MSI B460 motherboards have offered a higher power limit to release the most accurate CPU performance. A higher power limit brings better performance because the frequency won't be limited by the power limit.

However, a premium CPU cooler may be necessary for Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 processors to avoid overheating. A stock Intel cooler may not be enough to manage the heat generated by Core i5 and higher processors with a heavy workload like Blender or Cinebench. It may need a lower power limit. For those who use stock Intel coolers, what’s the best power limit that can keep CPU cool? And what’s the power limit for powerful air and water coolers that can help unleash the CPU performance?

CPU Cooler Tuning

MSI's new "CPU Cooler Tuning" feature offers power limit recommendations based on which CPU cooler is being used. The feature is designed to be straightforward and easy to use. At the first boot or every time after CMOS is cleared, you’ll be prompted to choose your CPU cooler and the corresponding power limit will apply. CPU Cooler Tuning is available on Intel Z490, B460, and H410 motherboards.

CPU Cooler Tuning

Take MAG B460M MORTAR WIFI as an example. There are three CPU cooler types and power limit settings offered, including Boxed Cooler (65W), Tower Air Cooler (255W), and Water Cooler (255W). Please remember to press F10 to save and exit BIOS after the CPU cooler type is selected. The power limit settings will take effect on the next boot.

Here are the settings for the three types of coolers.

Power Limit 1 / Power Limit 2 Current Limit
Boxed Cooler 65W / 134W 140A
Tower Air Cooler 255W / 255W 210A
Water Cooler 255W / 255W 210A

If you'd like to change the cooler type and corresponding power limit, just go to BIOS and choose from the "CPU Cooler Tuning" dropdown menu.

CPU Cooler Tuning

If the three power limit settings still don’t satisfy you, you can customize your power limit in “Overclocking \ Advanced CPU configuration".

CPU Cooler Tuning

How does power limit affect CPU temperature and performance?

Many of you may wonder how the power limit affects CPU performance and temperature. Here are the test results of the Blender BMW 2.7 benchmark with a stock Intel Cooler. The Intel Core i5-10600 and MAG B460M MORTAR are used for this test.

As the graph below shows, a Boxed Cooler with a 65W power limit keeps CPU temperature at 70°C at the cost of CPU performance. If the 95W power limit is applied, CPU performance is better while the CPU temperature reaches 89°C. With a 255W power limit for a water cooler, the CPU temperature hits 100°C, which is not recommended for daily use. For this stock Intel cooler, Boxed Cooler with a 65W power limit is recommended.

CPU Cooler Tuning

It's always recommended to test with your frequently used software to find out the best power limit for your system. If you don’t know where to start, MSI "CPU Cooler Tuning" is a good start for you to find out quickly the best power limit for your cooler.