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Building with the MSI 975X Platinum v2.0. Thoughts?

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October 23, 2006 1:47:46 PM

I’m hoping someone can tell me if I’ve made any mistakes with the parts I’ve selected for a new system I’m building. Here are the specs:

Processor: E6400
Motherboard: MSI 975X Platinum
RAM: Corsair TWIN2X1024A-6400 (1 gig, 1.9v, 5-5-5-15)
Video Card: XFX PVT73GUGD3 7600GT PCI-E
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0
Power Supply: Apex SL-8600EPS 600W
DVD Burner: Samsung SH-S182D 18X
DVD ROM: Sony DDU1615/B2s
Case: Apevia (Aspire) X-plorer ATXB8KLW-BK

I’ve already ordered everything since I researched almost every part but now I’m finding a lot of info saying that the MSI 975X isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I read the review on Tomshardware where they gave it the Editors Choice Award, which made up my mind to order it, but now I’m having my doubts. Does anyone foresee any issues I may have using this motherboard? Will I be happier with something else? (Remembering that I’d have to pay shipping to send it back. Plus I hate to wait.)

I’d appreciate any thoughts.
October 23, 2006 2:23:18 PM

The only problem I have with your setup is the Apex PSU. It's not really a namebrand with a known track record. But since you already bought it...

The 975X Platinum mobo has two minor issues:

1. The included motherboard utility software is crap. Don't bother installing them.
2. The BIOS is a bit querky. My DDR2 667 RAM shows up as DDR2 533. I just manually set the speed to 333MHz (x2 = 667), and use a 1:1 memory divider.

Other info:

-To measure your CPU temperature, Google a program called Core Temp.

-If for some reason Speedstep is not working properly, then Google a program called RMClock. Visiting the official MSI forum, there seems to be only one other person who is having problems with Speedstep.
October 23, 2006 2:42:35 PM

Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled with the PSU selection (within my price range) on Newegg. The Apex had good reviews though so I decided to get it.

Also, I’ll be running DDR2 800 so I suppose that it will most likely show up as 667, correct?

I feel dumb asking this but what’s Speedstep?

Thanks for your help.
Related resources
October 23, 2006 3:41:11 PM

Another thought, I know most of these newer C2D boards are pretty picky about DDR2 voltages. I don't think I've seen anything saying that the MSI 975X has had problems but I would like to be sure. The DDR2 I ordered runs at 1.9v. Will that be an issue with this board?
October 23, 2006 5:01:19 PM

Speedstep is a power management technique Intel initially introduced on their mobile CPUs some years ago, it has since made it's way to desktop CPUs. Speedstep dymanically adjusts the clock multiplier to change CPU speed depending on how heavily the CPU is being stressed. When surfing the Net or simply typing at letter there is very little demand placed on the CPU so it will switch to the lowest clock mulitplier to save power. When you do something like play a game, then the clock mulitplier throttles up to full speed. Thus saving electricity.

The E6400 has a clock mulitplier of 8. Speedstep can lower it to 6. Therefore, a non-overclocked E6400 speed will range from 1.6GHz (266.67MHz x 6) to 2.13GHz (266.67MHz x 8 ). Since you are going to be overclocking with DDR2 800 RAM (PC 6400), the minimum speed will be 2.4GHz (400MHz x 6) and the maximum speed will be 3.2GHz (400MHz x 8 ).

AMD has a similar technology called PowerNow! for their moblile CPUs and Cool 'n Quiet (CnQ) for desktop CPUs.

1.9v RAM is fine, my Corsair XMS RAM is running on that voltage.
October 23, 2006 5:08:56 PM

Ok, now I get it.

Thank you!
October 23, 2006 5:40:29 PM

I have a similar set up (except I went with an ATI gfx card and Ultra power supply) built last weekend and it is stable. I've had no problems with it except for the temp monitoring utility, which is garbage, and I uninstalled immediately. Another poster mentioned Core Temp and I've been using that.

