Now we start to see what MSI has put into the board. The layout is designed around a Micro ATX format.
Located at the top of the board is a 24-pin ATX power supply connector and the FDD connector, well away from the CPU. Below the ATX power connector is a 4-pin CPU voltage connector behind the single IDE port. The DDR-2 memory module slots are located below the FDD connector and just above the CPU section. This is not your typical Micro ATX layout.
The CPU socket is a much better layout then what we saw on the ASUS N4L board. ASUS required a special heatsink and fan combo that was a proprietary mount. MSI uses the same Socket 478 mounting mechanism that Pentium 4 processors in typical Socket 478 based motherboards use - so it's simple to replace the heatsink with any Socket 478 cooler on the market.
Voltage is supplied to the CPU through a 3 phase voltage regulation system. While 2 phases is only needed for such an energy efficient core, it's nice to see the extra phase added to provide a cooler mosfet profile. After all, the less heat generated in a Micro ATX case the better.
Now we take a look at the rear I/O panel - and I must say it is a very clean and efficient panel. You have your standard two PS2 ports for keyboard and mouse. Next you have a 15-pin CRT port and a DVI-I port for your monitors - with the onboard graphics supporting Dual Monitors, there nothing holding you back. Next up is a single RCA and S-Video port, which are used to connect the PC to a TV for video out functions in media centre environments. Beside that is a single Firewire-400 port. Next are two RJ-45 ports for Dual Gigabit LAN, which is another requirement of the Intel VIIV platform. Next to this is a 4 port USB stack and lastly there is Analogue audio and one digital optical audio out port.
When using the Micro ATX layout you get a single PCI Express x16 slot for a discrete graphics cards. Also in the PCI Express line you get a single PCI Express x4 slot along with two PCI slots. You can see at the bottom of the board there is a gold finger connector. This is where the extra two PCI slots expansion board is plugged in. When using this you get a total of four PCI slots, which all in all makes the expansion possibilities for this motherboard quite impressive considering it is Micro ATX based.
The MSI 945GT Speedster supplied two PCI Express x1 Intel Tacoma Network controllers. These chips support up to 1000Mbps throughput.
Lastly we have the PCI based VIA VT6307 Firewire controller.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications]
- Page 3 [Inside The Box]
- Page 4 [The Motherboard]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and SiSoft Sandra]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - PCMark05]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Media Encoding]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - 3DMark05]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Doom 3]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Quake 4]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- Page 15 [Final Thoughts]
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima to step down
- Bandai Namco release 1080p New Gundam Breaker screenshots
- Monster Hunter World: console update released, patch notes
- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice devs shocked at PC game sales
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze overview trailer reveal
- Issue with X299 Taichi No video through GTX 1080ti
- GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WIFI Motherboard Review
- AsRock Z97 not picking up SATA drive
- GA-X79-UD3 NVMe
- MyDigitalDiscount 128GB/256GB/512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review
- Micron Launches Industry's First Enterprise SATA Solid State Drives Built on Leading 64-layer 3D NAND Technology
- Micron, Rambus, Northwest Logic and Avery Design to Deliver a Comprehensive GDDR6 Solution for Next-Generation Applications
- Toshiba Memory America Unveils UFS Devices Utilizing 64-Layer, 3D Flash Memory
- ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Series Gaming Graphics Cards
- ASUS Announces ASUS Hangouts Meet Hardware Kit