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MSI Master2-FL (MS-9141): An Unfortunate Design At An Attractive Price

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MSI produces motherboards with Intel's E7505 chipset in both ATX and WTX formats. Altogether, the manufacturer offers four models.

Chipset NB/SB Model Form Factor
E7505/P64H2 E7505 Master-LS2 (MS-9121-LS2) WTX
E7505/P64H2 E7505 Master-L (MS-9121-L) WTX
E7505 E7505 Master2-F (MS-9141-F) ATX
E7505 E7505 Master2-FL (MS-9141-FL) ATX

The boards in WTX design are distinguished by the short names LS2 and L, with the former signifying an additional SCSI controller. In ATX terminology, F stands for one and FL for two network controllers. In the case of two LAN controllers on one board, one is generally designed for 100 Mbit and the other for 1 Gbit. For this test, MSI sent us the E7505 Master2-FL and the E7505 Master-LS2 models. Let's turn first to the small ATX version.

Red all over: the E7505 MSI Master 2-FL

Revision: 1
BIOS Version: 1.1B7 (10/07/2003)

At first glance, the Master2-FL gives a somewhat lean impression. On closer examination, especially against the competition's product, a clear difference in design becomes apparent: MSI has positioned the ATX jack for the power supply to the right of the processor socket, resulting in a leftward shift of around a centimeter for some components such as AGP and PCI. Therefore, one slot had to go. More powerful graphics cards usually block the first PCI slot, as their sizable coolers take up a lot of room. Hence, in practice this board only has three usable slots for PCI cards. The MSI Master2-FL has no FireWire or IDE/SATA-RAID controller.

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In the picture: the I/O panel
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