Mobo Makers Try Again with Intel's 925X and 915P Chipsets

MSI 925X Neo

BIOS: 009 (06/30/2004)

925X Neo is the name of the latest top model from MSI. Like the 915P Neo2, it also offers two network controllers, although both are capable of running Gigabit ethernet. Unfortunately, only three-phase transformers are used; four or more phases would be better. In contrast to its rivals, MSI decides against using additional serial ATA ports and instead opts for a RAID controller, which can operate two UltraATA/133 channels with RAID 0 or 1.

In contrast to the 915P Neo2, its BIOS story is considerably longer. MSI already passed the shutdown test with the first version, clocking up just over 100°C, although the temperature indicator was wrong. In addition, the board, with a few reference cards based on GeForce 6800 GT or Ultra, did not want to start our newly installed Windows. When support for USB mouse or keyboard was activated, the board could not be booted up beyond the BIOS. The FSB speed was very highly tuned: a good solid 206 MHz was achieved, and at the end of the day the benchmark results were not enthralling.

The first three BIOS updates did not offer any visible changes, and with the fourth the temperature display was corrected in the BIOS. The fifth update sorted out most of the performance problems, although it brought back the wrong temperature values. Gripped by the BIOS mania, they apparently forgot to overclock the board ex works: 200.0 MHz were achieved - so it is possible!

Up until the seventh update, the board then ran with 203 MHz and DDR2 memory devices were operated with CL3 - whether they support it or not, changes are ruled out. Update number eight eliminated all the essential problems and even brought about a slight performance boost. Unfortunately, the CoreCenter tool no longer recognized the board and aborted. In addition, the BIOS then simply displayed 0°C where the temperatures were over 99°C, a glaring bug. MSI got a grip on the memory timings with the ninth update.