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MSI K7N2G-ILSR nForce2 Motherboard Review

MSI K7N2G-ILSR nForce2 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Well equipped with SATA/IDE RAID, 10/100 LAN, IEEE 1394, USB 2.0, 6-channel audio, TV-out and of course nVIDIA's integrated video.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Feb 19 2003   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI K7N2G-ILSR

Around the Socket: Heatsink Clearances

The AMD AthlonXP is a hot processor, proper cooling is essential to the longevity of the CPU. Larger heatsinks generally offer better cooling so the question as to what the largest size a motherboard will accept pops up.

Since AMD doesn't currently use any standardized heatsink retention mechanism there is a lot more freedom in terms of the overall size an Athlon heatsink can take. Throw in the mixed layouts of many different mainboards and you have a problem on your hand. Not all AMD heatsinks will fit cleanly on all AMD motherboards, especially if the heatsink is large, or requires the use of now obsolete mounting holes.

PCStats Heatsink Clearance Measurements
Top Clearance: 7 mm
Bottom (cam) Clearance: 11 mm
Left Side (arm) Clearance: 31 mm
Right Side Clearance 15 mm
Socket Mounting Holes: None
Max. Heatsink Base Dimensions: ~80x85 mm

Note: Approx. measurements are made from the edge of the socket (not the clips) to the closest obstacle taller than the ZIF socket itself.The socket is 51mm across, and 62mm from top to bottom.

MSI did a fair job in clearing the CPU socket area of any extremities and you shouldn't have many problems fitting larger heatsinks like the Thermalright SLK-800. The board lacks any heatsink mounting holes around the socket area because they're no longer required by AMD. If it's possible, I'm sure the enthusiast community would love to see those holes back on their motherboards - but I say just use a heatsink with a three prong clip and you'll be fine.

What everybody wants, overclocking...

It would be nice if MSI would release a BIOS that unlocks the processor by default because we could not manipulate the multiplier in this case. Overclocking was done via FSB adjustments which can be cumbersome. In any case we began to raise the FSB slowly and started to see stability problems around the 173 MHz FSB mark.

A quick increase of the CPU voltage to 1.75V solved the problem. At 175 MHz FSB we hit another wall, and no matter what I tried, nor what CPU VCore was used, the AthlonXP 2700+ just wouldn't budge above 175 MHz FSB. A bit disappointing, but those are the breaks, and since we tested with the integrated video that may have been a factor.

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Contents of Article: MSI K7N2G-ILSR
 Pg 1.  MSI K7N2G-ILSR nForce2 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Close up with the K7N2G-ILSR
 Pg 3.  — Around the Socket: Heatsink Clearances
 Pg 4.  The K7N2G-ILSR BIOS:
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SysMark2002, Winstone2002
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winbench99, SiSoft Sandra 2003
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001SE
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: QIII and Conclusion

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