Out of all motherboard manufacturers, MSI had one of the largest stands at this year's Computex. MSI were displaying a whole range of motherboards ranging from the KT400 chipset to the AMD 8151 chipset as well as their range of graphics cards and DVD ROM drives.
MSI's ClawHammer motherboard based on the VIA K8HTA chipset was on display, called the K8H Gem-ABIL. It supports a CPU frequency of 3GHz+, DDR333 memory, AGP 8x, 6 USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 LAN connector, three IEEE1394 ports, 2 SerialATA ports that support SerialATA RAID through the Promise 20375 controller, onboard BlueTooth and an 802.11b wireless LAN solution. This is one of the most feature-packed motherboards I have ever seen and it is the first motherboard to feature onboard bluetooth.
The second ClawHammer motherboard at MSI's stand was the K8A Gem, based on the AMD 8151 chipset. This looks to be just a reference board from AMD and thus it is not as feature-packed as the K8H Gem-ABIL. It features onboard 10/100 LAN, two IEEE1394 ports, AC'97 software audio and six USB 2.0 ports.
For current Athlon/Duron processors, MSI had their KT4 Ultra-ABIL board on display. Like the K8H Gem-ABIL, it features DR333 support, AGP 8x, 6 USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 LAN connector, three IEEE1394 ports, 2 SerialATA ports, onboard BlueTooth and an 802.11b wireless LAN solution. We asked one of MSI's staff when the board would be officially released and they said around October of this year.
MSI's SiS648 solution was also on display, the SiS648 Max-BL. It features DDR333 support, onboard 10/100 LAN, six USB 2.0 ports, bluetooth, 802.11b wireless LAN and integrated AC97 5.1 audio. Are you beginning to see the trend yet? MSI have really gotten behind bluetooth technology and we will most likely be seeing it included on all future MSI motherboards.
Slightly moving away from motherboards, MSI had a 2.4x2.4x12x10 DVD+RW drive on display called the MS-8602. It features a DVD+RW write speed of 2.4x and a 12x CD-R write speed. Not many people have rushed out to buy a DVD+RW drive yet because they are just too expensive at the moment. They are, however, very useful for creating backups as DVDs feature a maximum capacity of 4.7GB, compared to a CD-R that can only hold up to 700MB. It has a 2MB internal buffer, a built in headphone jack, volume control knob and a play/skip button.
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