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MSI Unveils DDR2+DDR3 Combo Motherboard

MSI is reaching out to touch the memory lover in every gamer with two very unique motherboards: the 790GX-8D and the P45-8D. What's so special about these boards? Dual support for DDR2 and DDR3, on the same board.

MSI showcased two amazing motherboards at CeBIT: its AM3 board 790GX-8D featuring the 790GX chipset, and its socket 775 board P45-8D using Intel's P45 +ICH10/ICH10R chipset. What makes these two boards so extremely hot is their huge memory capacity, both offering four DDR2 slots and four DDR3 memory slots. Nicknamed as the "Memory Lover," both utilize MSI's power saving technology APS as well as its "DrMOS" high quality voltage converters.

Out of the two, the 790GX-8D seems a bit more versatile, compatible with AMD's AM3 processors with DDR2-1066 or DDR3-1333 RAM (using bypass) while also capable of supporting the AM2+ CPU with DDR2 RAM. Up until now, you had to choose between DDR2 or DDR3, but not both.

The 790GX-8D also allows overclockers to increase the frequencies at any time using an onboard control dial. Users can even erase the CMOS RAM with the touch of a Reset button or switch into power saving mode by pressing the "Green Power" button.

Additionally, the board offers two PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe x1 slots, and a vanilla PCI slot. Users can easily throw in a CrossFireX configuration using two cards worry-free, and it's even possible to set up a Hybrid CrossFireX configuration using the on-board graphics chipset.

As for the P45-8D, this motherboard is currently on the market, and supports Intel's 45nm and 65nm Core 2 (Extreme) processors. The board offers a 6+2 SATA/Raid for better storage. Although the board features eight memory slots, the maximum amount of memory is only 16 GB. The board has 1 PCIe x16 slot, one PCIe Gen2 (1x16) slot, one PCIe x1 slot, and three vanilla PCI slots. Unfortunately, the P45-8D doesn't support SLI nor does it offer the power saving Green Power Genie as featured on the 790GX-8D.

Although the P45-8D does offer loads of memory, it seems less appealing than MSI's AM3 Memory Lover offering. Still, consumers can pick up the Intel-based board online, retailing between $170 - $350.

  • scarpa
    The AM3 motherboard is very interesting, such a motherboard was needed in the market.

    Reply
  • tonitelaoag
    intel base board is poor in overclocking
    Reply
  • im looking forward for the 6 core opteron version using am3 socket and supporting ddr3 1333+ memory .... hopefully it will compete with the i7 or even i5 ... maybe the probe filter is the new tech implemented to gain advantage.

    cant wait
    Reply
  • The_Blood_Raven
    Didn't nVidia make some boards that did both DDR2 and DDR3?
    Reply
  • falchard
    ASRock did only better where you don't have to worry about individual dimms. With this it seems you are restricted to 4 dimms oout of 8.
    Reply
  • Claimintru
    This board is absolutely useless. If you're in the market for a new board, you're either going to buy the newest which supports the new processor sockets and DDR3, or you're going to buy middle quality (Which by all means is still great especially for gaming) that supports DDR2 and the Previous gen Core2Quads/Duos etc.
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    I agree with Claimintru. Every time there is a memory tech change you see companies trying to push these hybrid boards. The first one I saw was a SIMM & DIMM combo and even with the cost of memory back then it was of questionable value.
    Reply
  • Mitrovarr
    The AMD board seems like a very situational item. The design compromises and cost increase inherent in such a design will likely make it impractical to build a new computer with AM2/DDR2 equipment with the intention of later upgrading to AM3/DDR3. The cost premium you'll pay for a motherboard like this is probably nearly as much as the price premium for just buying the AM3/DDR3 equipment now.

    The best use of a board like this, in my opinion, if is you already have the AM2 processor and DDR2 memory, but need a new motherboard (yours failed or you just don't like it.) If that was true, you could get this motherboard, use your current CPU/RAM until it didn't have enough performance to make you happy, and then upgrade. You'll still be stuck with a board that wastes lots of space on tons of ram slots, but it would still probably be worth it.

    The Intel board seems even less useful. Is it really a good idea to pay a premium (in money and board real estate) for the ability to upgrade to DDR3 later? As I understand it, the performance increase you get from DD3 on the Core 2 architecture just isn't all that great. Also, the cost increase on DDR3 ram isn't all that high anymore, and the motherboard will probably cost more than an equivalent motherboard without the feature. The i7 has relegated the P45 to the low to mid end of the market anyway - if you are building a new intel machine that isn't an i7, you probably won't be buying all that much ram or especially fast ram, so you could probably just spend the extra money a motherboard like this will demand and just buy the DDR3 right away. I guess it could be useful if you had a bunch of DDR2 lying around and wanted to use it for now while upgrading later, but it just doesn't seem worth it. I'd probably just keep using the DDR2 in that situation and save up for an eventual upgrade to a later platform.
    Reply
  • LATTEH
    i think i may buy the AM3 one!!! that is awsome!
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    heh more slots = less stability/performance etc and its not as if you can combind DDR2 with DDR3

    another MSI gimmick
    Reply