MSI shows off some new motherboards
MSI have revealed some details about their upcoming socket 1156 motherboards. Since the first P55 based boards were shown, the other manufacturers have slowly followed, some showing more than others.
MSI have showed off details of 4 motherboards, which is alot easier to understand than the 9 from Gigabyte and 6 from ASUS. MSI seem to have catered for everybody with their range, although there is no set pricing yet, judging by the features they have targeted the high, mid and low end sectors. They have even included a micro ATX board too, for the people who don't like huge computers.
To start off, they have their high end ATX board - the P55-GD80 - which features 4 DIMM slots supporting up to 16GB of RAM, at speeds of anything between 1066-2133MHz. There is then 3 PCI-e x16 slots which run at 8x/8x or 8x/8x/4x depending on how many slots are occupied. 8 SATA ports, a powered eSATA port, a single IDE port, 14 USB ports and 2 firewire ports complete the connectivity. It features the usual you would expect from the top of the range board, heatpipe cooling, an 8 phase power circuit, debug LED, voltage check points, OC Genie and Dual GbE LAN. A pair of PCI-e x1 and standard PCI slots fill in the gaps between the PCI-e slots.
The P55-GD65 is almost identical except it has a 6 phase power circuit, 2 PCI-e slots that run at an 8x/8x configuration. It also loses a SATA port and the debug LED. It also features the pair of PCI-e x1 and PCI slots, but simply swaps the 3rd PCI-e x16 slot for an x4 slot. The GD65 still retains alot of the useful features of the GD80, and will probably be the choice for many gamers out there.
Now we have the real mid range board, the P55-CD53. This cuts down a further two power phases, looses the eSATA port, firewire and has only a single LAN port and 6 SATA ports. As it only have one PCI-e x16 and 3 PCI and PCI-e x1 slots it loses both SLI and Crossfire support. The heatpipes also disappear but the useful OC Genie and voltage read points remain.
Finally, we arrive at the micro atx solution. It may be small but it still manage to cram it just about every feature you could ever need. It still supports up to 16GB RAM and up to two graphics cards in a 16x/4x configuration. 6 SATA ports, 2 eSATA ports, 2 firewire ports and 14 USB means you won't be short of connections. This board also retains the new OC Genie feature to allow overclocking even on the smallest of boards.
Overall it looks like a set of well designed motherboards that have had alot of thought put into them. MSI have clearly listened to their customers suggestions and took them on board. There is something for all budgets and all should perform very well. The GD80 is set to be price at around £165, followed by the GD65 at £120 and the CD53 for around £90. There is no information on the GD45 yet, but I would expect it to be priced at around £100 upon release in September.
Do you like the look of these boards? Is there anything you think MSI have overlooked? Discuss in our Forums