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windwithme's LGA 1156 review part3 - MSI P55-GD80 encounters OC Genie

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Jan 4, 2005
I think that one of the most popular Intel new platforms should be “LGA 1156” in Q4 in 2009.
Finally, the new product between middle-end and high-end levels entered the market.
Many consumers have been eager to have one since it was released on 9/8.

In two years, I think that LGA 1366 platform is still the highest standard in IT industry.
Intel will launch the highest model, 32nm 6 cores Core i9.
The main differences of LGA1156 are that DDR3 is changed to Dual channel mode,
and two PCIE x16 lanes bandwidth down to x8/ x8. The CPU technology is still based on Core i7 for development,
and 32nm dual-core Core i3 will support P55 in the near future. X58 will support the highest level, Core i9, from Core i7.
Besides, the P55 will support from Core i7 to Core i3 with an available price.
Also Intel roadmaps of the two products, X58 and P55, are not the same.
Thus, I think that consumers need more time to choose them when buying the two products.

The first model supporting LGA 1156 is P55.
Also, it’s a very special chipset. Intel originally planned to launch P57.
However, lots of news on the internet said they won’t launch the new chipset.
As a result, P55 becomes the unique chipset of LGA 1156.
It’s also the latest MB which many companies are eager to release.

MSI also launched 4 models for P55 in this trend.
Now I have one of their highest products, MSI P55-GD80.
First we take a look at the carton.
MSI packs their latest MB products with this kind of package.
Hmm… what could I say? The pattern is not bad but it’s a little difficult to impress consumers.
I think it is fine if MSI uses simple pattern on the low-end and middle-end packages.
Maybe some people like this kind of easy pattern in design; everyone has different thought.

MSI P55-GD80 first look


MB’s bottom left side
3 X PCIE X16(Support ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI,the bandwidth is X8+X8+X4)
2 X PCI-E X1
RealtekR 8111DL Dual ethernet chip
Audio chipset is Realtek ALC889, Blu-ray specifications, Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing

MB’s bottom right side
6 X SATAII(P55 provide, support RAID 0/1/5/10)
2 X SATAII(JMicronR 322 provide,support SATA RAID 0/1/JBOD)
Touch model Power/Reset/Green Power; Special button,
MSI’s Easy Button 2
OC GENIE Turbo Button, +/-button to reach instant overclocking goal.
Debug LED, clr CMOS Button

MB’s top right side
4 X DIMM DDR3,support dual channel DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800*/2000*/2133* (OC) memory
and it has 1600 speed when using Core i7,it could be over 1800 speed only under overclocking condition.
24PIN power in, DDR3 utilizes 2 phase energy-offering.
V Switch can tune voltage by JUMP, you can add more 0.2V to the highest voltage value in BIOS.
The blue area near V Switch is V-Check Points, and users can directly detect voltage values through a multimeter.

MB’s top left side
CPU utilizes 8 phases, VTT 2 phases, both support DrMOS technology.

7 X USB 2.0
1 X eSATA / USB combo port
1 X IEEE1394
2 X RJ45 LAN jacks

In the middle of the heatsink is designed to dissipate the heat of MOSFET and P55.
The LED above the heatsink can present the phases of energy-offering when system is running.

This position is P55 chipset, PCH 2 phases energy-offering
MSI’s new heatsink looks impressive, and its quality is also excellent.


Jan 4, 2005
OC GENIE auto OC chip

P55-GD80 system boots up screen
You can see the OC GENIE Enabled on the post screen if you turn on the OC GENIE function.

Cell Menu
Main performance setting

Voltage tuning items:
CPU Voltage 0.90000~2.10000V
CPU VTT 0.482~2.092V
PCH 1.8 0.200~2.400V
DRAM 0.930~2.430V
PCH 1.05 0.464~1.964V

CPU Feature
C1E is a power saving function for the CPU to slow down its speed when it is in light loading.
The new model has more functions; C-State is a new auto OC function.
After enabling the function, the Core i5-750 will automatically raise its speed to 133 X 22 =>2926Mhz.

DRAM settings page

Advance DRAM configuration page
It has several tuning items

OC Stepping, that means overclocking step by step.
As the picture shows, the start OC is 190Mhz. After entering OS, the speed raised to 200Mhz by every OC step in 2 secs.
if you set 5 steps, that means 2 secs is a time period, ex 190->192->194->196->198-200Mhz.

Users can save the setting and save the setting time.
This page provides 6 profiles for memory capacities.

H/W Monitor, system voltage and temperature

200/2000 CPU is in 4GHz situation.
When overclocking, u need to adjust the voltage based on different devices.
Even the same type, Core i5-750, users need to check the stability by adding or deducting voltage because of the quality of CPU. .


Jan 4, 2005
Testing platform:
CPU: Intel Core i5-750
MB: MSI P55-GD80
DRAM: CORSAIR Dominator 2GBX2 DDR3 1866C9D
POWER: Antec TruePower New TP-750
Cooler: Mega Shadow(Deluxe Edition)

MSI’s software for OS - Control Center
present the hardware information

The more detail information of CPU
But the info of Core i7 needs to be corrected again.

The status about votalge and temperature, and it also has the total power saving Watts

This interface can adjust the settings, especially for the Fan speed.

The button for setting MB’s LED/ condition

the temperature condition of each phases

MSI has made a great improvement on its software design. The software, Control Center, is much more user-friendly than before.

System test
CPU:Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz
If we use P55 mainboard and enable the Intel Turbo Boost Tech, the CPU frequency will be up to 2.80~2.93Ghz
Let’s make a comparison and find out what the difference is, between the OC Genie function and Intel Turbo Boost Tech.
After we press the OC Genie button and system boot up, we will see the blue light, which means the OC Genie has been activated.

