Four 975X Motherboards For Core 2 Duo


After many months, MSI has realized that a smart recovery setting for failed overclocking attempts might make sense. If your overclocking ambitions were too great, you may now restart the system using the default BIOS settings, but without erasing the settings that you've made thus far.

We could set all types of DDR2 memory between DDR2-400 and DDR2-1066. When it comes to voltage alteration options, we found that you can only influence processor and memory voltage, but for most overclocking scenarios this is enough. However, we couldn't boot the motherboard at DDR2-1066 memory speed at all.

Less experienced overclockers will be happy to use MSI's Dual Core Cell feature, which helps to achieve great overclocking results automatically.

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BIOS voltage settings (for overcloking)
FSB frequency266 - 550 (BIOS settings)
CPU1.21 - 1.58 V
Memory1.80 - 2.40 V
Possible Memory Configration
FSB1066 (266 MHz)1:XX

Our Take

One issue is that there is a CMOS clear button at the edge of the board, which can be accidentally mistaken for the power-on button. The Live Update 3 utility helps to automatically flash the motherboard BIOS, but it also includes house advertising by displaying product information on other MSI products. We found this a bit disturbing.

The Northbridge and voltage regulators carry large heat sinks. Although this might not seem enough, we did not experience any heat-related issues during testing. Unfortunately, only six out of eight USB 2.0 ports can be used, because the slot module only adds two ports to the four ports in the back panel.

Special Features

Live Monitor 3 is active in the background and searches for new BIOS versions, drivers or tools on MSI's support servers. All found items are summarized in a list, and you can even install older software versions should you encounter issues with the latest versions. One click is enough to initiate the update process.

The USB slot bracket carries four LEDs, which resemble a debug solution to display 16 different system status modes. This helps to isolate all sorts of hardware issues.

MSI replaced the CMOS reset jumper with a small red button, which is invaluable for overclockers. We also found helpful MSI's processor installation tool, that helps to install the CPU without risking damage to the connector pins.

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Softwaremanuals for boarbDrivers & Tools CD
Hardware1x IO panel shield4x SATA2x SATA power cable (1 devices)1x CPU Holder1x slot panel with 2x firewire (saml and big)1x slot panel with 2x USB and 1x DR. LEDs