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MSI vs. Chaintech: Tier 2 i865PE Head to Head

By: Cameron Johnson | Socket LGA 775 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 22, 2003 4:00 am

Features of the MSI 865PE Neo2 Continued



While native Serial ATA is provided by the ICH5-R Southbridge, MSI has gone one step further and given us an additional two Serial ATA ports and one Parallel ATA port. The Promise PDC20378 PCI controller chipset has support for two Serial ATA ports for one Serial ATA drive per port, lifting the total Serial ATA count to four drives, and one Parallel ATA port for single master and slave devices. Any drives connected to these ports can be set to RAID 0, 1, 0+1 or JBOD. This allows for four drives in total to operate off the Promise Controller chip.



Gigabit Ethernet is one of the luxuries that Intel has now allowed us to have with a minimum of overheads. The CSA bus incorporated into the new Northbridge's has made it possible to use Gigabit Ethernet without cluttering up the PCI bus. MSI has taken advantage of the feature and used the Intel Pro1000CT CSA Network controller, which operates off the CSA bus for full networking advantages.



As mentioned earlier, 5.1 sound is supported providing you give it the proper codec. The CMI9739A is such codec. It allows you to have either three ports with MIC/Center and Sub and Line In/Surround port sharing or the use of dedicated center/sub and Surround ports with one SPDIF port. MSI included the S-Bracket with two stereo audio ports for Center/Sub and Surround ports and one SPDIF port for optical audio output.



MSI Core Cell technology was the first of its kind ever introduced. This new technology is not only a system health monitor but also an overclocking aid. When enabled. Core Cell monitors the CPU utilization and the CPU temperature, if the temperature is within safe limits and the CPU is being utilized at over 70%, core cell speeds the FSB up and raises the CPU core voltage to accept a safe overclock. While doing this, it also keeps an eye on the memory and enables certain bypass functions to allow for faster RAM access without any fault tolerances, but this is only when the CPU is extremely under load. This system can be disabled to allow manual overclocking, which most of us out there would rather do.


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