MSI P55 GD85 Review
Test Setup and Overclocking
Here at OC3D we like to use a standard test setup wherever possible so that our results are comparable across reviews.
CPU : Intel i7 870 @ 2.93GHz
GPU : ASUS GTX275
RAM : G.Skill Trident 2000MHz CL9 4GB
PSU : Cougar 1000CM
HDD : Samsung Spinpoint 1TB
Motherboard : MSI P55-GD85
OS : Windows 7 64
Cooling : Thermalright MUX-120 with Arctic Cooling MX-3
The main feature of the MSI P55-GD85 is the super-fast, one touch overclocking of the OC Genie. Anyone who has followed OC3D for a while knows how we feel about manufacturer based overclocking. Usually they provide far too many volts, and a very cautious overclock, to advertise their stability.
MSIs solution is bordering on genius. Press the OC Genie button. Turn the PC on. Wait a second. Overclocked. And not any old overclock either, no Sir. As you can see we have gone from the 2.93GHz that our i7 870 defaults to, up to a whopping 3.978GHz. A 1GHz overclock, perfectly stable, and with only a minimal increase to the voltages. From a single button press.
Outstanding doesn't begin to cover it. It is far and away the best automatic overclocking solution we've ever seen. Even better is the fact that the settings in the BIOS are retained, as you can see from the BIOS shot on the right. With MSI marketing this as an entry-level overclocking board the ability for those of you new to the world of free performance can happily see the various settings that have been changed to obtain this stable performance increase.
It's akin to having an expert overclocker alongside you. Brilliant.
Sadly, not all is well in the world of overclocking the MSI GD85. Turning off the OC Genie and going back to the good old manual overclocking saw barely any improvement at all. We managed to crack the 4GHz barrier, which is absolutely nothing to be sniffed at. However we know this chip will happily achieve 4.4GHz, and so whilst the automatic overclocking is spectacular, the manual overclocking isn't, and this isn't helped by a BIOS that isn't the clearest we've ever seen.
However, again the price-point and target market have to be taken into consideration. A stable 4GHz overclock whether achieved manually or automatically is very good indeed. It's just less than we've seen on other, far pricier, motherboards.