-G55 motherboard in order to get a decent overclock. Since I can only adjust the reference clock, it affects everything, including the memory bus. The integrated GPU didn't have any problems adjusting to the overclock. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there was actually more headroom in the GPU for higher overclocking. Unfortunately, I couldn't overclock it separately from the CPU due to the reference clock only restrictions.
Unsurprisingly, I reached the exact same overclock with the MSI A75MA-G55 motherboard as I did with the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard, 130MHz on the reference clock.
The MSI A75MA-G55 runs very cool. That being said, it ran a couple of degrees hotter than the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard. These temperatures are still extremely cool.
The Power Consumption on the MSI A75MA-G55 beat the already impressive ASUS F1A75-M Pro by at least a few watts in every measurement except the Netflix stream, where it pulled 1W more power. Still the power consumption was higher than that of the Intel H67 platform, even with the i5-2500K processor.