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MSI 845PE Max2-FIR Motherboard Review

MSI 845PE Max2-FIR Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Supports 2 GB of DDR, USB 2.0, Ultra DMA133 IDE RAID, 5.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN, integrated IEEE 1394 Firewire and six PCI slots!
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Nov 14 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI 845PE Max2-FIR

Blue BIOS, Red PCB - What's the final say?

MSI have put together another awesome motherboard. The 845PE Max2-FIR is just littered with integrated devices like Promise IDE RAID, USB 2.0 & IEEE 1394, C-Media based 5.1 channel audio and even an onboard Intel Gigabit LOM NIC (Lan on Motherboard Network Interface Card). Couple that with a full six PCI expansion slots, a CRM for those of you who care, and three 186-pin DIMM's and you have a pretty potent combination.

Performance of 845PE Max2-FIR was excellent, and as you can see by the benchmarks the board has a wild side to it. Users who decide to overclock will be happy to find a full set of tweaking tools in the BIOS to help them along. In our tests, the MSI 845PE Max2-FIR wasn't the best overclocker we have ever tested, but it did perform towards the higher end of the scale - reaching 165 MHz FSB with a P4 2.66B processor and stock heatsink.

Coupled with a good layout, an impressive feature set, and equally nice performance, this board is a keeper. Little things like placing all the USB/IEEE 1394 headers at the base of the PCB should make installation a tangle-free matter, though labeling of the front panel connectors is non-existant. So don't loose the manual.

The board we tested runs the AGP/PCI frequencies to 69.67/34.83 MHz instead of 66/33 MHz. This is a little odd, and may skew results a little (in the good way) when comparing against similarly designed motherboards. Other than a lack of Serial ATA headers there is nothing really here to gripe about, and even that is a moot point since at the time of this writing Serial ATA drives are still not commercially available. Bottom line, if you're looking for a new Pentium 4 motherboard be sure to check out the MSI 845PE Max2-FIR! It has all the features you need, supports Hyperthreading processors and performs damn well!

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Contents of Article: MSI 845PE Max2-FIR
 Pg 1.  MSI 845PE Max2-FIR Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  The 845PE Max2-FIR - Feature Laden
 Pg 3.  Meet the i845PE chipset & overclock it
 Pg 4.  It's a Blue BIOS
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Sysmark 2002, Winstone 2002
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: WinBench99, Sandra 2002
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark 2002, 3DMark 2001SE
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena
 Pg 9.  — Blue BIOS, Red PCB - What's the final say?

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