MSI has introduced a new automatic method in its motherboards compatible with Intel Comet Lake processors, whereby the Turbo operating speed of the processor can be automatically modified depending on the heatsink used. In other words, it will now be much easier for users to adjust processor performance based on temperature since in fact this automatic functionality can be configured manually through the BIOS.
In essence, what MSI will enable on its Z490 motherboards for Intel Comet Lake processors is an automatic adjustment of the processor’s turbo PL1 and PL2 values, which will modify its performance and operating speed depending on the type of thermal solution used, configurable by the processor. user from BIOS.
65 to 255 watts with a single click on MSI boards
Intel Comet Lake processors get quite hot despite their factory-set TDP values. This is a fact and has led to the use, in many cases, of high-end cooling solutions if you want to get the most out of the processor, and of course, this has also caused problems and headaches due to the processors operating temperature.
MSI’s solution to this problem makes the PL1 and PL2 values of Intel processors much clearer for users. In the UEFI / BIOS, now we can select what type of heatsink we are using between «Boxed Cooling», which is the default mode and which refers to stock or low-end processors, «Tower Air Cooler» for air coolers with good performance and “Water Cooler” which obviously refers to liquid cooling solutions.
For the “Boxed Cooling” option, the processor PL1 and PL2 values will be at their default values, while for the other two options the PL2 and PL2 values will increase to 255 watts (this does not mean that the processor will consume 255 watts but you can do it, that’s your limit). These options also make the durations of PL1 and PL2 infinite, that is, all the processor cores will be able to operate at maximum performance for as long as necessary, and you will not be limited in time as is the case with the default values of Intel.
Let’s look at an example of these default values:
|Core i9-10900K||125 W||250 W||56 seconds|
|Core i7-10700K||125 W||229 W||56 seconds|
|Core i5-10600K||125 W||182 W||56 seconds|
|Core i9-9900K||95 W||119 W||28 seconds|
|Core i9-9900KS||127 W||159 W||28 seconds|
This is where the new MSI settings come into play. Depending on the cooling solution you have and that you have configured in the BIOS, it will allow you to adjust all these limits with a single click. For example, these are the three alternatives that we can find using an Intel Core i5-10600 processor with a TDP of 65 watts:
|Boxed cooler||65 W||134 W||140 A|
|Tower air cooler||255 W||255 W||210 A|
|Water cooler||255 W||255 W||210 A|
In this way, when you have a high-end heatsink that is capable of achieving optimal operating temperatures for your processor, you can “unlock” its maximum level of performance with just one click in the BIOS of MSI motherboards.
A double edged sword
Like all options to automatically overclock or optimize system performance, this option that MSI now makes available to users can be dangerous and should be used with caution. That a PC processor is capable of increasing its Power Limit to 255 watts is not something trivial and it must be taken into account that, although the processor will be able to deliver its maximum performance, this also means that both its consumption and operating temperatures will skyrocket, which could cause instability in the system and even serious and irreversible problems. You already know what overclock means.