The BIOS of MSI K8T Neo mainboard is based on AMI microcode, which makes it very much different from the BIOS’s of other mainboards participating in our roundup. Actually, the BIOS Setup of MSI K8T Neo cannot boast a lot of settings. For example, even though the board allows using not only standard DDR200/DDR266/DDR333/DDR400 memory frequencies, but also DDR300 frequency, the BIOS Setup doesn’t offer any opportunity to enable the ECC support, and the adjustable memory timings include the minimal ranges for CAS Latency, RAS# to CAS# Delay, RAS# Precharge and Active to Precharge Delay.
At the same time, the set of overclocking friendly features is pretty impressive. FSB frequency can be adjusted from 190Mhz to 280MHz. However, as we have already mentioned several times in this roundup you will not be able to take an y advantage of such a high top FSB frequency without the possibility to adjust the frequency divider for AGP/PCI buses (MSI K8T Neo doesn’t actually have this bus at all). Note also that MSI K8T Neo is probably the only mainboard, which allows reducing the FSB frequency below the nominal value. Although I do not really know if we need this opportunity at all.
As for voltages, you can change the CPU, memory and AGP voltages in the BIOS Setup. The processor Vcore can be increased by 3.3%, 5%, 6.6%, 8%, 10%, 11% and 15% above the nominal value (the BIOS of MSI K8T Neo mainboard supports this way of setting the processor voltage: in percents). The memory voltage can be set to Auto, 2.55V, 2.6V, 2.65V, 2.7V, 2.75V, 2.8V and 2.85V. The last voltage, Vagp, can be set to any value from 1.5V to 1.85V with 0.05V increment.
Next to the overclocking friendly options there is a menu page where you can enable D.O.T. (Dynamic Overclocking Technology). This is exactly that particular quiet dynamic overclocking feature, which has received such a great response. The idea of this technology is very simple. In normal working conditions the CPU functions at its nominal frequency. However, as soon as its utilization reaches 100%, the mainboard automatically raises the FSB frequency by the value set in the BIOS Setup. This value can be adjusted via the BIOS Setup and can vary from 1% to 10% of the nominal parameter value.
Well, MSI K8T Neo looks like a cool board, boasting a rich features set and a number of exciting technologies. However, it is high time to added that notorious fly to this ointment. We have already mentioned in one of our previous reviews, that the first BIOS versions from MSI usually suffer the whole bunch of problems. This time was also no exception. The BIOS versions we checked with this board, namely BIOS v.1.0 and 1.1B do not make the board stable enough to work with the higher FSB frequencies, so that the entire overclocking potential of this solution as well as the dynamic overclocking functions cannot be used at all. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend getting MSI K8T Neo board now, but would better wait for the new, debugged BIOS versions to come out first.