I've slowly been overclocking it, testing for stability as I go, and I haven't had a problem with it. If you're going to do overclocking you should also Google for CPU-Z.
October 23, 2006 6:05:48 PM

lol, just FYI when you type an 8 plus a ) it shows up like this 8) you can remedy that by putting in a space, like this 8 )
haha, j/k

To OP: I am guessing you read the reviews on newegg... right? Take those with a grain of salt . . . the MSI is a good board, just make sure you update the BIOS
October 23, 2006 6:06:40 PM

Im sorry to say this it cant fit in my mind why they gave that award to such incomplete motherboard.
Maybe jaguarskx can correct me on this but that motherboard doesnt allow vMCH, vFSB, and vICH voltage changes. Also, like any other 975X, ill have trouble passing 400Mhz FSB.
The Gigabyte DS3 or Asus P5B dlx have proven to reach 500Mhz FSB and allow changes on those voltages.

Any 667 with 4-4-4-12 timings will reach DDR2 800 CL5. Same some bucks and dont pick Corsair either.

I wouldnt trust Apex for my PSU needs. But I do trust OCZ, Antec NeoHE series and XClio GreatPower ones.
October 23, 2006 7:17:24 PM

Quote:
Im sorry to say this it cant fit in my mind why they gave that award to such incomplete motherboard.
Maybe jaguarskx can correct me on this but that motherboard doesnt allow vMCH, vFSB, and vICH voltage changes. Also, like any other 975X, ill have trouble passing 400Mhz FSB.
The Gigabyte DS3 or Asus P5B dlx have proven to reach 500Mhz FSB and allow changes on those voltages.

Well, I guess I'm going to have to live with the MSI problems for a bit. Oh well.

Quote:
Any 667 with 4-4-4-12 timings will reach DDR2 800 CL5. Same some bucks and dont pick Corsair either.

Actually, the OCZ and G.Skill PC2 6400 were right in the same price range as Corsair on Newegg.

Quote:
I wouldnt trust Apex for my PSU needs. But I do trust OCZ, Antec NeoHE series and XClio GreatPower ones.

Is it that Apex is just an unproven brand or is it considered a bad brand? It seemed ok to me. It is Nvidia SLI Certified, 2.2, and didn't have a single bad review. For $80 it seemed like a good deal.
October 23, 2006 7:56:05 PM

I hate to ruin new ppl's builds so since youve already ordered everything all I can say is GL :D 
Youll hit at least 3Ghz with that setup and proper cooling. 8)
October 23, 2006 8:29:31 PM

Quote:
I hate to ruin new ppl's builds so since youve already ordered everything all I can say is GL :D 
Youll hit at least 3Ghz with that setup and proper cooling. 8)


Being vague is probably more stress to me than telling me what to watch for. Feel free to hit me with it so I can prepare myself.
October 23, 2006 9:51:38 PM

Quote:
lol, just FYI when you type an 8 plus a ) it shows up like this 8) you can remedy that by putting in a space, like this 8 )
haha, j/k


Thanx, I fixed it.
October 24, 2006 4:04:22 AM

Youre a rare breed, but the kind I like.
I would settle and call it a day at 400Mhz FSB. I dont think the MSI will go any futher and in case it does your vDIMM will need to be set at 2.1~2.2v to achieve ~430Mhz with luck. Keep those timings unless youre running stock, in such case it might need 2.0v to reach 4-4-4-12.
Given your PSU I would keep a close watch on the rails (theres software for this) after OCing, just for a day or so, after that itll be stable.

You can follow wusys guide but be careful, 350Mhz might be a more suitable goal for you, given that youll be using the stock cooling and since you cant change alot of voltages youll might need to raise vCORE a bit more than with other mobos.
October 24, 2006 6:48:53 AM

Quote:
Im sorry to say this it cant fit in my mind why they gave that award to such incomplete motherboard.
Maybe jaguarskx can correct me on this but that motherboard doesnt allow vMCH, vFSB, and vICH voltage changes.


You can only adjust CPU and RAM voltages.
October 24, 2006 8:02:34 AM

Yes, as the review specified. thanks
October 24, 2006 2:13:08 PM

Thanks rwaritsdario!

I'll have the system up tonight. I guess we'll see what the great computer gods have bestowed upon me.
October 25, 2006 4:35:20 PM

Update:

I put my system together last night and things are going pretty well. Using CoreTemp I'm showing an idle temp of 36C, which I would like to bring down a bit but I guess it isn't horrible. I haven't had a chance to do a load test yet.

My DDR2 800 showed up as 677 so I upped the voltage from 1.8 to 1.9 (The recommended voltage) and upped the memory divider until it showed up as 800.