The BIOS settings will be changed to
CPU 197 X 17 => 3.34GHz 1.400V
DDR3 1576 CL9 9-9-24 1.740V



Jan 4, 2005
The system status after we enable the OC Genie

Hyper 4 X PI 32M=> 11m 51.252s
CPUMARK 99=> 516

Nuclearus Multi Core => 6449/9414/27970
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 20.54/9858

PCMark Vantage => 13111

As we can see from the pictures above, after we enable the OC Genie function,
the performance of the CPU has been doubled and is much higher than using the Turbo Boost function only.
This is really good news for those who don’t know how to adjust bios settings or for those who wouldn’t like to spend a lot of time on adjusting bios settings.
Regarding its shortcoming, I personally think the core voltage is a little bit high.
It will be better if MSI can improve the voltage setting to be more precisely in the future.

Next, I, myself will adjust the settings manually.
Under the stable condition, it takes me several days to find out the better parameters and lower voltage settings.
CPU 200.5 X 20 => 4010MHz
DDR3 2005 CL9 9-9-24
OS settings

Hyper 4 X PI 32M=> 9m 56.015s
CPUMARK 99=> 621

Nuclearus Multi Core => 7616/11373/31711
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 20.54/11834

PCMark Vantage => 15231

CrystalMark 2004R3

1 CPU=> 5680
x CPU=> 20590
Last edited:


Senior Member
May 6, 2001
HOT 'n Arizona
Thanks for another good review :)
The pics, when you click on them, they expand, and now there's a "next/previous" feature on the left/right side of the photo. Is that a ocf feature or windwithme's? First time I've seen it.


Jan 4, 2005
Sandra Memory Bandwidth -24517 MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read -18357 MB/s

P55-GD80 has a great performance on the voltage ratio under the 200/2000 settings.
This time, msi overclocking feature gives me a brand new feeling.
Compare to the experience of using mainboards of msi,
there were always some minor problems or the overclocking performance of the memory wasn’t as good as other brands.

However, P55-GD80 has no above problems which I mentioned. It went smoothly when I adjusted the bios setting.
Also, like other mainboard manufacturers, it shows a great overclocking performance.

Finally, we adjust the CPU frequency to 210/2100
CPU 210.5 X 20 => 4209MHz
DDR3 2105 CL9 9-9-24
OS settings

Hyper 4 X PI 32M=> 9m 28.823s
CPUMARK 99=> 651

Nuclearus Multi Core => 7977/11893/33234
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 20.54/12362

CrystalMark 2004R3

1 CPU=> 5950
x CPU=> 21514

Sandra Memory Bandwidth -25789 MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read -19136 MB/s

The 210/2100 CPU frequency setting brings the CPU frequency up to 4.2GHz, so the parameter of CPU/Dram/VTT voltage is higher.
Finally, there was no problem during the test.
Besides the overclocking ability of the mainboard,
the quality of the CPU and memory is one of the important factors,
MSI P55-GD80 passed many tests under the condition of 210/2100 frequency setting,
which proves the overclocking ability and stability of MSI P55-GD80.

MSI P55-GD80
1.MSI P55-GD80 has many innovative features, like Direct OC/V-Kit/Easy Button…,and etc.
2.Embed with OC Genie auto OC chip. Press OC Genie button and we can get an excellent overclocking performance.
3.Three PCI-E X16 and support ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI Tech.
4.With all Japanese solid capacitors, 8mm super pipe and easy Power/Reset bottoms
5.Use DrMOS to save power. The Control Center software is very user-friendly.
6.Excellent BIOS design with high adjustable voltage range and great CPU/DDR3 overclocking ability.

1.The carton design should be improved because P55-GD80 is a high-end product.
2.Currently, on the market there is not much demand on P55 chipset mainboard’s price is higher than 200 USD.
If we use the OC Genie function, the voltage will be a little bit high.

Performances ★★★★★★★★★☆
Materials ★★★★★★★★★☆
Specifications ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Externals ★★★★★★★★☆☆
C/P Value ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Sometimes I feel the trend of the market development is quite strange.
It seems that there is a tendency that manufacturers like to have a competition,
which especially focus on the components of the mainboards.
Each manufacturer adds more functions and creates new features on the mainboard, so that the price is getting higher and higher.
If the price of the P55 product is more than 300 USD, I doubt if the consumer will buy it

In my opinion, if you want to use Intel CPU as your platform and you are already an owner of LGA 775,
it will be more cost-effective. You can just upgrade your CPU. For example, Q8400 or Q9550.
However, if you would like to buy a new platform and you have enough budget,
Intel Core i5-750 with 155~200USD mainboard will be a better choice. The C/P value is much higher.
Finally, if you have sufficient budget, using the LGA 1366 platform is also a good choice for upgrading Intel i9 in the future.
For me, I can strongly feel that MSI has great improvement on its new product quality and the selections of the components.
No matter the software, overclocking features or the components on the MSI P55 mainboard make me feel impressive,
especially the stability of the BIOS.

Intel has released the P55 chipset recently, and it is defined as a middle-end product.
Currently, the price is approximately 155~280USD.
Within this price range, the P55 product is also divided into three classes, which are high-end products,
middle-end products, and low-end products. Comparing to the P55 high-end product in the market, MSI P55 is much more cost-effective.
This is one of the reasons that MSI deserves so much praise.
Although the quality of MSI P55 mainboard is excellent, I still hope they can maintain the cost-effective price strategy,
so that the users who don’t have a lot of budget still can buy a mainboard with excellent performance and innovative features.