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440BX Motherboard Review - Summer 1999

Motherboards And Their Features - Microstar MS6163

Standard Features

Motherboard RevisionVersion 2
ISA Slots2
PCI Slots5
Fan power connectors3
Memory Slots3
External Clock(s)66/68/75/83/100/103/112/117/124/129/133/138/143/153 MHz

Unique Features

Diagnostic LEDProvides lighting codes indicated system condition that can be referenced via the manual for troubleshooting

The Microstar MS6163 motherboard provides the basic set of features expected from a BX based platform. The unique feature that the MS6163 offers is a set of diagnostic LEDs on the motherboard.

These four LEDs light up in different sequences, which provides the user or technician information regarding where the system is in its initial post (or startup). By looking at the LED status and referring to the manual, the diagnostic LED codes can help the user pinpoint where the system is having a problem. This is a pretty clever tool for troubleshooting motherboard boot problems. Although this boards performance isn't at the top, it still performs within reason. This board does allow various external clock and voltage settings, the MS6163 didn't cooperate with our finicky SL2W8 Pentium II 300 overclocked to 504 MHz or 450 MHz. This leaves me to believe that this board might not provide the tolerance required for successful overclocking.