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MSI P4N Diamond Review - Page 4 of 10

BIOS SPECIFICATIONS

The AMI Bios has been tweaked by MSI to incorporate their Core Cell technology which allows adjustments affecting CPU and system memory.

CMOS Advanced Chipset Features
Click Image to Enlarge

The Advanced Chipset Features window allows one to change memory timings. Considerable control of the RAM timings is made available to the user.

PC Health NVIDIA RAID Setup
Click Images to Enlarge

The PC Health window provides vital information to all who can work their way around the BIOS, be it a system builder, tweaker, or pc user.

NVIDIA Raid Setup window is extensive supporting up to 4 SATA and 4 ATA 133 HDDs in Raid 0, 1, 0+1, 5, or JBOD (just a bunch of discs).

Note: Above you can see I have a single Raid 0 setup on SATA. I used 2 Hitachi SATA 80GB, 7200 RPM, HDDs for the Raid 0 array. Setup was a breeze and initial tests revealed performance to be very good. Unfortunately, time restraints do not permit an in-depth investigation of the performance of the RAID 0 setup within the review. However, should anything significant be discovered, the review will be updated accordingly.

Cell Menu System Clock Mode
Click Images to Enlarge

The Cell Menu is MSI's unique contribution to the Bios using the Core Cell technology. The following menus contain features for overclocking and voltage manipulation. CPU and memory clocks feature selections between 800/1066 and 1400MHz for CPU and 400/533 to 900MHz, respectively. These clocks have the option of being 'linked' to the CPU within a certain memory divider. The other two options are 'Manual' and 'Auto', I just set this to 'Auto' for the review.

MSI has included D.O.T. (dynamic overclocking technology) for overclocking the CPU. The selection ranges from a 'Private' at 1% to 'Colonel' at 7%.

The following windows are enabled via the use of the on-board Core Cell chip seen in previous photos. From here the user has an extensive array of options which can be accessible within Windows once the Core Cell software is installed.

SLI Mode Select Adjust CPU Voltage
Click Images to Enlarge

Still within the Cell Menu you have SLI Mode Select as 'Auto' or 'x16 x1'. I kept this setting on 'Auto'.

Next, you have the option of selecting your CPU voltage. The voltage ranges from default to 1.55V for CPU and 1.80V to 2.4V for DDR2. I just left both settings at 'Keep Current' since all the tests in this review were run at default, non-overclocked, settings.

VGA Performance Boost Adjust NB Voltage
Click Images to Enlarge

VGA Performance Boost is interesting as it gives you the option of setting your GPU clock higher than default. Auto overclock is available through D.O.T. technology for NV4x (6x00) range video cards for GPU and memory between set values of "Private" at 1% to "Commander" at 15%. I did not give this a try and left it disabled.

Last in the Cell Menu is the Adjust NB Voltage. When overclocking your CPU/Memory, slightly increasing the voltage can increase the stability of the overclock. Here the user has the selection of 1.45V to 1.7V for the chipset voltage. Remember that increasing the voltage of any component withtin the system also increases the heat output which may require improved cooling. This is especially true of this chipset as it already is running warm. Still, a very good option with a good range for use by the overclocker.

Next Page: Test System Setup

Last Updated on September 23, 2005


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