Today we have taken two of the best Tier 2 i865PE motherboards and battled them head to head to see what can be accomplished.
MSI Final Thoughts
On the whole, MSI has done a rather good job while trying to keep the retail price as low as possible without trying to compromise quality, and have done a reasonably good job at it. Overclocking on the MSI board was better surprisingly then the Chaintech board with a maximum FSB of 287MHz - still not as good as our Tier 1 boards, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Layout of the board only gave us one complaint, and that is the placement of the 4 pin power connector.
Promise Serial ATA RAID controller
CSA Gigabit Ethernet
Placement of the 4 pin power connector could have used more thought
Rating - 8.5 out of 10
Chaintech Final Thoughts
Chaintech is still relatively new to the motherboard industry, but old enough to know a winner from a looser. Chaintech have come half way with the 9PJP in this scale.
Overclocking was somewhat below what we expected for a Tier 2 board with only 248MHz FSB being able to be reached. The layout of the board does need some work, as the placement of the IDE connectors is just a simple motherboard no-no these days.
PCI Audio Controller
Serial ATA support
Placement of the IDE connectors needs serious re-thinking
CSA network removed over 10/100 solution
Rating - 8 out of 10
Stay tuned for our Tier 3 i865PE shootout!
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