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  • krunt - Saturday, January 12, 2008 - link

    so when can we expect the shoot out between the "cheap" boards? it has been two months since it was said to be here shortly.

    Reply
  • nefar - Sunday, December 23, 2007 - link

    It drives me crazy when a site claims a price and then it turns out it's with a "rebate". Unless I can go buy the item under $100.00 it's not under $100.00 and it should not be shown as such. Reply
  • thebittersea - Sunday, December 09, 2007 - link

    This is a great article with a lot of AnandTech caliber content. However, I have one problem with the fluff that plagues your write up. I'm not sure if you have to reach a certain pages to get the amount of ads to keep this place going, but I find that informations are being repeated over and over again. The conclusion (which I always read first), can definitely be summarized in less than two paragraphs.

    I love your site!
    Reply
  • nermanater - Saturday, December 08, 2007 - link

    Just as a side note, there is no such thing as CAL P...there is cevo-p but if you were in that league you wouldn't make that mistake. Sound is extremely important to serious gamers and onboard just doesn't cut it sometimes. Reply
  • rallyhard - Friday, December 07, 2007 - link

    On page five:
    "The problem is that once we started to raise the FSB over 445 with the Q6600 or QX6850 processors, the board automatically (drastically) reduced chipset timings and memory sub-timings"

    Shouldn't that be an increase in timings? A reduction would be a good thing, right?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, December 07, 2007 - link

    "reduced" as in "changed in a bad way that results in reduced performance" is the idea. Yes, the timings/sub-timings are probably getting higher. I think it also changes the FSB strap (Gary can confirm). So basically, you're better off with a lower FSB/higher multiplier, which gives improved performance. Reply
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    This seems to have very few ports on it, not to mention zero firewire. In bulk, adding firewire to a board can't be *that* expensive. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    I am glad you folks here at Anandtech did a review on this board. I've set up a few computers now based around it and I was so impressed I accually want one for myself. When I recommend it to others it's like being in a very quiet forest as no one really knows much about it.

    I accually liked the little led display they have to. Looks good in a windowed case and is very subtle.

    Anywhoo Good review!
    Reply
  • ultimatex - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Toms and Hardocp have done reviews of this board and its always scores higher or the same as those $200.00 boards.

    I did tons of research comparing it to the Asus and Gygabyte ones that cost the same and went with this one because off all the benchmarks ive seen. Plus it looks better than any board at $120.00


    Anyone know if theres any way to soder a optical outlet on this board and if it will work.
    Reply
  • j@cko - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    The title "performance for under $100" is misleading; because without the rebate, this board is >$100 and the rebate is time limited. Unless MSI is due to a price cut soon. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    I sincerely hope that the USB port block on the back is supported by more than just that tiny riser. That thing looks like it would break off if you looked at it funny. Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Nothing to worry about, unless some clumsy fool or 8 year old child rams the USB plug in. Reply
  • superkdogg - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Reading the introduction about the surprising performance of the new MSI board got my ears up, but then I read the article and it was more of the same.

    Every motherboard performs virtually the same these days at stock speeds. The only things that differentiate anything is overclocking/bios, reliability, layout, price, extra features (if you need them), and personal brand preference.

    Motherboard 'reviews' could pretty much be replaced by a table that tells a consumer about those things above. Benchmarking showing that everything is +/- 2% from the median just eats up space.
    Reply
  • j@cko - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    LOL. I totally agree with ya. Motherboard review nowadays is more about reliability and overclockability, I think. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    The problem is, if we were to eliminate all of the benchmarking, how do we really know if a board is reliable? If you haven't noticed, 90% or something of the text on the benchmark pages is filler - the graphs pretty much say everything you need to know. Anyway, doing motherboard reviews can be a thankless endeavor, but we still think it's necessary. We're not quite at the "necessary evil" stage either. :) Reply
  • brian_riendeau - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Its quite easy really to show the effectiveness of a mobo design without wasting 5 pages on graphs that show no difference between 10 models of motherboards.

    Test the motherboards in harsh environments. No one really cares if their board is 1% faster than another board, however they will care if their whole system crashes repeatedly if their AC goes out and the room temp gets up to 90F.
    Reply
  • drebo - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Death of the P35 Neo-F, one of the best mid-range boards ever made. For $85 you get a superb P35 board, but they're not making it anymore. Moving to this board, you lose Parallel and Serial ports, which for many general home users are very important.

    Intel doesn't make a P35 board with parallel or serial, and ASUS's P5K board is about $40 more expensive. I really wish a tier 1 manufacturer would come out with another good board. The last couple generations it's been MSI, with the P965 Neo3-F and then the P35 Neo-F. Looks as though there won't be a P35 Neo2-F, unfortunately. They're making a hybrid DDR2/DDR3 board instead, which neuters any kind of RAM upgrades for the end users because you can only use one or the other, not both, and neither in a dual-channel configuration.

    Oh well. Maybe ASUS will drop the price of their P5K board.
    Reply
  • Ratinator - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    [quote]Moving to this board, you lose Parallel and Serial ports, which for many general home users are very important. [/quote]

    Did you mean not very important?

    Reply
  • drebo - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    No, I didn't. You'd be surprised how many people at home have serial mice they don't want to replace (old trackballs that they're too stubborn to get rid of) and parallel printers. A lot of people in the business world need them, too. They need parallel for printers and serial to run machines off of, or for their PDAs, or for other reasons.

