Motherboard Guide

MSI P35 Neo Combo review

MSI P35 Neo Combo (Intel P35)

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With the announcement of quad-core processors, 45nm technology, DDR3 and Bearlake, Intel's initial codename for their P35 series of chipset, MSI kick-started their PC2008 campaign with a fresh range of products that features next generation technology moving into the year 2008. The MSI P35 Platinum motherboard reviewed a little more than a month ago was their flagship motherboard based on the Intel P35 chipset and featuring their Circu-Pipe cooling technology.

Since the motherboard market isn't just made up of overclockers and enthusiasts, MSI has a comprehensive lineup of their new Bearlake motherboards for the masses, all featuring their new PC2008 market branding, which incidentally is a mechanized bear claw. At the entry-level segment, we have the MSI P35 Neo and its hybrid brother, the P35 Neo Combo. In this review, we take a closer look at the P35 Neo Combo.


The P35 Neo Combo is the mainstream entry in this lineup, with full support for Intel's upcoming 45nm processors as well as native 1333MHz FSB. With the dual memory controller of the P35 chipset, the P35 Neo Combo carries both DDR2 and DDR3 memory slots to allow for an easier transition and upgrading in the future.

As a budget board, the P35 Neo Combo comes with a small set of bundled peripherals, but surprisingly a healthy amount of connector brackets are included. Be aware however, that MSI lists the USB and FireWire bracket as 'optional', so they may not be included in the standard box in certain areas.

  • 1 x SATA data cable
  • 1 x SATA power converter cable
  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x floppy drive data cable
  • USB 2.0 Bracket (4 ports)
  • FireWire Bracket (1 port)
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CDs
  • User's guide