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Pipe Dreams: Six P35-DDR3 Motherboards Compared

BIOS And Overclocking

The P35 Neo Combo features most of the same frequency and voltage limits of MSI's high-end P35 Diamond, but its CAS Latency Range appears better suited to DDR2 memory in a board that supports either memory type.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
FSB Frequency100 - 500 MHz (1 MHz)
Clock Multiplier AdjustmentYes
DRAM FrequencyFSB clock x 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0. 2.67
PCIe Clock100 - 200 MHz (1 MHz)
CPU VcoreDefault - +0.7875 Volts (0.0125 Volts), 1.550V Max
CPU FSB Voltage1.20 - 1.50 Volts (0.10 Volts)
Northbridge (MCH)1.25 - 1.625 Volts (0.025 Volts)
Southbridge (ICH)1.05/1.15 Volts
DRAM Voltage1.50 - 2.75Volts (0.04 - 0.17 Volts)
CAS Latency Range
tCAS: 3-8; tRCD: 3-8; tRP: 3-8; tRAS: 9-24

The P35 Neo Combo doesn't automatically drop memory ratios when overclocking, so it's very easy to reach the memory's stability limit unintentionally by using the "automatic" ratio setting. Dropping the memory ratio manually causes the board to choose lower timings suited to the slower clock speed, but once again increasing the memory clock speed via FSB increase does not result in the timings being automatically adjusted. Instead, every option must be set manually.

MSI's P35 Neo Combo reached 3.34 GHz at 1.50 volts on an E6700 known to reach 3.46 GHz on top boards, but dropping the multiplier didn't help to stabilize an increased bus speed. This particular sample appears limited to 334 MHz maximum bus clock (FSB1336) when using DDR3 memory, but once again this could be due to the lack of automatic adjustment when overclocking.


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 short accessory list proves MSI's intentions of selling its P35 Neo Combo for a low price.

A very light cable kit supports the single Serial ATA hard drive configuration typical of low-cost builds.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Dont get any biostar mobo, they all have capacitor problems in my experience.
  • Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R support up to 4GB DDR3 memory. However, could 8GBs 2x4GB DDR3 modules be used as long as it is within the top 1333 limit on the board?