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MSI 850 Pro2 P4 Motherboard Review

MSI 850 Pro2 P4 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: With its' distinctive three and one RIMM slot orientation, the MSI 850 Pro2 is set to capture the attention of the ever increasing P4 market.
 86% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Aug 14 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI 850 Pro2

Onboard features and more

Tehama Heatsink

On the thermal side of things we see that the Tehama chipset is covered by a new type of passive heatsink. Unlike the BGA chipset coolers of old, the i850 heatsink is rather specialized. Namely, the heatsink is attached to the FC-BGA chipset by means of two small spring catches that hook into two little soldered in loops on the board. Where as the BGA coolers we are most familiar with attach directly to the PCB by means of small plastic pegs, or if it is a real quick job, by adhesive 'thermal' tape.

The Tehama chipset heatsink clips onto the motherboard with small hooks and has some thermal interface material on the base.

It is easy to see that a lot more care has gone into these specialized heatsinks then the old 'green standard.' For instance, the small heatsink uses a thermal interface material and a small spongy ring to minimize the possibility of damaging the exposed silicon core of the i850 chipset.

I would suggest that anyone considering 'tweaking' this particular heatsink, don't. The heatsink, while passive, is made well enough to adequately cool the i850 from what we've seen.

Rounding out the onboard features

D-LED diagnostics is a simple way to help users, or overclockers who have messed up, bring their wounded or improperly assembled motherboard back to the world of the living.

Four simple LED's sandwiched between the multimedia/audio sockets on the back of the board and the serial/parallel ports can display red or green, and are the heart of the system.

Depending on the sequence of coloured LED's that are showing (and whether or not the system is booting) a poorly configured system can be diagnosed and fixed. A small card explains the colour combinations and a sticker that comes with the motherboard can be attached to the inside of the case should you be one to loose instructions out of habit.

MSI's PC-to-PC utility is described as USB networking or "Ethernet emulation environment". What it does is allow users to transfer and receive data from other computers or share system resources with other computers without using a network adapter. Transfer speeds sit on the order of 12Mbps and the system supports TCP/IP, NetBEUI, and IPX protocols.

The 850 Pro2 comes with USB adapter and USB cable. The adapter which plugs into the motherboard is shown to the left.

Before the system will be operable, the included GeneLink LAN drivers have to be installed. If you're looking to share internet connections a software router also has to be configured. Suffice to say it is a unique feature to MSI, and one which is well documented in the manual.

Other features which round out the 850 Pro2 include wake on LAN, wake on ring, remote power on/off, power saving suspend, infrared module support, chassis intrusion detection, and CD/AUD/Modem-In audio connectors.

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Contents of Article: MSI 850 Pro2
 Pg 1.  MSI 850 Pro2 P4 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  850 Pro2 Motherboard Features
 Pg 3.  Heatsink Mounts and Cooling Provisions
 Pg 4.  — Onboard features and more
 Pg 5.  The Full 850 Pro2 Spec Sheet
 Pg 6.  The BIOS Features
 Pg 7.  Memory Adjustments in the Bios
 Pg 8.  Test system specs and initial benchmarks
 Pg 9.  e-Testinglabs WinBench 99 and Productivity Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  Conclusions

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