MSI 770-C45 Continued
The board doesn’t come with DrMOS, MSI’s signature feature but is still capable of four different phases through the Active Phase Changing or APS system, each indicated by the number of LEDs turned on at the top, in order to save power under variable loading and use it more efficiently.
One of the other key features of the 770-C45, is the easy overclocking switch which was brought in to help users increase the FSB without having to enter the BIOS at all – essentially it’s a tool for enthusiasts new to overclocking who want to avoid the complicated BIOS settings and just increase the performance of their CPU.
Four different settings can be achieved by moving the two toggles up and down. At default both sliders are at the top but sliding just 2 or just 1 down results in a 10% or 15% increase in the FSB respectively. The largest increase comes with both sliders down creating a 20% FSB upgrade.
Sure, this isn’t the best overclocking feature ever but it does allow for less experienced users to still achieve performance increases without having to learn about different BIOS settings etc. And, in that respect it’s a good feature.
In terms of peripheral slots, MSI still manage to squeeze in six despite having only the single PCI-e x16. Three legacy PCI slots are right at the bottom with a couple of PCI-Express 2.0 x 1 slots sandwiching the PCI-express x16 slot.
The CMOS battery and jumper are placed in between the PCI slots and the SATA connections. Unlike, many newer motherboards which have special switches that clear the CMOS or even clearing it automatically after three reboots in succession, MSI have stuck to the tried and tested method of a jumper. As usual it sits on pins 1 and 2 to keep data and then moving it down to 2 and 3 clears the CMOS.
The four DIMM slots support dual channel DDR3 from 800 to 1600MHz with a maximum of 16GB.
The I/O chip, responsible for the serial ports and FDD control, is a Finetek construction and is situated near the peripheral ports.
The I/O plate itself has a fair number of ports:
- PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse
- Serial Port
- 6 x USB 2.0 ports
- Ethernet socket
- Six 3.5mm audio jacks
All the basics are covered but it would have been nice to see maybe an eSATA port.
Finally, let’s just take a quick look at fan headers. There are three in total, one being a 4-pin PWM; this header along with another are located just to the left of the 770 chipset with the final fan header next to the IDE connector.