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MSI RS480M2-IL Motherboard Review

MSI RS480M2-IL Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you'ret a fan of integrated video, rejoice. The MSI RS480M2-IL also features a full PCI Express x16 slot as well as three PCI slots for expansion.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Computer Jun 14 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI Computer RS480M2-IL

More info on the RS480...

The RS400 (Intel) and RS480 (AMD) share the same Radeon Xpress 200 chipset nomenclature which makes things a bit confusing. That's why we'll be referring to the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset found on the RS480M2-IL as the RS480 which should make things easier.

The ATI RS480 chipset supports AMD Athlon64/FX as well as Sempron processors, although ATi does not state which form factors specifically (we know Socket 939 already).

Integrated into the northbridge is a videocard derived from the DirectX 9 Radeon X300 architecture. The processor connects to the RS480 Northbridge via a 1.0 GHz HyperTransport connection that is 16-bits wide both up and downstream.

DirectX and the story behind it...


Before Microsoft released DirectX, there were two 3D APIs (Application Programming Interface), Glide (specific to 3DFX) and OpenGL. These two competing standards were very different and graphic development was slow as a result.

In 1995, Microsoft released the DirectX standard, directly competing with the other two. Glide died off in the early 2000's when 3dfx went under and OpenGL has not advanced as quickly as DirectX since. DirectX allows for easier access to the Windows operating system so it became the logical choice once Windows became the dominant PC gaming platform in the late 90's.

Thanks to Microsoft, the gaming world is rather uniform now. Game developers and manufacturers focus on DirectX and we've seen some great advancement in 3D technology over the last few years. There are times when a monopoly is bad, but this is definitely not one of those times, At least for PC gamers...

The RS480 supports one PCI Express x16 connector for the videocard as well as four individual PCI Express x1 lanes for peripherals. The integrated videocard supports TV, CRT and DVI output but the last option is not available on the RS480M2-IL. The RS480 is connected to the IXP400 Southbridge via a PCI Express x2 connection.

The IXP400 Southbridge supports eight USB 2.0 ports, four Serial ATA generation one HDDs, four Ultra/133 IDE HDDs, a 7.1 channel soundcard and up to five PCI devices. The IXP400 can do RAID but only modes 0 and 1 are currently available. The specifications of the IXP400 seem a bit dated compared to the competition from nVidia and VIA, so hopefully ATi will revamp its Southbridge lineup in the near future.

In this section of the review we would usually discuss overclocking, but unfortunately there are no overclocking options in the RS480M2-IL's BIOS. Hopefully MSI will include this in retail versions or in subsequent BIOS updates.

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Contents of Article: MSI Computer RS480M2-IL
 Pg 1.  MSI RS480M2-IL Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — More info on the RS480...
 Pg 3.  MSI RS480M2-IL BIOS
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: SYSmark2004
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, Comanche 4
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: UT2004
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Doom 3, Conclusions

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