Tuning With MSI Command Center
Users who prefer not to use the A88X-G45 Gaming’s adequate firmware might instead choose MSI Command Center for tweaking within Windows. It opens to a CPU overclocking menu with full multiplier and reference clock control.
Fan curve adjustment is also found under Command Center’s CPU tab. The program includes an algorithm for custom-setting fan speed to keep it within MSI-defined thermal parameters.
The tabs aren’t all that useful, since scrolling to the side is required to reach additional CPU controls, such as voltage. It’s possible to scroll through the entire range of settings without clicking a new tab.
Scrolling past the non-functional DRAM settings, we reach GPU ratio and voltage controls. Unfortunately, those sliders are locked.
MSI’s RAM disk utility is strangely found among its overclocking tools. Fortunately, it works!
MSI OC Genie wouldn't work with our APU, but that's probably because the Kaveri-based part is relatively new. Like Gigabyte, MSI continues to polish its existing software to add compatibility with new hardware.
Located at Command Center’s lower edge, the “Advanced” tab exposes several pop-up menus. Additional voltage controls are found here, along with redundant fan settings.
Command Center also includes data logging for voltage, fan speed, and temperature.
MSI even offers a mobile app to adjust Command Center settings remotely.
Even beyond price, ATX seems pointless with a Kaveri APU. Myself, I'm waiting for the A8-7600 to build a very small (< 3 liters) ITX HTPC running the APU in 45W mode. Although I'm very excited about doing that build, I can't see any use case that makes sense for a Kaveri APU in an ATX form factor. Perhaps the A88x chipset has some feature benefit for building something using the 750 or 760k CPU in a budget build. But the only build I would even think about using a Kaveri APU in would be a mini-ITX PC/HTPC or laptop.
Beyond that, I would love to see Lian-Li come out with a tiny case like the PC-Q02, PC-Q09 or PC-Q12, but with the design for a single 120mm CLC and a 300W SFX PSU to allow a decent overclock on a 7850k APU with the smallest form factor possible (i.e. < 8 liters). That type of build might get me jazzed up for the 7850k.