MSI Lets the Genie out - P55 Launch @ VivoCity

MSI Lets the Genie out - P55 Launch @ VivoCity

Letting the Genie out

With Lynnfield showing up in retail, the component ecosystem is in full swing, with Intel P55 motherboards widely available. MSI's local distributor, Corbell chose the occasion for a P55 launch party, following last year's P45 event. Like the previous launch, VivoCity's Golden Village cinema was again the venue, with the usual goodie bag awaiting attendees, many of which had signed up on HardwareZone's forum . Best of all, a buffet dinner was also arranged, with a free movie screening of "Gamer" to follow.

Like the previous P45 launch, MSI's local P55 launch was again held in a cinema, at VivoCity's Golden Village. Attendees were treated to dinner and a movie screening after the presentation. And a chance at winning a P55 motherboard!

Gracing the event, we saw MSI's Project Manager for Marketing, Mr Garrett Wu, presenting the key features on these new P55 motherboards. There were three main points, OC Genie, SuperPipe and DrMOS, of which, OC Genie and SuperPipe appear to be the new, unique features on MSI's P55 series.

MSI's demo system for the presentation, a MSI P55-GD65 fitted with a Core i7-870 and a impressively huge CPU cooler. Don't worry, the giant OC Genie button here is for illustration, the actual button is of course much smaller.

So, what exactly is OC Genie? Well it's a hardware based auto-overclocking tool. Upon pressing the OC Genie button and starting the system, users will notice that the system will be overclocked by a dedicated chip on the board; the amount of overclocking you get is dependent on the system's other components, like the CPU, the cooler and the quality of the memory modules. From our own hands-on with a MSI P55-GD80 motherboard in our lab, we can tell you that this is one killer feature that really works.

Oh? What's an ASUS system doing here at MSI's event. Well it seems that MSI is doing something along the lines of a 'Brand X' comparison, pitting the ASUS TurboV EVO overclocking tool with its own OC Genie.

Of course, to put its point more across more emphatically to the enthusiasts who showed up, MSI had a demonstration of another overclocking tool from rival ASUS, which was a software tool that while useful for overclocking and other tweaks no doubt, lacked the ease and speed of MSI's one-button auto-overclocking feature.

The other new feature is SuperPipe, which is not as exciting as OC Genie, it being a thicker heatpipe found on MSI's chipset cooling system. Obviously, a thicker heatpipe will mean that it is better at transferring the heat from the chipset components to the radiator fins and the outside environment. Look out for our upcoming P55 roundup if you want to know how effective the thicker heatpipe will be.

There was a bit of time after the presentation for some hands-on. Here was MSI's Project Manager Garrett Wu looking on as local enthusiasts try out the OC Genie feature.

Finally, what's a launch event without the stars of the show? Here are three of the P55 motherboard models that you can expect from MSI here in Singapore, spanning the range from entry-level to high-end.

The highlight of the show is the MSI P55-GD65. It does not have the most features among MSI's P55 boards but it should strike a nice balance in performance and features for the mainstream consumer.

With three PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, ample cooling and a host of overclocking and enthusiast oriented features, the MSI P55-GD80 is its flagship P55 motherboard.

A plain, no frills P55 'budget' board, the CD53 looks almost bare compared to its compatriots, without MSI's heatpipe cooling and with just one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot. There are also no eSATA or FireWire ports at the rear panel, just many USB ports. However, OC Genie remains on board and it should go for S$200 or less.