Review Index:

MSI K7N420 Pro nForce 420-D Motherboard Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Overclocking and System Setup

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Overclocking on the MSI K7N420 Pro motherboard was a mixed blessing. In all honesty, the options needed for the best overclocking experience where simply not there. The number of front-side bus settings that are available are limited to things like 100, 105, 106, 111, 114, 133, 137, 140, 145, 147, 154 and 157. As you might guess, this kind of FSB incrementing isn’t what the hardcore overclocker is looking for in a motherboard. To add to the troubles, there are no multiplier adjustments on the motherboard either. Rejoicing may commence, as there is the ability to switch between CAS 2.5 and CAS 2 memory latency.

The overclocking on the board, even with just the front-side bus adjustments, wasn’t very successful. Going past the 140 MHz setting left me with some very mixed feelings. We could post without a problem at 140 MHz, but the 145 MHz setting gave us stability issues that just didn’t seemed to be able to get ironed out. It can be easily said, this board is definitely not for the overclocker.

The testing setup for this motherboard was changed a bit. I had been getting some odd numbers with a new version of Win XP Professional I purchased, so the Soyo Dragon motherboard was retested along with the NVIDIA reference board to match up against the results from the MSI K7N420 Pro motherboard.

Below are the system setup and the benchmarks that were run:

Test System Setup


1 x 1.67 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2000+ Processor


MSI K7N420 Pro

Soyo Dragon Plus KT266A


1 x 256MB TwinMOS PC2100 DDR DRAM

Hard Drive

20.5GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE

Video Card

GeForce 3

Video Drivers

Detonator 22.40

Operating System

Windows XP


Quake III: Arena

3DMark 2001

SiSoft Sandra Memory Bench

SiSoft Sandra CPU Bench

Content Creation Winstone 2001

Business Winstone 2001

4 different SPEC view perf tests



Sysmark 2001

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