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MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R (Intel 865PE)
By CPU-zilla
Category : Mainboard
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 7th July, 2003
Rating : 5 out of 5 stars  


When MSI first showed us their 875P Neo, we thought it was one of their best engineered product of all time but little did we know that the 865PE board following that was also designed based on the same philosophy and features. The new MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R is MSI's flagship model for boards based on the mainstream Intel 865PE chipset. We know that the 865PE is basically the same chip as the 875P but with the main performance component known as PAT (Performance Acceleration Technology) disabled.

For those who have caught up with reviews of the 865PE, they would have found out that PAT could be easily enabled by some sort of a cheat method - normally done at the BIOS level. Without going into all the nitty gritty details, we know for sure that PAT can be enabled in the 865PE, and when activated, the board will promise users performance equal to most boards based on the more expensive 875P chipset.

What took us off-guard, although we had the board way before 875P was launched, was MSI's hidden feature known as D.O.T. (Dynamic Overclocking Technology) embedded as part of the CoreCell's main technology. The board did perform amicably well in our initial tests and we were surprised that its performance was way beyond the 875P's counterpart. We were skeptical and we went back to testing it again, and again, and again. It was then that MSI revealed to us that their board had this special tweak which made the processor run faster, but because the clock frequency tweak was done at a different level, there was no way the operating system could detect the change in frequency. Needless to say, we were quite unhappy that this was hidden from us. However, we had to fully investigate the board's performance and took our time to obtain results satisfactory to us while good enough for a fair apple-to-apple comparison. As such, it took us many days to get three sets of results, one at normal settings (without PAT and D.O.T.), one with PAT enabled (and without D.O.T.), and one with both D.O.T. and PAT enabled.

In the package, you'll find the following items :-

  • The MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R motherboard
  • Drivers & software CD
  • MSI Super Pack CD
  • I/O shield
  • 4x Serial ATA cables
  • 1x ATA-133 rounded cable
  • 1x Floppy drive cable
  • 2x dual Molex-Serial ATA power cable
  • Three-port 1394 FireWire bracket
  • Two-port USB 2.0 bracket with D-LED
  • User's manual
  • Serial ATA RAID manual

    A premium rounded Ultra ATA-133 and four Serial ATA cables are provided in the package.

    A 2-port USB 2.0 (with D-LED) and a 3-port IEEE 1394 bracket are bundled with the board.

    The S-Bracket bundled with the motherboard allows you to add support for rear, center and subwoofer outputs, in addition to S/PDIF outputs via coaxial or optical.

    Before we go into the pros and cons of the motherboard, let's just look at the technical specifications below :-

    MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R Technical Specifications
    • Socket 478 for Intel® Pentium® 4 / Celeron® processors
    • Intel® Celeron® Processors 1.7GHz - 2.0GHz or higher (400MHz FSB)
    • Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors 1.4GHz - 3.06GHz or higher (533MHz FSB)
    • Intel® Pentium® 4 Processors 2.4GHz - 3.2GHz or higher (800MHz FSB)
    • Supports processor at 400 / 533 / 800MHz front side bus
    • Supports processor with Hyper-Threading technology
    • Intel 865PE chipset
      • AGP 4x/8x slot (1.5V only) with fast write capability
      • Supports 400/533/800MHz Intel NetBurst micro-architecture bus
      • Supports up to 4GB of DDR333 or DDR400 SDRAM memory
      • Supports single/dual channel memory configuration
    • Intel ICH5R chipset
      • Eight high-speed USB 2.0 ports
      • 2x Serial ATA/150 ports
      • Dual channel Ultra ATA/100 IDE bus master controller
      • PCI bus mastering v2.3
      • I/O APIC
      • Supports both ACPI and legacy APM power management
      • Serial ATA/150 RAID 0 support
    Cache memory
    • CPU Built-in 512KB (Northwood) L2 cache for Pentium 4 or 128KB L2 cache for Celeron
    System memory
    • 4 x 184-pin unbuffered DDR SDRAM DIMM
    • Supports up to 4GB of unbuffered and non-ECC single/double-sided DDR266 / DDR333 / DDR400 SDRAM memory
    • Supports 2.5V DDR SDRAM
    • 2x Ultra ATA-66/100 IDE ports integrated in ICH5R (up to 4 devices)
      • Support for PIO, UDMA-33, Ultra ATA-66/100 IDE devices
    • 2x Serial ATA/150 ports supported by ICH5
      • Up to 150MB/s transfer speeds
      • Supports Serial ATA RAID 0
    • 2x Serial ATA/150 ports and 1x Ultra ATA-133 port powered by Promise PDC20378 controller
      • Supports Ultra ATA RAID 0 or 1, Serial ATA RAID 0 or 1, Ultra/Serial ATA RAID 0+1
      • Connects up to 2 Serial ATA devices and 2 Ultra ATA-133 devices
    I/O Ports and Headers
    • 1x floppy port (360KB - 2.88MB)
    • 1x serial port
    • 1x parallel port (SPP/EPP/ECP)
    • PS/2 Keyboard
    • PS/2 Mouse
    • 8x USB 2.0 ports (6x rear and 2x by cable through on-board header)
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) LAN jack (powered by Intel 82547EI)
    • 2x fan headers
    • Audio jacks for Line In, Line Out and MIC
    • 1x S/PDIF input/output (with additional rear, center and bass outputs) header
    • 3x IEEE-1394 header
    • 1x IrDA for infra-red module
    Expansion slots
    • 5x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.3 compliant
    • 1x AGP 2x/4x/8x slot (0.8V/1.5V only)
    Power Management
    • Supports ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
    Form Factor
    • ATX Form Factor : 30.5cm x 24.4cm
    • Fits into regular ATX case
    • 4Mbit (512KB) Flash EEPROM
    • AMI Flash BIOS with PnP, ACPI, DMI and IDE drive auto-configure support
    • Multi-boot on ZIP, ATAPI CD-ROM, SCSI, SATA, IDE #1, #2, #3, #4
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