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Thread: ONE LAST HURRAH: Before saying Goodbye to my Beloved MSI Eclipse!!!




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default ONE LAST HURRAH: Before saying Goodbye to my Beloved MSI Eclipse!!!

    ONE LAST HURRAH: Before saying Goodbye to my Beloved MSI Eclipse!!!
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    Well it has been two months since I purchased this MSI Eclipse SLI board and while waiting for its bigger brother MSI Eclipse Plus, I would like to try out a new board from another manufacturer. Before I pass this board to its new owner, I decided to give it a little review to so that other people who will be upgrading to i7 platform will have some idea how good or how bad this board is.
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    A few months ago and maybe until now, Eclipse is the flagship board of MSI in terms of i7 based motherboard. Its bigger brother MSI Eclipse Plus has already been sighted in some forums but no definite date yet on when it will be available in the market.
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    The Box
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    The size of the box was way bigger than my old P45 motherboards. It is actually almost 2x the size of the conventional ATX board box.
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    Upon opening the panel on the box, you will see a lot of information about the board! You will also see the added stuff from MSI like the Green Power Genie as well as the awesome Creative Xfi! Yes, a creative Xfi Extreme Audio PCIe sound card was included on the package.
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    Upon opening the box, you will see a plastic container (I am assuming that this is anti-static) that contains the motherboard, DLED2, Green Power Genie and creative X-fi.
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    Thereís another box that contains a lot of stuff! MSI is as usual generous in giving their customers all the things the need to fully populate the board. This includes the cables needed to populate all the sata and ide slots, cross fire and SLI cable, additional USB bracket, ESATA bracket and the M connectors. All the manuals needed to setup the boards are also included.<o:p></o:p>
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    The Board and Layout:
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    The board for me is pretty sexy! It comes with a black PCB. The RAM slots and the other expansion slots are only blue and black in color which is a perfect combination for an intel based platform. The IOH and the ICH10R is actually covered by a copper heatsink with heatpipes connecting them. Well, personally I do not like this design since I do know that x58 generates a lot of heat. The VRMs also come with a copper heatsink but no heatpipe . As far as I understand from the box information, this is MSIís split thermal design as well as protection from warping.
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    MSI also provided 6 RAM slots and they come in blue and black sockets. Do yourself a favor by putting the ram in the black slots. I previously ran into problems of the system hanging in ď DDR ini ď and later found out from reading the manual and searching the web that the black slots should be populated first.
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    The board came with 10 sata ports! 6 of them in 90 degrees are connected to the ICH10 and the 4 are actually by the jmicron chips attached to the board and also function as
    HW raid. Connect 2 HDD on sata 7 and 8 or sata 9 and 10, do some stuff in the BIOS and you are all set to run the system in raid 1 (mirror) or 0 (stripe). I have had no chance to test the raid 0 + 1 since I donít have 4 identical drives. It also comes with an IDE slot for your old parallel IDE HDD and/or ODD.
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    The expansion slots come with 3 pci x16 slots, 2 pci and 2 pcie x1 which I believe is more than enough to suffice your daily needs. The bottom part of the board came with a power, reset and dled switch along with MSIís OC jumper.
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    The back panel is not that good looking. Well itís the same back panel style of their P45 series board. It doesnít matter anyway since it is at the back of the chassis and what concerns me the most is functionality. The board came with 8 usb ports at the back, 2 Gigabit lan, 2 esata ports, a 1394 connector, a cmos reset switch and the conventional PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: ONE LAST HURRAH: Before saying Goodbye to my Beloved MSI Eclipse!!!

