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We paired the MSI X58 Eclipse with Intel's Core i7 965 Extreme Edition clocked at 3.2 GHz. This works out to a 24x133 base clock. We had our Corsair Dominator locked at 1333 MHz, and ran the CPU voltage at Intel's maximum recommendation of 1.65v.
Initially, overclocking was non-existent. The included BIOS with the initial review board had below average overclocking potential as we hardly got a stable overclock at anything higher than 137 MHz base clock. We ran an update to v1.2 using M-Flash and while it did help a little, we were still not overly impressed not being able to hit much more than 145 MHz base clock, and it wasn't even stable at that.
MSI did send over the v1.32 BIOS and this made a huge difference. With baited breath, we dialed the base clock (after making the other adjustments to memory, voltage and QPI) up to 150 and no problems what so ever. We decided to go for broke...
Needless to say 200 base clock like the i7 920s were hitting was not going to happen. However, 160 was something we were pretty happy with. We did manage 164 as the absolute highest to boot into Windows, but the system would not remain stable.
We will be comparing the MSI X58 Eclipse against the Intel Reference X58. The i7 965 will be clocked at 3.2GHz for both boards as well as overclocked to 3.854GHz on the MSI X58 Eclipse. Video card for all testing is the Gigabyte 8800GT running Nvidia's latest drivers. A Barracuda 7200.10 is the hard drive of choice.
On the software front:
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit, fully patched.
Synthetic Testing: and SisoftSandra 2009
Real-World: PiFast, DVDShrink and TMPGEnc
Gaming: Enemy Territory:Quake Wars, Far Cry 2
Sisoft Sandra CPU Arithmetic
Sisoft Sandra CPU Multimedia