After that I had a problem whenever I rebooted they system. I would have to hit reset a couple of times to get it to post. Usually it would post after the first reset but once I had to reset it multiple times and then it did this weird power cycling thing (turned on and off a couple of times on its own). It then gave me a message saying that my OCing had caused a problem and that it had returned to stock settings but when I checked the BIOS everything was the same as before. The DDR2 was still showing up as 800.

Anyway, after that happend I rebooted 3-4 times and never had a problem (knock on wood) so I guess it worked itself out.

Thanks for the help everyone!
October 25, 2006 4:57:59 PM

Quote:

After that I had a problem whenever I rebooted they system. I would have to hit reset a couple of times to get it to post. Usually it would post after the first reset but once I had to reset it multiple times and then it did this weird power cycling thing (turned on and off a couple of times on its own). It then gave me a message saying that my OCing had caused a problem and that it had returned to stock settings but when I checked the BIOS everything was the same as before. The DDR2 was still showing up as 800.



Kinda weird. You have the memory divider set to 1:1, right?
October 25, 2006 5:56:46 PM

I have the same MB and RAM. I had to update the BIOS to 7.26 (BETA). After that the reboot issues went away and I was able to get my 6300 up to 3.2 fine (53c under load).

Keep me updated, and I will do the same.

Mike
October 25, 2006 6:00:45 PM

Quote:
Kinda weird. You have the memory divider set to 1:1, right?

No, the only way I could get it to go up to 800 was to change the divider. I'm not at home right now so I'm not sure what I set it to, but I'm guessing it's something like 1:1.50 or 1:1.75.

I'm new to some of this OCing stuff so there is a very good chance I'm doing something wrong.
October 25, 2006 6:05:24 PM

Quote:
I have the same MB and RAM. I had to update the BIOS to 7.26 (BETA). After that the reboot issues went away and I was able to get my 6300 up to 3.2 fine (53c under load).

Keep me updated, and I will do the same.

Mike


Will do. I added you to my buddy list.
October 25, 2006 6:06:22 PM

Run it at 1:1 youll get no performance increase or better OCing any other way.
October 25, 2006 6:09:13 PM

Ok, but how do I get it to recognize/run it as 800? BIOS update?
October 25, 2006 6:13:29 PM

It wont run at DDR800 at 1:1 unless youre running 400Mhz FSB.
October 25, 2006 6:17:59 PM

Ok, now I'm getting the picture. I need to up my FSB. Is there anything else I need to do when I do that? (Change voltages, etc)

Sorry to ask all of these questions. If there is a place on the forums I can look to do this stuff then I'll just do that so I don't have to waste your time. Is there a particular thread or article I should read? (I haven't had a chance to look through all the sticky threads yet.)
October 25, 2006 6:20:21 PM

You need to update to 7.26 first or any change to 800 will cause the reboot issue. Also, you need to chage the ratio to 1:1.5 for it to run at 800. They also force the timings down to 5-5-6-12.
October 25, 2006 6:28:42 PM

Quote:
You need to update to 7.26 first or any change to 800 will cause the reboot issue. Also, you need to chage the ratio to 1:1.5 for it to run at 800. They also force the timings down to 5-5-6-12.


Actually that's what I did but rwaritsdario just said that changing the ratio to anything other than 1:1 won't work correctly. He said that you need to up the FSB to 400 to get it to run at 800.

Did you manually change the timings back to 5-5-5-15?
October 25, 2006 6:36:50 PM

rwaritsdario is right here is the formula, FSB * multiplier * 2 (ddr) so

400 * 1 *2 = 800
October 25, 2006 6:49:03 PM

Quote:
Ok, now I'm getting the picture. I need to up my FSB. Is there anything else I need to do when I do that? (Change voltages, etc)



Not sure of the BIOS update since I'm only running DDR2 667 RAM, but all you need to do is:

1. Set the FSB to 400
2. Keep RAM voltage at 1.9v
3. Set memory ratio to 1:1

If you are running into stability issues you may need to increase the Core voltage. Also if you measure any temperature about 60C under load then you should get an aftermarket heatsink fan if you don't already have one.
October 25, 2006 6:49:23 PM

The only way to by-pass the BIOS and set the mem back is memset 3.0.

