Testbed, BIOS & Overclocking


Intel Core i3 530 2.93GHz Processor
MSI H55M ED55 Micro ATX Motherboard
4GB Corsair PC3-12800C8 RAM
320GB Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA II Hard Disk Drive
22x Samsung DVD+/-RW
nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512mb GDDR3 Graphics Card
Windows 7 Home Premium x64


Unsurprisingly, MSI have retained their general BIOS layout. This is fine as for most it'll be intuitive enough.


Cell Menu. As you could've probably guessed, this holds all CPU and iGPU overclocking parameters as well as a host of memory settings. There's plenty of options to tweak and most importantly, voltage parameters are available for all important components and in the right quantity too.


MSI M-Flash is the brand's pre-windows flashing tool. Not only does the tool allow the user to update their BIOS, it also offers the option to dump the existing BIOS file to USB Media. The tool isn't quite as elaborate as Asus' EZFlash but will certainly come in handy regardless.

Overclocking - Max BCLK

As part of determining the motherboard's ability to overclock, our first port of call was to find the maximum Base Clock Frequency. While the vast majority of users will opt for their highest available CPU multiplier for overclocking, others may lower theirs in order to reach higher QPI and Memory frequencies.

The motherboard finally caved at 196MHz BCLK, where it would no longer boot into Windows 7. A maximum bootable BCLK of 194MHz was achieved, however we found our max stable at 191MHz. Not a poor show at all.

Overclocking - Max Stable

Much like the Asus P7H57D-EVO we previously reviewed, we were able to reach our "sweetspot" overclock at 4.10GHz and a configuration of 186*22. We were hoping to reach and possibly exceed 200MHz but nothing could make this happen with our sample board. That said, circa 190MHz will fulfill the needs of most air/water cooling oriented overclockers thanks to the high multipliers of Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. If anything has to be said, if all H55M ED55's overclock as well as this sample, then one can almost guarantee a run for 4.0GHz.

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