Eight P35-DDR2 Motherboards Compared

BIOS And Overclocking

MSI P35 Neo BIOS is limited to a maximum 500 MHz FSB clock (FSB2000), which is probably close to the board's limit even with a "perfectly overclockable" processor. Crazy maximum voltage levels for the CPU and memory also look like they might be able to push these components to perspective limits, but let's not forget that this low-cost motherboard uses a three-phase voltage regulator.

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BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
FSB Frequency100 - 500 MHz (1 MHz)
Clock Multiplier AdjustmentYes
DRAM FrequencyFSB clock x 1.0, 1.2, 1.25 1.5, 1.66, 2.
PCIe Clock100 - 200 MHz (1 MHz)
CPU VcoreDefault - +0.7875 Volts (0.0125 Volts), 1.550V Max
CPU FSB Voltage1.20 - 1.60 Volts (0.10 Volts)
Northbridge (MCH)1.25 - 1.625 Volts (0.025 Volts)
Southbridge (ICH)1.05/1.15 Volts
DRAM Voltage1.50 - 2.10 - 3.30 Volts (0.05/0.10 Volts)
CAS Latency Range
tCAS: 3-6; tRCD: 3-6; tRP: 3-6; tRAS: 9-24

The P35 Neo got our Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 early-stepping engineering sample processor to 3.44 GHz, just shy of its 3.46 GHz limit achieved on a variety of other boards. Dropping the CPU multiplier to 6x only allowed a stable bus speed increase to 369 MHz clock (FSB1476).


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Documentation & SoftwareMotherboard ManualMotherboard Driver CD
Hardware1x 80-conductor Ultra ATA cable1x SATA Data Cable1x Four-Pin to SATA power adapter cable1x I/O Panel Shield

The P35 Neo includes only the bare necessities for building a low-cost system, with just one SATA and one Ultra ATA cable.

Hardcore value seekers can find the MSI P35 Neo for around $105.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.