Building with the MSI 975X Platinum v2.0. Thoughts?

Negative528

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I’m hoping someone can tell me if I’ve made any mistakes with the parts I’ve selected for a new system I’m building. Here are the specs:

Processor: E6400
Motherboard: MSI 975X Platinum
RAM: Corsair TWIN2X1024A-6400 (1 gig, 1.9v, 5-5-5-15)
Video Card: XFX PVT73GUGD3 7600GT PCI-E
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0
Power Supply: Apex SL-8600EPS 600W
DVD Burner: Samsung SH-S182D 18X
DVD ROM: Sony DDU1615/B2s
Case: Apevia (Aspire) X-plorer ATXB8KLW-BK

I’ve already ordered everything since I researched almost every part but now I’m finding a lot of info saying that the MSI 975X isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I read the review on Tomshardware where they gave it the Editors Choice Award, which made up my mind to order it, but now I’m having my doubts. Does anyone foresee any issues I may have using this motherboard? Will I be happier with something else? (Remembering that I’d have to pay shipping to send it back. Plus I hate to wait.)

I’d appreciate any thoughts.
 

jaguarskx

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The only problem I have with your setup is the Apex PSU. It's not really a namebrand with a known track record. But since you already bought it...

The 975X Platinum mobo has two minor issues:

1. The included motherboard utility software is crap. Don't bother installing them.
2. The BIOS is a bit querky. My DDR2 667 RAM shows up as DDR2 533. I just manually set the speed to 333MHz (x2 = 667), and use a 1:1 memory divider.

Other info:

-To measure your CPU temperature, Google a program called Core Temp.

-If for some reason Speedstep is not working properly, then Google a program called RMClock. Visiting the official MSI forum, there seems to be only one other person who is having problems with Speedstep.
 

Negative528

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Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled with the PSU selection (within my price range) on Newegg. The Apex had good reviews though so I decided to get it.

Also, I’ll be running DDR2 800 so I suppose that it will most likely show up as 667, correct?

I feel dumb asking this but what’s Speedstep?

Thanks for your help.
 

Negative528

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Another thought, I know most of these newer C2D boards are pretty picky about DDR2 voltages. I don't think I've seen anything saying that the MSI 975X has had problems but I would like to be sure. The DDR2 I ordered runs at 1.9v. Will that be an issue with this board?
 

jaguarskx

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Speedstep is a power management technique Intel initially introduced on their mobile CPUs some years ago, it has since made it's way to desktop CPUs. Speedstep dymanically adjusts the clock multiplier to change CPU speed depending on how heavily the CPU is being stressed. When surfing the Net or simply typing at letter there is very little demand placed on the CPU so it will switch to the lowest clock mulitplier to save power. When you do something like play a game, then the clock mulitplier throttles up to full speed. Thus saving electricity.

The E6400 has a clock mulitplier of 8. Speedstep can lower it to 6. Therefore, a non-overclocked E6400 speed will range from 1.6GHz (266.67MHz x 6) to 2.13GHz (266.67MHz x 8 ). Since you are going to be overclocking with DDR2 800 RAM (PC 6400), the minimum speed will be 2.4GHz (400MHz x 6) and the maximum speed will be 3.2GHz (400MHz x 8 ).

AMD has a similar technology called PowerNow! for their moblile CPUs and Cool 'n Quiet (CnQ) for desktop CPUs.

1.9v RAM is fine, my Corsair XMS RAM is running on that voltage.
 

captainkubrik

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I have a similar set up (except I went with an ATI gfx card and Ultra power supply) built last weekend and it is stable. I've had no problems with it except for the temp monitoring utility, which is garbage, and I uninstalled immediately. Another poster mentioned Core Temp and I've been using that.

I've slowly been overclocking it, testing for stability as I go, and I haven't had a problem with it. If you're going to do overclocking you should also Google for CPU-Z.
 

TSIMonster

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lol, just FYI when you type an 8 plus a ) it shows up like this 8) you can remedy that by putting in a space, like this 8 )
haha, j/k

To OP: I am guessing you read the reviews on newegg... right? Take those with a grain of salt . . . the MSI is a good board, just make sure you update the BIOS
 

rwaritsdario

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Im sorry to say this it cant fit in my mind why they gave that award to such incomplete motherboard.
Maybe jaguarskx can correct me on this but that motherboard doesnt allow vMCH, vFSB, and vICH voltage changes. Also, like any other 975X, ill have trouble passing 400Mhz FSB.
The Gigabyte DS3 or Asus P5B dlx have proven to reach 500Mhz FSB and allow changes on those voltages.

