MSI Wind Gets Turbo Upgrade

By Evan Ackerman

My favoritest little netbook, the MSI Wind, has just gotten a substantial speed boost thanks to an official BIOS update from MSI. The latest 1.09 BIOS endows the Wind with the “Turbo” mode that was included in the review units but absent from the production models. You can overclock the 1.6ghz Atom processor by 8%, 15%, or 24%, yielding a speed boost of up to 30%, according to reports. You’ll get the most out of this if you have 2 gigs of RAM installed, but it works just fine with the stock 1 gig (which is what I have).

Once the BIOS is updated (a slightly complicated but by no means impossible procedure), you can set your overclocking speed in the BIOS menu at startup. Then, simply pressing Fn+F10 engages Turbo mode (with an accompanying flaming turbo graphic). This only works while the Wind is on wall power; pressing Fn+F10 while running on batts instead underclocks the processor down to 1.2 ghz to save battery life.

A 30% speed boost is quite significant, and although the Wind was of course overclockable before this, building the option into an official BIOS release makes it not only easy, but also (I assume) keeps your warranty intact should you melt your processor into a sad little puddle of silicon goo. So far, though, even at 24%, I have only noticed a slight warming of the computer, nothing more. Oh, and you can also download a hacked version of the 1.09 BIOS which swaps the locations of the Fn and Ctrl keys, another one of my little gripes.

Now all they have to do is update the driver for the Sentelic touchpad to give it slide scrolling (and why not multitouch gestures, while they’re at it), and the MSI Wind will be completely flawless.

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