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Socket 7 Board Review July 1998

MSI MS5169

ATX board, ALi Aladdin V chipset, 512 kB L2 cache, 3x ISA, 4x PCI, AGP slot, 3x DIMM, PC speaker on board. Voltages: 3.5, 3.3, 3.2, 2.9, 2.8, 2.5, 2.2V.

Our MSI board uses the quite old revision C of the Aladdin chipset. This may be the mayor source for the problems I had during the tests: The picture in Windows 95 was a bit corrupted and showed wrong colors with the Fire GL1000 Pro. This got fixed after I updated the Fire's BIOS. The MII did run with the latest BIOS. The only memory module that ran at 100 MHz was the PC-100 type, all others gave up at 83 MHz.

Configuration is easy: MSI uses DIP switches which are well described on the motherboard. One of the crucial things for hardware testers are the DIMM sockets. I have to certify excellent locks and few needed force to put the memory in. MSI integrated the PC speaker onto the motherboard; in my opinion this is very suggestive since this shortens the fabrication time of a PC system.

Summarized the MSI board is a quite matured Aladdin V board (the E or F chipset revisions should fix the troubles I had) with good performance for all who don't want to overclock beyond 100 MHz bus speed.