Intel's 865/875 Superior Performance Song Remains the Same

MSI 865PE Neo2-P Platinum Edition

BIOS Version: 3.6

The Platinum Edition from MSI is supposed to be especially well-equipped. Unfortunately, in the case of our test piece, several items of hardware, which we would have liked to have ticked off as present, were left out. For instance, this board is designed for 4 phase voltage - but only three units are fitted. The FireWire chip, described in the manual, is also missing, as is the additional RAID controller.

What a shame, because MSI has also opted to do without RAID support on the normal version of the ICH5. At least we found a Gigabit-capable chip by Realtek (RTL8110S) on the network connection. Also positive is the passively cooled Northbridge chip and the digital output for the sound system.

Although the board was preset to an FSB clock rate of 200 MHz, it would always run at an incomprehensible rate of 202.8 MHz. Updating the BIOS to the most current version at the time of testing, Version 3.6, brought improvements and runs the computer true to specifications. Interesting for output freaks is the CoreCell system from MSI, that, among other things, continuously reads the processor temperature and from that the current system load. Depending on this, the clock rate is increased automatically. The degree of overclocking can be selected in BIOS using five levels that MSI has named after military ranks. Associations will be easily made by fans of shoot-'em-up games.

A total of four fan connections exist, which should even satisfy the more ambitious users. The layout can be considered tidy, since in the case of our test board, the annoying components have been done away with.