Asus, DFI, MSI Give Mobos The Crossfire Treatment

MSI RD480 Neo2, Continued

We liked how both chipset components do not require active cooling; still it would have been nice to have four rather than three phases regulating the processor voltage. MSI color-coded all connectors, making it easy to attach cables to the right ports even for beginners. The RD480 Neo2 offers a high definition audio 7.1 channel sound system and provides an optical SPDIF audio output.

There is a little drawback regarding the connectivity, since MSI uses ULi's M1573 Southbridge for cost reasons. Although it offers four Serial ATA ports, it lacks support for 300 MB/s bandwidth and Native Command Queuing as well as higher-complexity RAID support (RAID 0 and RAID 1 only).

Though the MSI board comes with the CoreCell technology that allows for dynamic, on the fly Overclocking of the system (depending on the CPU load), it is not as overclocking friendly as the other two motherboards. Overclocking requires you to reset the CMOS and reset all your options manually again.