Any 667 with 4-4-4-12 timings will reach DDR2 800 CL5. Same some bucks and dont pick Corsair either.

I wouldnt trust Apex for my PSU needs. But I do trust OCZ, Antec NeoHE series and XClio GreatPower ones.
 

Negative528

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Im sorry to say this it cant fit in my mind why they gave that award to such incomplete motherboard.
Maybe jaguarskx can correct me on this but that motherboard doesnt allow vMCH, vFSB, and vICH voltage changes. Also, like any other 975X, ill have trouble passing 400Mhz FSB.
The Gigabyte DS3 or Asus P5B dlx have proven to reach 500Mhz FSB and allow changes on those voltages.
Well, I guess I'm going to have to live with the MSI problems for a bit. Oh well.

Any 667 with 4-4-4-12 timings will reach DDR2 800 CL5. Same some bucks and dont pick Corsair either.
Actually, the OCZ and G.Skill PC2 6400 were right in the same price range as Corsair on Newegg.

I wouldnt trust Apex for my PSU needs. But I do trust OCZ, Antec NeoHE series and XClio GreatPower ones.
Is it that Apex is just an unproven brand or is it considered a bad brand? It seemed ok to me. It is Nvidia SLI Certified, 2.2, and didn't have a single bad review. For $80 it seemed like a good deal.
 

Negative528

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I hate to ruin new ppl's builds so since youve already ordered everything all I can say is GL :D
Youll hit at least 3Ghz with that setup and proper cooling. 8)
Being vague is probably more stress to me than telling me what to watch for. Feel free to hit me with it so I can prepare myself.
 

rwaritsdario

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Youre a rare breed, but the kind I like.
I would settle and call it a day at 400Mhz FSB. I dont think the MSI will go any futher and in case it does your vDIMM will need to be set at 2.1~2.2v to achieve ~430Mhz with luck. Keep those timings unless youre running stock, in such case it might need 2.0v to reach 4-4-4-12.
Given your PSU I would keep a close watch on the rails (theres software for this) after OCing, just for a day or so, after that itll be stable.

You can follow wusys guide but be careful, 350Mhz might be a more suitable goal for you, given that youll be using the stock cooling and since you cant change alot of voltages youll might need to raise vCORE a bit more than with other mobos.
 

Negative528

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Update:

I put my system together last night and things are going pretty well. Using CoreTemp I'm showing an idle temp of 36C, which I would like to bring down a bit but I guess it isn't horrible. I haven't had a chance to do a load test yet.

My DDR2 800 showed up as 677 so I upped the voltage from 1.8 to 1.9 (The recommended voltage) and upped the memory divider until it showed up as 800.

After that I had a problem whenever I rebooted they system. I would have to hit reset a couple of times to get it to post. Usually it would post after the first reset but once I had to reset it multiple times and then it did this weird power cycling thing (turned on and off a couple of times on its own). It then gave me a message saying that my OCing had caused a problem and that it had returned to stock settings but when I checked the BIOS everything was the same as before. The DDR2 was still showing up as 800.

Anyway, after that happend I rebooted 3-4 times and never had a problem (knock on wood) so I guess it worked itself out.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 

jaguarskx

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After that I had a problem whenever I rebooted they system. I would have to hit reset a couple of times to get it to post. Usually it would post after the first reset but once I had to reset it multiple times and then it did this weird power cycling thing (turned on and off a couple of times on its own). It then gave me a message saying that my OCing had caused a problem and that it had returned to stock settings but when I checked the BIOS everything was the same as before. The DDR2 was still showing up as 800.
Kinda weird. You have the memory divider set to 1:1, right?
 

PDX_Mike

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I have the same MB and RAM. I had to update the BIOS to 7.26 (BETA). After that the reboot issues went away and I was able to get my 6300 up to 3.2 fine (53c under load).

Keep me updated, and I will do the same.

Mike
 

Negative528

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Kinda weird. You have the memory divider set to 1:1, right?
No, the only way I could get it to go up to 800 was to change the divider. I'm not at home right now so I'm not sure what I set it to, but I'm guessing it's something like 1:1.50 or 1:1.75.

I'm new to some of this OCing stuff so there is a very good chance I'm doing something wrong.
 

Negative528

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I have the same MB and RAM. I had to update the BIOS to 7.26 (BETA). After that the reboot issues went away and I was able to get my 6300 up to 3.2 fine (53c under load).

Keep me updated, and I will do the same.

Mike
Will do. I added you to my buddy list.
 

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