MSI 915P Combo
- Package and Contents
While the 925X Neo is the enthusiast based motherboard, to keep the mainstream users on track MSI has a second motherboard based on the I9xx chipset, this time the I915P. In the 915P Neo you get a similar bundle as the 925X Neo. One user manual which covers the Motherboard and RAID controller, one Rounded IDE and one rounded FDD cable is supplied for parallel drives, four Serial ATA data and 2x2 SATA power splitters give you out of the box support for four SATA drives. An I/O shield and Driver CD and 2000/XP/2003 RAID install FDD round out the package.
- The Motherboard
The layout differs slightly from the 925X Neo. First off the PCB is red rather than the black platinum that MSI now uses for its enthusiast motherboards. Placement of the power connectors are okay except for the 4 pin power connector located between the I/O panel and the Northbridge heatsink. The FDD and IDE connectors are located as ideally as possible, with the FDD behind the DIMM sockets with the 24pin ATX power connector and the IDE below the DIMM modules
Expansion layout is identical to the 925X Neo with one PCI Express x16 slot, two PCI Express x1 slots and three PCI legacy slots. Like the 925X Neo, MSI uses the same 3 phase voltage regulator system with the large sinks on the mosfets to promote better cooling.
The MSI 915P Combo takes after the Gigabyte Duo motherboard in that is supports both DDR and DDR-2 memory, though you can't use them at the same time. The two DDR-2 DIMM modules are coloured yellow and the two DDR DIMM modules are coloured Green. These support 128bit so you do get Dual Channel memory in either mode.
The 915P Neo uses the exact same cooling on the North and Southbridges as the 925X Neo. The I915P chipset has now become the chipset of choice amongst the mainstream users of the I9xx line, as its support for DDR and DDR-2 makes upgrading slightly less expensive.
MSI uses the same VIA VT6410 IDE RAID controller to add two extra IDE ports supporting RAID. Like the 925X Neo, the BIOS has the VIA RAID controller tied into the Standard CMOS settings menu in BIOS, so any dives on the VIA chip are visible in BIOS.
The overclocking features of the 915P Neo has the exact same overclocking features and setup as the I925X Neo, and its results were identical in overclocking results.
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