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Platforms: P45 and X58

The Hardware Behind Overdrive
By

MSI P45D3 Platinum

MSI is the official platform sponsor for the Overdrive Overclocking Championship and contributes two different platforms: a P45 motherboard for our trials, where we have the teams overclock Core 2 Duo processors, and X58 boards for the Core i7 overclocking in the grand finals. The P45 board is MSI’s P45D3 Platinum, which is a DDR3 model that comes with all top-notch features, such as electrolytic capacitors, the CircuPipe 2 heat pipe solution for component cooling, twin-phase north bridge and memory voltage supply, and a plethora of BIOS overclocking features. Although other vendors are often considered ahead of the curve when it comes to hardcore overclocking, MSI has improved a lot in recent years, and created a powerful basis that will serve our events well.

Check out our complete gallery of MSI P45D3 photos.

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MSI X58 Eclipse

The local winners of our US, France, Germany, Italy, and Taiwan events will meet in Paris, France, where they will compete on Core i7 systems using MSI’s X58 Eclipse motherboard. This is MSI’s Socket LGA1366 flagship; it uses a flexible six-phase voltage regulator for the CPU, and is ready for AMD CrossFire and Nvidia SLI using the latest drivers from both vendors.

The boards have six memory sockets for DDR3 DIMMs, fully utilizing the triple-channel capabilities of Core i7. Our overclockers may run the systems with three or with only two DIMMs—that’s up to them. All that matters is maximum performance.

While our first sample was equipped with traditional chipset coolers, the retail version utilizes a solid heat pipe that cools the north bridge and south bridge, and a second copper heat sink for the voltage regulators. That’s the version you’ll see in the picture to the right.

Check out our complete gallery of MSI Eclipse X58 photos.

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  • 3 Hide
    nerrawg , November 18, 2008 9:38 AM
    Just wondering - isn't there a bit of "luck of the draw" in this competition as it always is with overclocking due to the fact that you never know exactly how good the processor dies are compared to each other? I assume there won't be much difference due to the contest using the highest binned dies but could there still be some noticeable difference?
  • 1 Hide
    haley0918 , November 18, 2008 1:07 PM
    i'm still scratching my head on why there isn't any GPU supplied for this event? are they going to use their own GPU instead?
  • 1 Hide
    gwolfman , November 18, 2008 1:19 PM
    Quote:
    two PCI Express graphics auxiliary power plugs

    Only two PCIe power adapters on a 1000watt+ PSU? What's up with that.
  • 0 Hide
    gwolfman , November 18, 2008 1:21 PM
    gwolfmanOnly two PCIe power adapters on a 1000watt+ PSU? What's up with that.

    Or is that 2 in addition to whatever is hardwired onto the PSU?
  • 2 Hide
    gwolfman , November 18, 2008 1:25 PM
    Quote:
    adds BitLocker drive encryption (not available in other editions)
    Vista enterprise has it too.
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , November 18, 2008 10:49 PM
    gwolfmanVista enterprise has it too.

    True, but who goes and buys that for an overclocking competition or any other consumer-level use? When people recite all of the (stupid number of) Vista editions, how often do they think of Enterprise?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 19, 2008 1:17 AM
    the gpu was provided... it was a XFX GTX 280

    I was there at teh competition in the USA
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , November 20, 2008 12:18 AM
    Quote:
    After talking to Microsoft during our planning stage, we found that Microsoft does not want to promote Windows XP any more, despite continuing support for several years. Instead, we received copies of Windows Vista Ultimate.

    So? What's the point? You guys could have easily gotten OEM XP CDs @Newegg,etc. This is just marketing Vista on Microsoft's part.
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , November 20, 2008 7:38 AM
    I read about O.C. a lot over the years. But to get the FSB to 530 Mhz and 1:1 ratio, that must require blinding fast RAM for DDR2 & p45 OCing.
    I was lucky to get 400Mhz using DDR2-1066 HyperX.
    I must be missing some basic.
    Thanks.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2008 12:59 PM
    @enewmen

    I'v hit 533 FSB at 1:1 with mem on my P35 DS3L + Gskill 1066 + E8400(multi 7x)
    Had to let go because NB was too hot... but... i'v maded it. Oh... and is was damm stable (although, it was only 10 min ORTHOS)

    :) 
  • 0 Hide
    mdma35 , December 6, 2008 12:46 PM
    nice read