MSI Sneak Peak
Recently OC3D were lucky enough to be invited by MSI to get a glimpse of their latest two motherboards, one for the X58 platform and one for the AM3 platform. Thanks to some careful "it's your round" we managed to grab these shots of the boards in the beta stages. If their current looks and feature set is anything to go by we can't wait for the public release.
We will start with the one that is slightly more set in its feature set, the MSI 890FXA-GD70.
The 890 chipset is the latest architecture for the AMD platform. As you can see the scheme of the board follows the lovely MSI colours we saw on the P55-GD85. They look as lovely here as they did there with nothing out of place or random colours.
Dominating the motherboard is the huge DrMOS heatsink and superpipe which is cooling a staggering 16 Phase Power which should provide a smoother delivery than Frank Sinatra dipped in honey.
We have five PCI-E slots and we'd guess that at least three of them should be capable of some x16/x16 or x16/x8/x8 goodness for your graphics card pleasure. With only one PCI-E x1 and one legacy PCI slot it's clear the direction that all motherboards are heading. It's rumoured that this has an 850 Southbridge, and if so we'd be very pleased indeed.
On the bottom right is the OC Dial which enables live overclocking. Want to go faster? Turn that dial. I wonder if it goes up to 11?
Connectivity wise we have two blue USB3 ports run from a NEC chip alongside the standard LAN and eSATA ports.
Speaking of SATA you might believe that we have 6 SATA II and 1 6Gbps vertical SATA. Oh no siree Bob, we have 6 (SIX) SATA 6Gbps ports, and one SATA 3Gbps. Truly a great move by MSI.
The AM3 platform isn't all we grabbed a look at. Turn over for a preview of the new X58.
MSI X58 Big Bang
Unlike the 890FXA on the previous page, much less is concrete on the X58 as it's very much an early beta and subject to change.
Similarly to the 890FXA, this keeps to the gorgeous gun-metal/blue/black scheme. We really can't praise this highly enough. The decision to use more muted shiny stuff really helps make the current MSI range look purposeful.
Again we see 16 Phase power and as you look around the photos you'll see 2 8-pin CPU power connectors, and a further 6-pin power for the PCI-E sockets, in case you decide to fill them all up.
One of the problems we found with the P55-GD85 was the positioning of the voltage probes right next to the 24-pin ATX power, and it's good to see this relocated to below the SATA ports. Speaking of SATA we understand the 6 black ports to be SATA 3Gbps and the two vertical white ones to be SATA6.
If there is one thing you can't escape noticing it's that finally MSI have ditched the IDE connector. And the legacy PCI, and the PCI-E x1. This is nothing but SATA and full size PCI-E. We all know that the X58 isn't brilliant at providing huge bandwidth for many PCI-E lanes, so we don't think it would be unreasonable to expect a n200 chip under that big old heatsink.
Two very cool little features to finish off with. First is the truly brilliant OC Genie finding its way to the X58 platform. Having recently won an OC3D Innovation award for being comprehensively the best automated overclocking technology on the planet we can't wait to see what it can do with an LGA1366 i7.
The other neat trick are the two dip switch banks in the bottom right corner. Dip switches on motherboards haven't been seen in years, since we used to manually set our FSB using them. These are, as far as we could ascertain, used to manually regulate the power phase to provide possibly the most stable overclocking voltage yet seen.
Again we need to stress that these are both beta boards and the features are subject to change. But if they prove to be half as good as they are looking right now, we can't wait.
Speaking of things we can't wait for. Everyone is highly anticipating the MSI 5870 Lightning, and thanks to a combination of a some wool, a teapot, a unicycle, a pair of braces, a photograph of the Queen Mother and a stringless banjo we've obtained rumours that there will be a Lightning version of the upcoming nVidia Fermi cards. Watch this space.
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