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Socket 939 Motherboards - MSI and nVidia vs. ABIT and VIA

By: Mike Wright | Socket 939 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 10, 2004 4:00 am

In The Box



When you break open the seal of this package, you'll be greeted with many different items. You get the usual assortment of motherboard, cables, manual, drivers and such, but nothing really out of the ordinary. The MSI board's biggest selling point is features and it is certainly loaded with them, but you should also find about everything you'll need to get your new system working out of the box.


One thing that I was a little surprised about was only one IDE cable. The board still supports a full complement of IDE devices, so I had really expected cabling enough to handle the load. Obviously not.



There was one interesting additional item, however. While a quick glance might make you think this device is nothing more than a simple USB port, you would find yourself missing out on a great deal of functionality. Take a little closer look at the LED lights above the top USB port.



See the lights numbered in series? This little PCI add-on card is also a hardware diagnostics device that attaches to the motherboard. Through a coded set of lighting modes, you can find out where a potential problem lies without having to rip everything out and starting over again. While it would have been a nicer touch to have this visible from the front in some manner, the addition of the device shows some intuitiveness from the folks at MSI.


Let's take a quick look at the motherboard itself and hit some of the high points as far as features are concerned.


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