Unfortunately, there is a flaw that is seen on several other motherboards – the floppy disc controller is located at the bottom of the card, under the PCI slots, and this makes it quite troublesome when trying to make it fit within a larger case. Other than that, the rest of the connectors are placed quite well, and both PATA and SATA is located near the edge of the card.
The first time that one activates the card is almost followed by a chock – there are numerous diodes on the card, and whether one likes this or not is a matter of taste. They are located at the RAM, PCI-E and around the Power On/Off area.BIOS:
The first thing that one notices when going into the BIOS is the launch screen that contains the information needed for navigation around the BIOS – but this disappears so quickly that one doesn’t really manage to read this.
The BIOS on the motherboard is from AMI. The most interesting menu here is the “Cell Menu,” which contains frequency and voltage management.
MSI have implemented a quite interesting feature: D.O.T. (Dynamic Overclocking Technology). It actually functions pretty much like the Speedstep technology used on laptops, but instead of the cutting down on performance when standing idle, D.O.T. constantly overclocks the computer when performance is needed. This happens over 3 stages that can be customized in the BIOS – they can be adjusted between 0 – 25% of normal performance. One can also choose between overclocking only the CPU or the PCI-E slots as well – in this case, percentages can be set up for each.
During the test, the D.O.T. levels have been set to 3%, 5% and 7% - and it proves to work magnificently, and the frequencies go up according to the load.
If one prefers “traditional” overclock, this is of course also a possibility. This is done through the “Cell Menu” option. As a starting point, the motherboard decides itself suitable adjustments to the FSB, multiplier etc.