X99S SLI Plus Software And Firmware
The X99S SLI Plus includes MSI’s full utility suite, with applications to reboot directly to firmware, update your drivers and firmware from an MSI server, reduce power by disabling fans and ports and quick-charge your portable devices.
MSI Command Center still looks the same, but without as many disabled features as I’ve seen in the past. Keyed-in values next to CPU ratio and base clock frequency actually worked this time, where previously I could only change those values through plus and minus buttons.
CPU and system fans can be set to automated profiles, to manually configured temperature/RPM curves or to a fixed RPM. MSI Fan tune allows the X99S SLI Plus to determine potentially better fan profiles through an automated test routine.
CPU and DRAM voltage adjustments work within the limits of firmware, which is a nice feature to access from Windows. The DRAM Frequency menu has no controls, since changing this ratio requires a reboot.
Integrated graphics controls that are meant for LGA 1150-based motherboards are greyed-out on products that lack integrated graphics, such as the X99S SLI Plus. MSI’s RAMDisk utility still works as expected.
MSI OC Genie runs a firmware stability and overclock test routine, regardless of whether it’s enabled through software or an on-board button. The benefit of the button is that it can be disabled more quickly (as long as the button isn’t covered by a graphics card).
The program pushed our CPU to a stable 3.7GHz at 1.05V. That’s a cool-running, energy-conserving overclock!
Command Center’s “Advanced”, “Settings” and “Information” tabs reveals popups for advanced voltage settings that work, DRAM timings that don’t work, redundant fan controls, health monitoring and temperature/fan/voltage alarms. The most you can expect from the “DRAM Timings” menu is a Command Center application crash.
Can’t find the exact setting you want? MSI also adds its logo to Intel’s XTU (Extreme Tuning Utility) software.
Like the low-cost ASRock motherboard that went before it, MSI’s X99 SLI Plus pushed our CPU to a maximum stable frequency of 4.4GHz at 1.28V. Better-overclocking boards have gotten this same CPU to 4.45GHz. The question is, how much is an extra 50MHz worth to you?
MSI skips the non-working 11x memory multiplier and jumps straight from DDR4-2666 (10 x 100MHz x 4/3 x 2) to DDR4-3200 (12 x 100MHz x 4/3 x 2). Both of those settings use a 4/3 integrated memory controller to CPU core ratio, and the data rate is twice the clock rate.
Fortunately, MSI’s DDR4-3200 setting works with our DRAM, eventually pushing it to a stable 3233 MT/s after we added 1MHz to the base clock.
The CPU core voltage setting was close to spot-on, but we had to use a 1.32V setting to get the DRAM to our desired 1.350 to 1.355V level. That’s particularly important on our specific CPU-integrated memory controller, which becomes slightly less stable at 1.37V (give or take a few millivolts).
The X99S SLI Plus includes a full range of primary, secondary and tertiary memory timing controls.
Advanced voltage controls include “Vdroop Offset”, though we didn’t experience voltage drops at default settings.
Other firmware features include a report of default DRAM timings, CPU power controls, six registers to store your custom firmware settings as importable/exportable overclocking profiles, user-configurable maps for all five fan headers and a “board explorer” illustration to show which interfaces are connected to devices.