845Pro2-R supports up to three PC133 SDRAM modules of 1.0GB in size, for a total of up to
3GB. The i845 chipset doesn't do the best job of supporting
PC100 so you'd
be taking your chances using such dated memory on this board.
With the introduction
of the newer socket 478 Pentium 4 architecture, motherboard manufacturers had to yet again redesign their
layouts to support large heatsinks. The socket 423 and socket 478 architectures are not compatible by
nature, but different heatsink manufacturers may offer dual purpose heatsinks. In any case,
the small socket 478 is really too tiny to attach anything to, so a standoff is mounted
to the PCB which the heatsink attaches directly to.
proximity of capacitors to the processor has always been a bit of a double edged
sword. The closer the capacitors are, the more interference is filtered out. The
problem with this from a cooling perspective is that, closely placed capacitors
can interfere with airflow around the processor, potentially leading to higher running temps. While the situation
is much more controlled than on AMD boards where some heatsinks won't even fit
on the board, draping power cables and capacitors can still muck up ideal
air flow patterns.
socket is closely surrounded by tall capacitors on one side, potentially
causing air flow issues. The 12V ATX and 5V/3V ATX power connectors are located centrally on the
board and don't really get in the way.
There are a total of three fan headers
on the 845Pro2-R. One is taken up by the processor heatsink, while the
other two remain free for use with system fans, or graphics card
cooling. Two fan headers are positioned near to the processor socket itself, and the
third lies towards the front on the lower end of the board.
Sometimes these important little fan
connectors can get stuck in the most awkward of places, but this wasn't the case
with the MSI board. All of the fan headers are easily reachable and the
need for super small fingers or tweezers in not necessary.
Thermally, the i845
chipset is cooled by a custom orange heatsink with thermal interface material and a foam
ring to add support during mounting. The foam ring helps to prevent the heatsink from being mounted
on an angle and thereby chipping the core of the exposed i845 die. A small fan
on the heatsink helps to blow air through the heatsink and prevent the possibility of overheating.
| The i845 chipset heatsink is a small active cooler
with decent thermal interface material.|