There is a stupid "Automatic OC feature" that uses commander, seargent, etc as different levels of OC. It stops at 11% OC FSB though. So it is virtually useless to a hardcore overclocker.
They have a nice array of OC features though.
All by .05 steps
FSB OCing well past what is sane for ANY CPU. I have mine at 235 from 200 and can take it up if I have the headroom.
You can lock the PCIE bus and All other busses. Or you can overclock the PCIE interface to match what the FSB is and keep it in sync.
FSB = 220
PCIE = 110
All your memory timings are changeable, either up or down with a wide range on each. As well as being able to force a false speed on your RAM to make sure that it will be stable at speed. Up to and possibly past 250Mhz -- 500Mhz DDR for DDR400.
So for me.
4000+ 2.4 @ 2.88
FSB 200 @ 235
Core V 1.4 @ 1.65
RAM V 2.5 @ 2.85
Nforce v 1.50 @ 1.65
RAM 22.214.171.124 @ 126.96.36.199 to achieve higher speeds with stability. I am still working on this to get it lower.
There is also the equal to speed fan, you have a set of predefined temps to try and keep the CPU at. I have mine at 100% @ 102 F. Works well and is still quiet.
MSI's quality control stinks. Out of my board, and the 2 Neo4 Platinums I have built for friends, all 3 boards have issues. My chipset fan died after 6 months of use, the 2 Neo4's kill CMOS battery's in 1-2 months time.
My next board will be Asus or Abit. No more MSI stuff for me.
Actually the Athlon 64 ignores this because of CnQ. Given that the use of cool and quiet requires it to down clock the CPU, they couldn't multiplier lock it in the downward direction. CnQ is actually lowering the multiplier from what I have read, to down clock it. Needless to say, if OCing in this fashion, one should disable CnQ...
As to mobos or any other product; my first piece of advise is to check the boards, reviews, etc... I'm not one who would swear by any company. For instance (though not mobos) I have a Plextor CD-RW 4/2/20 (the first RW drive they ever made in my comp) and after 7 years it still works and no signs of dieing. I've known peeps with Plextor drives and similar success...
However, more recently I've heard some say "their drives used to be good, but now we've had X number of drives all fail at work, in various different comps around the building, with a variety of dif model drives". I can't confirm this, or deny it (as my experience is with their older model drives), but it wouldn't entirely surprise me. S3 used be a good graphics card company :rofl before the fiasco that was known as the Virge decelerator, and back in the day of 2D only gfx cards. It happens.
I've had several Asus boards in the past, and even put one in a computer I rebuilt for my father. All with good success until my last mobo. Namely the Asus A7N266-E based on the nForce 1 chipset. Some might remember threads from earlier in the year when I was having comp problems (say 9 months or so ago). This ranged for awhile, and the mobo was dieing. It started going bad about 1.5 years ago, and the board was bought in March 2003 or so. From the fan dieing, to not booting, losing AGP, USB devices at times, and other issues...it is the main reason I upgraded to an A64 now, even though as a college graduate now, my money situation isn't that great.
I've had others say (even some shops that swear by and almost only sell Asus, as well as Gigabyte boards) that, that particular model had proved problematic for them and many of their customers. (I hadn't gotten the board from that shop, but it does tell a bit.)
Any company can have a exceptionally good or bad product one go around, and in the end name alone doesn't mean the board is necessarily going to be a given quality. Though a companies history can say a bit, things can always change, and one given model can also be the exception, rather then the rule for them.
I've got an MSI board now, but it is the first I've tried, so not much to compare it on. But my advise is to determine the platform you want (aka Intel or AMD), the CPU type, and which socket it uses. Then select a chipset, perhaps look at what you need in terms of expansion slots. Once this is done, check the offerings; and then get online and check to see what others customer experiences have been before plopping the cash down with anyone...
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS