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Manual Overclocking And Control Center

Man Vs. Machine: Four Automatic Overclocking Techs, Compared

We used the overclock settings from our MSI firmware screenshots to set the Z68A-GD80 to 4.67 GHz at 1.35 V. The actual firmware settings to reach this full-load target voltage were “Low VDroop” and 1.355 V CPU core.

A moderate 2150 MT/s maximum stable DRAM data rate for this motherboard prevented us from using our memory’s XMP profile at the increased 101.6 MHz BCLK. We instead left the memory at Auto, which uses its highest SPD settings.

MSI Control Center provides Windows access to many of the motherboard’s firmware settings, including CPU multiplier, core voltage, and base clock. Some of its settings don’t properly align with the firmware values, however. For instance, the 1.3600 V setting corresponds to the firmware’s 1.355 V setting and an actual output of 1.344-1.352 V.

Even at the same voltage, we weren't able to reach the same overclock from Control Center. A peak of 4.62 GHz was the best we could do, though most novices would probably consider that pretty darned good anyway.

Memory timings can also be adjusted without a reboot.

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