MSI is increasingly simplifying its Dragon Center while somehow also making it harder to use for specific applications. It also begs you to synchronize to an online account. We couldn’t even get the Hardware Monitor page to load on this board, and who wants to jump through hoops downloading additional applications just to adjust the RGB headers?
RGB control worked and even addressed our DIMMs, but for this specific purpose we’d rather just have the old (non-integrated) Mystic Light interface.
MSI Click BIOS 5 returns to the last interface used for adjustments, which for us is advanced mode. From here we initially reached 4225 MHz at 1.40V with our CPU, only to have a single thread crash in Prime95 after ten minutes. Dropping to 4.20 GHz allowed complete stability at a more-modest 1.375V CPU core.
The only major overclocking issue we encountered was a misreported DIMM voltage. Setting 1.330V got us to 1.35V as measured at the slots, but the board showed only 1.340V. We limit our DRAM overclocking voltage to 1.355V for the sake of testing consistency.
MSI adds a variety of additional settings to its complete set of primary and secondary timings for memory overclockers and latency tuners. Our high point came at DDR4-4066 using two HyperX DDR4-2933 DIMMs.
We found that the CPU Loadline Calibration Mode 3 setting got us closest to a completely stable voltage level under Prime95 small-FFTs while using a Ryzen 7 3700X.
MSI’s Memory-Z submenu shows complete configuration tables for our memory’s SPD and XMP values.
Additional menus allow users to enter a special firmware flashing GUI, or to save firmware settings as an overclocking profile. Overclocking profiles can also be imported and exported from a USB flash drive.
The MPG X570 Gaming Plus includes PWM and voltage-based fan control for all six headers, which can be adjusted on a custom temperature curve or slope as desired. We set all fans to full speed as indicated here.
Note that we did not show the board’s Board Explorer menu, where users can see a drawing of the board that shows where each connected device has been detected. Unfortunately, accessing this menu caused our USB devices to go offline. Hopefully that’s an issue with our particular test unit, or a bug that MSI can fix in a near-future BIOS update.
Pressing “F7” from a keyboard’s function key returns users to the “EZ Mode” GUI, where adjustments are far fewer and less complex.
|MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus||Asus Tuf Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi)||ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax|
|BIOS||A.60 (11/06/2019)||1405 (11/19/2019)||P2.20 (11/26/2019)|
|Reference Clock||96-118 MHz (62.5 kHz)||-||100-150 MHz (62.5 kHz)|
|CPU Multiplier||100-150 MHz (62.5 kHz)||28-63.75x (0.25x)||22-63x (0.25x)|
|DRAM Data Rates||1600-2666/5000/6000 (266/66.7/100 MHz)||1333-5000/6000 (66/100 MHz)||1866-2666/5000/6000 (267/66/100 MHz)|
|CPU Voltage||0.90-1.70V (12.5 mV)||0.75-2.00V (6.25 mV)||1.10-2.50V (5 mV)|
|CPU SOC||0.90-1.35V (12.5 mV)||0.75-1.80V (6.25 mV)||0.70-1.55V (10 mV)|
|VDDP||0.70-2.00 V (5 mV)||-||0.70-1.55V (10 mV)|
|DRAM Voltage||0.80-2.00V (10 mV)||1.00-1.80V (5 mV)||1.10-2.20V (5 mV)|
|DDR VTT||0.120-1.235V (5 mV)||0.67-0.87V (5 mV)||Offset -100 to 200 mV (10mV)|
|Chipset 1.05V||0.85-1.50V (10 mV)||1.00-1.05V (5 mV)||-|
|CAS Latency||8-33 Cycles||5-33 Cycles||8-33 Cycles|
|tRCDRD/RDCWR||8-27 Cycles||8-27 Cycles||8-27 Cycles|
|tRP||8-27 Cycles||5-27 Cycles||8-27 Cycles|
|tRAS||21-58 Cycles||8-58 Cycles||21-58 Cycles|
We’re using the electronics from our first X570 review, including Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G and Toshiba’s OCZ RD400 512GB NVMe SSD to compare the X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax to the two other sub-$200 models of previous X570 reviews.
All three competitors reached the same 4.20 GHz maximum stable CPU clock under a 16-thread load of Prime95 small-FFTs, but the Asus model took memory overclocking quite a bit higher than either the MPGX570 Gaming Plus or its ASRock rival.
Performance is the reason we overclock, and the ASRock board did a far better job of it at DDR4-3600, but that description is a bit misleading: X570 boards suffer performance losses as the memory controller and Infinity Fabric ratios change above DDR4-3600. And even the top-overclocking Asus board couldn’t push the memory to a high enough data rate to make up the difference (though there are other settings that can help).
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