We'll refrain from pointing out every detail of the two boards we have selected, since this isn't a motherboard review. Instead, we'll just showcase the highlight of each to help you decide which one is the right board for you.
Both companies use all-solid capacitors in their products, ensuring a longer life than when using conventional electrolyte capacitors.
MSI P35 Neo2 (MS-7345)
A look at the MSI board
The MSI board from the other side
The highlight of MSI's design is definitely the heatpipe, which draws heat away from the Northbridge, the Southbridge and several of the voltage regulation modules.
Heatpipe on MSI's board
Another look at the heatpipe
A VIA chip provides the Firewire functionality on the FIR model. There are eight LEDs on the lower part of the board, which indicate the current status using a code. In case of a boot failure, a freeze or other problems, you can simply look up the code in the manual to diagnose the problem.
The CMOS reset button
Firewire-Chip by VIA
A red button that can be used to reset the BIOS if the board won't start is located right next to the CMOS battery. This is an incredibly overclocker-friendly feature - not only do you no longer have to fiddle around with jumpers, your last settings are also retained, making overclocking experiments much easier.
MSI uses Realtek's ALC888 as its on-board sound chip.
Although the board only features physical PCIe lanes for one 16x and one 4x connector, you can still create a crossfire configuration using two ATI cards. The processors auxiliary power connector uses eight pins, but you can use a four-pin connector as well.
MSI's wiring help.
MSI includes a few helpful wire-organizer brackets for the USB, Firewire and Power/Reset pins with its board, making wiring from the tower to the motherboard a piece of cake.
MSI P35 Neo2-FIR BIOS - click to launch slide show
- E6750 Or Q6600 - Which Is The Better Choice?
- The Processors - E6750 Or Q6600?
- Processor - G0 Stepping Is A Must
- Motherboard - Gigabyte Or MSI With P35 Chipset
- Highlights Of The MSI Board - Affordable, Heatpipe On Board
- Highlights Of The Gigabyte Board - More Features
- GEIL Memory - An Overclocking Natural
- Cooler - Zalman's CNPS9700LED Is Ideal
- Looking At The Bottom Line - CPU, Cooler, Board And RAM
- Overclocking I - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.00 GHz
- Overclocking II - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.30 GHz
- Overclocking III - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.40 GHz
- Overclocking IV - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.50 GHz
- Overclocking V - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.60 GHz
- Overclocking I - Quad-Core Q6600 At 3.00 GHz
- Overclocking II - Quad-Core Q6600 At 3.20 GHz
- Overclocking III - Quad-Core Q6600 At 3.30 GHz
- Overview Of Core Voltages
- Overclocking Yields 25% Performance Increase
- Performance Winner - Q6600 Provides 5.3% More Performance
- Test Setup
- Software Configuration
- Benchmarks And Settings
- 3D Games - UT2004, Prey
- 3D Games - Quake 4, Warhammer
- 3D Games - Supreme Commander, Serious Sam 2
- 3D-Rendering - Cinema 4D, 3D-Studio Max
- Applications - AVG, WinRAR
- Applications - Photoshop, PDF
- Applications - Deep Fritz
- Audio Encoding - ITunes, Lame
- Synthetic - Sandra CPU
- Synthetic - Sandra Memory
- Synthetic - Sandra Multimedia
- Synthetic - PC-Mark
- Synthetic - 3D-Mark
- Video Encoding - Xvid, Pinnacle Studio
- Video Encoding - Premiere, Mainconcept
- Video Encoding - HDTV, DivX
- Video Encoding - CloneDVD
- Conclusions: Intel Quad-Core And MSI P35 Neo2 Get Our Nod