MSI K9NU Neo (ULi M1697 - Socket AM2)



In the month following the launch of AMD's AM2 processors, MSI still has yet to officially unveil their ultra high-end K9N Diamond model at the top end. However, they've been very generous with the rest of their Socket AM2 line-up. Last month, we reviewed the K9N Platinum, an excellent mid-range motherboard based on NVIDIA's nForce 570 Ultra. The K9N Platinum was able to deliver a solid all-round performance without so much as a hitch going off throughout our testing and was priced well within its intended market range. This time, we decided to shoot lower to see if MSI can deliver a similar level of quality with their budget V-Class series.

Our pick of the litter - the ULi M1697 based MSI K9NU Neo, your typical entry level, no frills motherboard in the same vein as the recently reviewed ASRock AM2V890-VSTA. Like ASRock's board, the K9NU Neo is designed with an older chipset to bring costs down, but with ULi's track record (in our own experiences) for delivering high-performance Socket 939 chipsets, it will be very interesting to see how the K9NU Neo performs with the new Socket AM2 processors.

The MSI K9NU Neo motherboard.

As usual, we'll start of our review with a breakdown of the motherboard bundle:-

  • 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
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CDs
  • User's guide

A legacy friendly rear I/O panel with PS/2, parallel and two serial ports mixed in with USB 2.0, RJ45 and analog surround audio jacks.

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