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MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R i865PE motherboard Review
MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R i865PE motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Today we're going to be weighing the pros and cons of MSI's first entry into the mainstream Springdale (i865PE) desktop mainboard market.
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Jun 11 2003   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R

MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R i865PE motherboard Review

The Intel i865 Springdale chipset is the next "big" thing for the Pentium 4.... right after the i875 Canterwood of course. Springdale is gaining in popularity primarily because the little chip which gets soldered onto the motherboard offers something on the order of around 97% of the performance of the flagship Intel i875P, for about three-quarters of the price.

So what you say? If you're currently working with an i850E (RDRAM) pentium 4 system and long ago made the decision to pass on the DDR-based i845PE's which has been wooing consumers for the last six months, you should still take note. Boards which are based on the i850E were faster and more powerfull than their i845PE counterparts, but the i865 tops both. Hey, it is a new chipset after all!

Today we're going to be weighing the pros and cons of MSI's first entry into the mainstream Springdale (i865PE) desktop mainboard market - the wickedly red MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R. This is the top of the line model with all the bells and whistles on board - so if you want to save a few dollars and don't need all the little extras you can shoot for the 'vanilla' 865PE Neo2 version.

There's good reason to take note of the FIS2R-flavored 865PE Neo2 from MSI, the board is packed with features. Count with your fingers now as we have; Gigabit CSA Ethernet, Serial ATA/Serial ATA RAID, 6-channel audio, eight USB2 ports, three IEEE 1394 Firewire ports, and two fan headers.

Things don't end there, the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R also includes one rounded IDE cable, four 'convict-orange' Serial ATA cables and two molex Y-splitter 15 pin Serial ATA power connectors. This is the first time we've seen a manufacturer include everything required to actually use all the Serial ATA ports and power the SATA hard drives!

Just because the motherboard has a ton of features on board doesn't mean it can't be expanded either. The 865PE Neo2-FIS2R also features an 8x AGP slot as well as five 32-bit PCI's. The motherboard supports 400/533/800 MHz FSB based Pentium 4 Northwood processors and can use up to a maximum of 4GB of PC1600/2100/2700/3200 non ECC DDR RAM. Phew, that was a mouthful. =) The 865G Neo2 version comes with on board graphics as well.

msi 865pe neo2-fis2r

Ships with the following:

  • Rounded IDE ATA100 Cable
  • 4x Serial ATA Cables
  • FDD Cable
  • 2x Molex/4 Serial ATA Power
  • Driver CD
  • Serial ATA Floppy Driver
  • RAID Driver Floppy
  • User Manual
  • Serial ATA Manual
  • MSI Super Pack Software

  • Optical Audio Bracket
  • USB Bracket
  • IEEE 1394 Bracket
  • Like many other MSI motherboards we have reviewed in the past on PCstats.com, the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R uses a red coloured PCB. The layout of the motherboard is very good, we like how many manufacturers now place all their headers/connectors on along the edge of the of the boards too.

    MSI have followed Gigabyte's lead and now colour code (and show the positive values) the front panel I/O connector pins. You'll no longer have to worry about installing the system then having to open it up because you have the HDD or Power LED in the wrong position.

    The four corners of the board are rounded, and while this is pretty trivial, for someone who reviews motherboards constantly I can't tell you how many times I've scratched myself... okay, back to the real stuff.

    With more and more USB devices on the market it was nice to see that MSI includes six ports on the rear I/O. Often manufacturers only include two native ports while forcing the end user to use the header brackets which take away valuable PCI expansion slots. Two more headers are included on the PCB which do use a header, or if the case has a front panel connector they can also be connected there. With a total of eight USB2.0 ports on one motherboard you almost have to wonder why USB hubs are even still made...

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    Contents of Article: MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R
     Pg 1.  — MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R i865PE motherboard Review
     Pg 2.  What the heck is CoreCell?
     Pg 3.  Overclocking and BIOS
     Pg 4.  System Spec's and Benchmarks
     Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Winbench 99, SiSoft Sandra 2003
     Pg 6.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001SE
     Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena, UT2003
     Pg 8.  The MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R can deliver

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