MSI 865PE Neo 2-FIS2R (MS-6728): Fastest In The Comparative Test
Intel 865PE Chipset
Board Revision 1.0
BIOS V1.3B3 (06/12/2003)
Click on image for larger version
The second board from MSI is based on the Intel 865PE chipset, and the only difference between it and its big brother 875P Neo is the PCB layout. Otherwise, the same features are available, such as CSA Gigabit LAN, ICH5 RAID, additional Promise controller for Serial-RAID and Ultra DMA/133 and FireWire.
A highlight is the MAT technology, which deals solely with the PAT function, although Intel has prohibited manufacturers from using the term "PAT" in connection with the Springdale chipset. Asus, for example, calls the PAT function in the 865PE "HyperPath." In the case of MSI, however, the feature must be activated beforehand in the BIOS (performance mode, ultra Turbo). The board therefore achieves the best performance in the whole test field.
As is the case with the 875P, the 865PE Neo 2 also offers dynamic overclocking. Priced at just under $170, the board is a reasonably priced offering. The BIOS update, conveniently performed in Windows XP via the Internet, also deserves a mention.
The packaging of the MSI 865PE Neo 2 is similar to that of the 875P Neo.
Our assessment in brief: the fastest board in the test is available for just under $170. In addition to features such as FireWire, RAID for Serial-ATA and IDE, it includes CSA-LAN and regulated fans. A high performance is achieved by the PAT feature.