    There needs to be a good midrange board that still supports these legacy devices, and with the P35 Neo-F going by the wayside, that board just doesn't exist anymore.
    Reply
  • brian_riendeau - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    I am sorry to inform you of this, however not many people shopping for new motherboards for business or personal use care about serial and parallel ports. You just gotta let things go man... Anyone who really needs to use a legacy port can pickup USB port -> legacy port adapters for cheap if they really need to use old hardware. We have a whole department of people where I work still chained to serial devices, however they all have C2D and Quad core PCs now and just use USB adapters. Reply
  • drebo - Friday, December 07, 2007 - link

    I'll forgive your ignorant comment since you obviously do not work in retail computer sales. People aren't interested in buying adapters and add-on cards that they don't feel they should need because "their old computer had it." In a managed IT environment, yes, you can just give everyone converters and it works fine, but your average joe who walks into a computer shop with a 10-year-old dead computer and an ancient Epson parallel printer isn't ever going to understand why his old connections are going by the way-side.

    So, yes, legacy support in the retail market is important, even for most small business users. Not a day doesn't go by when I get a call or someone comes in needing a parallel card or serial card because the off-the-shelf computer they bought doesn't come with one. Most people don't need 16 USB ports, but I'll bet a good number do need a parallel port.
    Reply
  • AssBall - Saturday, December 08, 2007 - link

    "I'll forgive your ignorant comment since you obviously do not work in retail computer sales."


    Right... because a good retail computer salesperson would sell someone who is inexperienced enough to not RTFM a 10$ adapter instead of reccomending a better and higher profit margin 10 year newer replacement product for 150$ with built in factory support$

    Salesman indeed...
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Serial mice? Come-on! I used serial mice back in the day, but there is absolutely no need to get a USB mouse - I just bought a spare optical mouse for $3 at Microcenter - works great. You can get a USB-RS232 adapter for around $15 as well. Or you can buy a PCI add-on card, with RS232 and Parallel ports, for around the same price. I'd way rather have the extra USB and e-Sata ports instead of the legacy crap.

    I do a lot of RS-232 and RS-485 programming, and my main computer is a laptop, so I've been using USB-Serial converters for some time now.
    Reply
  • theslug - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    They sell these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Sub...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi...iption=u...
    Reply
  • OndrejSc - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Cheer up! It does exist. :-)
    http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=proddesc&a...">http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func...=1342&am...
    Reply
  • drebo - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Hmmm, good news. I wonder when we'll have availability and what the pricing will be like. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    "MSI also offers the Creative Lab's X-Fi audio codecs on their high-end boards as a nod to the gaming community."

    No...MSI puts the X-Fi XtremeAudio chip on the boards, which is a tweaked Audigy SE chip (note: the Audigy SE isn't even a true Audigy chip), not a true X-Fi. No hardware EAX or DirectSound3D acceleration, and the drivers, like the X-Fi XtremeAudio card, are completely different than the rest of the X-Fi line. So, serious gamers STILL need to buy a sound card.

    I really like MSI and use their boards a lot, but this audio solution is really only slightly better than what is used on other boards --and those who don't like Creative might argue that the drivers actually make it worse. If MSI had used the real X-Fi chip, I'd be very impressed.
    Reply
  • ultimatex - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    are u retarted ? serious gamers need to buy a seperate sound card? A real serious games would not be worrying about some sound options but more about performace of the board. I smell some Asus Gybabyte fan boys here on these forums.

    as long as boards have 5.1 sound U dont need no special features that dont do anything specialy for games. Serious games wear headphones.

    these NERDS here are sounding like if a serious gamer has to have a sound card . Well ill tell u from a X-Cal P Css Player here. A videocard and Fps is the most important thing for a Hardcore gamer..

    Reply
  • Etern205 - Friday, December 07, 2007 - link

    Your the retarded one.

    If he's right and that the onboard X-FI does not have hardware accelerated audio, what it means it it uses the cpu to process the audio singal which leads to reduce FPS. Gamers needs to know where their enemies are and that's where the EAX comes in. Onboard will have EAX as well as mutli-channel speaker support (ie 5.1 surround sound) but without a higher version of EAX (ie EAX 5.0) all your hearing are just sounds coming at you with no sense of direction.

    So if you got a 5.1 speaker setup but with a crappy onboard Audio or onboard X-FI with crappy EAX support then it won't help you as much as a dedicated sound card.

    Reply
  • dazy - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    Thanks for pointing out his utter ignorance before I had to, lol.

    [quote=ultimatex]serious gamers need to buy a seperate sound card?
    as long as boards have 5.1 sound U dont need no special features that dont do anything specialy for games. Serious games wear headphones.
    A videocard and Fps is the most important thing for a Hardcore gamer..[/quote]
    The sheer number of stupid statements for a "gamer" in his post is outstanding. Maybe he thinks we are talking about his XBOX360? ;-)
    Reply
  • j@cko - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    The rebate is actually $30 instead of $40 and the form indicated that this is a limited time only rebate ranging for purchases from Dec3~8th... Reply
  • j@cko - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Additionally, the rebate is a $40 mail-in-rebate (according to newegg). Reply
  • j@cko - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Well, it's worthy to point out that this board is only sub $100 AFTER rebate. Whether those rebates come back or not is another story. It also seems to me that P35 Neo2-"FIR" is not widely available just yet. Reply
  • theslug - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Have there been problems with MSI honoring rebates before?
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, December 07, 2007 - link

    I'm still waiting on a rebate on a P35 Platinum that my records show was purchased in mid-August and the rebate submitted late August. Reply

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