First you'll want to flash your UEFI to a recent one.
To flash it, download the latest UEFI version and use this: http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=108079.0
This tool is safer than the UEFI M-Flash so I recommend this to avoid failed flashes and bricked boards.
At the time of writing (April 1, 2011), there are 2 choices:
Official 1.9 Version
or the newest beta 1.10b5
. I can't promise that the beta will work for you (I lose keyboard support in the UEFI with 1.10 beta versions), but it might have a fix for a problem you have.
DISCLAIMER: UEFI flashing can lead to bricking of your board. There's a 1/100000 chance that it'll fail and that the motherboard will become useless.
How to overclock manually
Before overclocking, you need the right programs:
- For checking clock speeds and vcore
- For temperatures
- For stressing
CPU Base Frequency is the BCLK / FSB on these CPU's. Almost all frequencies are tied to this and it must not be changed
. Doing so can lead to fried HDD's, SSD's and other bad stuff.
CPU Ratio is the multiplier used for overclocking. FSB / BCLK overclocking isn't possible since nearly all frequencies have been united in one.
”Adjust CPU Ratio in Windows”:
You'll want to disable this feature if overclocking in the UEFI as it'll override you UEFI overclock.
You'll want to enable this feature if overclocking in Windows as it's a requirement for Windows based OC'ing.
Internal PLL Overvoltage has to be disabled.
Internal PLL Overvoltage has to be enabled for 4.8 GHz overclocks and up. With PLL Overvoltage disabled, you'll be able to use up to and including 4.7 GHz.
I've heard that the limit may vary, so some of you may be able to hit higher OC's without ennabling this setting.
Set DRAM Frequency so the RAM runs at it's rated speed.
Set DRAM timing to linked if you want to enter the timings manually. I believe it can be left on auto, but I'd do it manually.
Spread Spectrum should be disabled for stability.
VDroop Control is supposed to be LLC (a function that eliminates VDroop, allowing better OC's), but it doesn't seem to affect anything. Leave on high. High is supposed to be high VDroop, meaning low/no LLC and low VDroop is supposed to be high/max LLC. Low VDroop Control will give better overclocking, but shorter CPU life when the functions work.
CPU Core Voltage is the voltage you want to change for CPU OC'ing. 1.3V should be more than enough for a 4.5 GHz OC. Intel has a max VID of 1.52V, but that doesn't really help us much since max VID =/= max safe voltage. I'd personally stay under 1.45V and that should be enough for OC's in the 4.8 – 4.9 GHz range.
CPUIO is for RAM overclocking. Keep at 1.05V. Try to stay below 1.08V, but if necessary (RAM instabillity at high frequencies), bump it to 1.15V or something. This setting is irrelevant for CPU OC'ing.
DRAM voltage is what it says, set this to what your RAM is rated for. Intel doesn't recommend voltages over 1.575V, but according to Bit-tech's guide to OC'ing, it's okay up to 1.65V. I'll take the middle ground and say that it's alright up to 1.6V and that 1.6 to 1.65V is largely reserved for benchmark runs. This setting is irrelevant for CPU OC'ing.
System Agent should stay @ 0.925V. Don't go over 0.975V. This setting is irrelevant for CPU OC'ing.
Some sources say that CPU PLL can help stability and some say that it can't. Should be 1.71V < CPU PLL < 1.89V. Some people have actually seen increased stability with lower voltages, so if you're right on the edge of stability, try first lowering and then increasing this voltage.
For D2 stepping CPU's, most will only need to enable Internal PLL Overvoltage. On D1 chips, it can be helpful to use higher PLL voltage because they don't support Internal PLL Overvoltage.
DDR3 VREF and PCH voltages should be left on auto according to Bit-tech. If you decide to tweak the PCH voltage, keep it conservative, the heatsinks aren't built for huge overvoltages. I believe these are irrelevant for CPU OC'ing.
As a final note, I'd like to mention that MSI boards overcompensate the vcore grossly when under load. Expect your load vcore to be 0.02 to 0.04V higher than you set it in BIOS.
If anyone finds a fix for this then I'll be very grateful.
Open CPU-Z to keep an eye on clock speeds and vcore. You want the clock speed to stay at the OC'ed speed, if it decreases while stressing, it's likely that the CPU is overheating.
Open RealTemp (or other similar temp monitoring program) to keep an eye on temps. You'll want to stay under 75C, but I'd say 80C is allowed for a Prime run. It'll most likely never get as hot during gaming.
Open Prime95 and choose Blend (to activate the Blend testing program). Then choose Custom and set "Memory in use" to your amount of RAM minus 1 GB, so if you have 4 GB RAM, you'll want to set it to 3000 MB.
Some people will tell you to run it for 24 hours for maximum stability, but if you want my advice, just run it for an hour and then play games and use the internet for some time. No crashing means you're stable.