You should disable CEP on Intel motherboards, says MSI – here’s why

An illustration depicting a computer motherboard with an MSI warning sign, against a split blue and purple background.

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MSI has recently discovered that a feature previously meant to save CPUs from insufficient voltage, the CEP or Current Excursion Protection, has an unexpected downside. It can actually cause higher temperatures in some cases, and lower performance in the CPU. They’re now urging users to disable this feature.

The info comes from the latest update for MSI BIOS, where MSI explains that gaming enthusiasts will likely want to disable the CEP feature. This is because depending on what platform users are on and what settings they choose, it can lead to a significant performance drop with the feature enabled. With CEP turned on, MSI found that it can lead to up to a 40% drop in performance on Core i7-12700 and Core i9-14900 processors. Once CEP was turned off, the performance improved and the temperature dropped by 16 degrees Celsius.

Turning off CEP on MSI Intel motherboards could save performance

The Current Excursion Protection feature now has the option to be disabled on the latest BIOS update for Intel 600 and 700 based motherboards. The feature was initially intended to save insufficient CPU voltage from causing system instability. Now that MSI has found the issues caused by the CEP feature, it recommends anyone who is gaming on the motherboards disable it with the latest update.

However, some CPUs won’t be getting the option. The update is for 14th gen K, 14th gen non-K, 13th gen K, and 12th gen K series processors. This leaves out 13th gen and 12th gen non-K processors from the change. There’s no telling if a future update will support enabling the CEP for these CPUs.

For gamers, higher temperatures and lower performance is a lose-lose situation. MSI themselves are recommending you turn the CEP off, so it’s in your best interest to do so. More updates are coming for MSI Intel motherboards, likely before the end of the month. Getting your motherboard on the best settings should keep you ready for whatever MSI throws at users.

Annie is a journalist focusing on the latest technology news and deals. At PC Guide, Annie covers the latest bundle deals and news from the world of tech, with a particular focus on GPU and CPU news.