Goodluck
October 25, 2006 7:09:08 PM

Quote:
Not sure of the BIOS update since I'm only running DDR2 667 RAM, but all you need to do is:

1. Set the FSB to 400
2. Keep RAM voltage at 1.9v
3. Set memory ratio to 1:1

If you are running into stability issues you may need to increase the Core voltage. Also if you measure any temperature about 60C under load then you should get an aftermarket heatsink fan if you don't already have one.


Ok, I'll try that as soon as I get home. Thanks again!
October 25, 2006 8:43:22 PM

Quote:
rwaritsdario just said that changing the ratio to anything other than 1:1 won't work correctly.

No I didnt. I said thre would be no performance boost and OCing any futher would be harder since yould be pushing your modules above their limits.
Set vDIMM to 2.1v~2.2v if youll go over 400Mhz FSB at 1:1 ratio. YOu might be able to hit 420Mhz on those modules.
October 25, 2006 9:00:43 PM

Sorry, didn't mean to misquote you.

I'll let you know what happens after I give it a try.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2006 9:11:54 PM

If you're case doesnt have excellent airflow in the NB area of the motherboard you might need to think about active cooling of the NB. And if you get stuck around 375-380FSB you can add a little voltage to vMCH. In the BIOS look for "PCI Express Voltage" - that's what will get you the vMCH increase.
October 25, 2006 9:21:30 PM

The MSI 975X Platinum doesnt allow such changes. Were working with vDIMM and vCORE only here.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2006 9:40:42 PM

Quote:
I have the same MB and RAM. I had to update the BIOS to 7.26 (BETA). After that the reboot issues went away and I was able to get my 6300 up to 3.2 fine (53c under load).
Excellent result. What case and cooling are you using? Any extra NB cooling?
October 25, 2006 9:45:27 PM

Lian-Li B20A

Zalman 9500

Also changed the front intake fan to 110 CFM to cool the HD/NB.

My wife works at Intel, so it is an ES.


PDX_Mike = Portland Mike
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2006 9:47:57 PM

Quote:

My wife works at Intel, so it is an ES.
PDX_Mike = Portland Mike
Ahhhhhh Ha! :idea:
Any other tweaks needed to hit 450 FSB?
October 25, 2006 9:53:33 PM

Not really for this chip..it worked straight away. Maxed the Vcore and put mem at 2.4 everything else was BIOS related.
October 25, 2006 10:03:18 PM

Ok, here is what I've done so far:

CPU FSB = 350 Mhz
Voltage = CPU Default
Ratio = 1:1
Mem Voltage = 1.9v

DDR2 is showing as 533.

While all of this has upped my CPU Mhz it hasn't upped my DDR2 at all. Ever since I changed the ratio to 1:1 it has stayed at 533.

What am I doing wrong?
October 25, 2006 10:03:49 PM

I stand corrected. Great news, set it to 1.55v then!
October 25, 2006 10:07:37 PM

No, if you fsb is 350 and the memory ratio is 1:1 then your mem is running at 700 = (350 * 1 * 2)


download cpu-z it will show you what it is running at. The bios does not take the fsb into consideration. It always assumes 266.
October 25, 2006 10:14:12 PM

Quote:
No, if you fsb is 350 and the memory ratio is 1:1 then your mem is running at 700 = (350 * 1 * 2)


download cpu-z it will show you what it is running at. The bios does not take the fsb into consideration. It always assumes 266.

Yeah, I'm running a little hot so I didn't want to go for the full 400. I just meant that my mem should be above 533.

I'll try using cpu-z.

Quote:
I stand corrected. Great news, set it to 1.55v then!

I assume you're talking about the vPCIe?
October 26, 2006 12:20:51 AM

Ok, here is what I’ve done so far:

CPU = 2.8
FSB = 350
Ratio = 1:1
DDR2 800 = 1.9v (Running @ 700)
Timing = 5-5-5-15

Testing

Idle Temp
NB = 40C
CPU = 38C

Load Temps using Orthos Beta (Ran for 15 min. 0 errors 0 warnings)
NB = 48C
CPU = 64C

Note: NB temp taken using external temp gauge attached to the heat-sink. CPU temps taken using CoreTemp.

These temps seem high to me. Are they dangerously high or just ‘not good’? I’ve already ordered another case fan but I guess I need a better CPU cooler as well.

Opinions?
October 26, 2006 1:07:42 AM

Raise to 1.4v and read this for your temps.
!