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