Review: MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X

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The BIOS:

As far as the BIOS is concerned, with one glance we can see the familiar MSI interface. Those who are used to the brand will delve in without any difficulty. As a reminder, the tab that will interest us the most is « OC » tab. Before starting, we remind you that it is essential to regularly update your BIOS. The advantage of a card like the Z690 Unify-X is that it has two BIOSes. You can test a new one while keeping the previous one. For those who tinker, this is a real plus! We have decided to rethink our approach to the BIOS and not just offer screenshots and a few explanations. We’ve highlighted the options you’ll need most in the first instance. Let’s start with the CPU overclocking options.

Options for your processor :

Everything happens in the « OC » section. First of all, check that you are in expert mode. On the first screenshot, we have highlighted the options that will allow you to modify the multiplication coefficient of the P cores, the E cores and the cache (ring). The Advanced CPU Configuration option (screenshot 2) allows you to disable all E cores. The idea is to keep only the performance cores in order to benchmark with them only.

Two important elements. First of all, the voltages of the different cores. We advise you to respect the Load Line Calibration suggestion and not to exceed 1.30 volts, and of course to check the temperatures within your OS with Core Temp for example.

Don’t forget also to set the Load Line Calibration with a preference for mode 5 which we think is the most relevant. Go to the CPU overclocking page to better understand how Load Line Calibration works. Let’s now move on to the parameters of our memory kit.

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The options for your memory kit :

First of all the most important one, the activation of your XMP profile. We can’t say it enough, but your memory kit settings are not automatically set after you install it. If this is the case for your processor, it is not the case for your memory kit and a trip to the BIOS will be mandatory! Without this, your performance will be impacted in all areas and you will end up with a kit that does not exceed 4800 MHz at CL40. We will therefore activate our XMP profile directly in the BIOS.

Depending on the BIOS, MSI offers memory profiles in some BIOSes to facilitate and start memory overclocking. If this is the case, it can be found in Load Memory Presets. As you can see here, for now there’s only one profile, and not particularly interesting. More may be added in future BIOS updates..

In order to change the timings and subtimings if you opt for manual overclocking, you will need to go to Advanced DRAM Configuration. We have framed the useful voltages for the memory on the last screen capture.

Additional options :

Finally, you should know that MSI offers you to flash your BIOS via the M-Flash utility. Your motherboard will reboot to launch the flash utility. Finally, saving profiles is highly recommended when you perform tests – it can save a lot of time and anguish! You can also save them on a USB key.