    Bios and overclocking
    I just captured the most important portion on the bios which is the Cell Menu. It is the overclocking tab on MSIís BIOS
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    Overclocking and Benchmarking Results
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    Since I have not installed anything yet on my new board, I decided just to compare the stock and overclock result from this board.
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    Below are the lists of components that I will be using
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    Intel Core i7 920 2.66ghz ( cooled by Thermalright HR 01 plus )
    MSI Eclipse SLI Ė Beta BIOS 1.45
    MSI 8800gtx (well a bit old but still reliable)
    Team Extreme ddr3 1600 @ 8-8-8-25 rated 1.65V
    Western digital Raptor 74gb 16MB cache
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    I tried setting up this board one last time on my DIY open system using the components above. And Good thing that my ever energetic and reliable assistant is always there to help Ö hahahaha
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    SPI Stock and 4Ghz OC Results
    Stock = 15.313s

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    4Ghz = 10.405s

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    PC Mark 05 Stock and 4 Ghz OC Result
    Stock = 9745

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    4Ghz = 13136

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    3DMark 05 Stock and 4Ghz OC results
    Stock = 13388

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    4Ghz = 14289

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    3DMark vantage Stock and 4Ghz OC Results
    Stock = 8160 ( 33530 on CPU score )

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    4Ghz = 8315 ( 43567 CPU score )

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    Aquamark Stock and Overclock
    Stock = 131812 ( 18685 CPU score )

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    4Ghz = 179261 ( 23139 CPU score )

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    I tried playing with bclock since I have seen people in several forum saying that their boards( not specific to MSi eclipse ) / i7 proc cannot go above 200 or maybe just above 200 bclock. After doing some tweak I was able to get 215 bclock and the max I was able to get is 218, All the test that had been done are just after vista installation. No tweaks done on windows.
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    SPI = 10.343 ( 19 x 215 )

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    SPI = 10.030s ( 19 x 218 )

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    Wrap-up / Conclusion
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    I really donít want to let this board go but I donít have extra budget to buy and try new boards from other manufacturer so that I can compare the result. So right now I am stuck with selling this just to buy another x58 board (of which I will try to post a mini review soon)
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    I did encounter IOH temperature issue when I first bought this motherboard. IOH temperature is at 65C and this still goes up while running benchmarking tests. I made minor modifications on the board and as far as I know, it did not void the warranty. Below are the modifications that I have made:

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    • Removed the violet thermal paste that MSI used and replaced it with Artic Silver 5.
    • Removed the plastic pushpin and replaced it with a bolt and plastic nut.
    • Added a 40mmfan that is just enough to take out the heat from the IOH
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    Guess what, the temperature after these is just below 55C even under benchmarking (done during night time and I would expect that this will go to probably 60 degrees during daytime given the tropical climate in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Philippines</st1:place></st1:country-region>).
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    I was able to overclock my i920 at 3.6ghz without even adjusting anything on the voltages. Meaning they are at stock settings! I managed to reach 4.0 ghz by simply adding 0.040v (around 1.29 Vcore only)
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    Pros
    - Easy to overclock board
    - Supports both SLI and crossfire
    - No issue on bigger after market cooling
    - 90 degrees placement of ICH10ís sata port
    - Server grade VRMís and Capacitors used
    - Creative Xfi included
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    Cons
    - Only one SLI bridge included. It would have been better if a tri SLI connector was given by MSi.
    - IOH temp an issue for my board. Need to monitor and maybe try my modifications.
    - Power/Reset/DLED Switches location will not be accessible if a 3<SUP>rd</SUP> video card is installed.
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    Other thoughts
    - It would have been better if the BIOS of the eclipse comes with nominal values on the Cell Menu. This is to serve as guide for the users if they are trying to alter the voltages.
    - Maybe swap the ide and the sata 7 to 10 ports? It is better looking if all 10 sata ports are on 90 degrees. It will also ensure that even if you use 2 or 3 video cards, it will not hit any of the sata 7-10 cables if you use them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: ONE LAST HURRAH: Before saying Goodbye to my Beloved MSI Eclipse!!!

    I will try to compare this with my new board which is gigabyte ud5 extreme soon. I am just flooded with a lot of stuff to do righyt now. I am not giving justice yet to my ud5 extreme since it is just running at stock hahaha :)

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