One Tough Cookie: 10 Boards with Intel i875P Chipset: Part I

MSI I875P Neo (MS-6758): BIOS Tuning From The Fab, Continued

Unique: Northbridge fan with LED running light.

Additional RAID controller from Promise.

Now let's take a look at the Core Cell tool that is supposed to allow painless overclocking in Windows XP. The visual design may not be everyone's cup of tea. The speeds of the CPU and Northbridge fans can be manually adjusted using two sliding regulators. The actual effect: after a restart, these settings are no longer available. In addition, in Core Cell there is an "Auto clocking function," which is supposed to determine the maximum clock speeds for stable operation.

Practice paints another picture: after the function was activated, the tool began to gradually increase the FSB clock. Suddenly, the board reset itself and would no longer start. Only resetting CMOS fixed the problem.

A minor disadvantage regarding RAM compatibility: users who have already bought this board with an older BIOS version cannot perform any BIOS update, since the board does not even boot with a few RAM modules. The very high score in the 3D Mark 2003 is phenomenal; the competition might as well give up. This star doesn't shine as brightly in the other benchmarks, though.

Settings in the THG test.

FSB overclocking is possible.

Factory settings with overclocked AGP and PCI bus.

In a nutshell: MSI invests very heavily in marketing, color and features. The design is very attractive, and you get more features than you can shake a stick at. However, the technology has fallen a little by the wayside, as has been shown by the long THG test phase with the i875P Neo. The board is less than ideal for overclockers, since increasing the FSB clock causes problems with the RAM timing. A nice feature is the running light of the Northbridge fan - no one else offers that.

This thread is closed for comments
No comments yet
    Your comment