MSI uses mini-ITX motherboard to set DDR4 overclocking record

MSI is proud as a peacock over a new overclocking record it set using its own Z170I Gaming Pro AC motherboard. The company sent us details along with links to screenshots showing it was able to take a single stick of DDR4-2133 memory to just over 5,000MHz.

Part of what makes the record frequency impressive is that MSI used a mini-ITX motherboard. The achievement underscores that you can wring big performance out of small form factor mobos, even of the diminutive mini-ITX variety, which are smaller than micro-ATX boards.

That said, there are some factors that temper our enthusiasm here. For one, the record frequency was hit using just one memory module in single channel mode. Secondly, the real world benefits of running DDR4 at 5,000MHz versus 2,133MHz aren't all that spectacular—it's mostly for bragging rights and for the sport of overclocking. And finally, as is often the case with record breaking overclocks, extreme cooling was required here in the form of liquid nitrogen.

Disclaimers aside, this is a job well done by MSI's in-house overclocker "Toppc." G.Skill also deserves a shout out here, as MSI used a G.Skill DDR4-2133 Trident Z module to set the record. Timings were loosened to 31-31-31-63, according to the validated CPU-Z submission.

It's not surprising that G.Skill was in the mix. It's one of the more active participants in the enthusiast and overclocking memory scene, both in terms of setting records and regularly releasing faster memory kits.

"Surpassing the 5GHz frequency speed barrier had been the ultimate aspiration of the memory overclocking community since the last year’s launch of the Intel Skylake platform. This historic milestone is finally succeeded today by the renowned Taiwanese overclocking legend, Toppc, under liquid nitrogen cooling," G.Skill said.

Job well done all around. 

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).