MSI P965 Neo (Intel P965)


Introduction

Introduction

Every time the PC industry forces a new platform into the market, it's the users that always get left behind. With AMD, it was an expensive upgrade path and core component overhaul to adopt Socket AM2, but Intel isn't all that better off either. Yes, the new Core 2 processors are more 'upgrade' friendly as they are still based on the LGA775 socket, but most older LGA775 motherboards don't really support the new CPU.

Barring the huge population of enthusiasts out there who are able to just continuously upgrade to the latest and baddest hardware with impunity, we of finite monetary resources have to strike a balance of features and performance. Will you blow your budget on a feature-rich motherboard and settle for a less powerful processor? Or do away with extra features for a higher-end CPU.

This is where MSI's new P965 'Broadwater' motherboards come into play. MSI only carries a modest two-board lineup that clearly distinguishes the line between feature-rich performance (P965 Platinum) and mainstream (P965 Neo). Fresh from reviewing the high-end Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 a while back, we were curious as to how the P965 chipset would perform in a mainstream configuration like the P965 Neo. After playing around with the MSI P965 Neo, our results were not all that unexpected, but we did make some interesting observations. Read on to find out what they are, but before we start though, we'll let you familiarize yourself with the board's technical specifications.

The following bundle is available to the MSI P965 Neo motherboard:-

  • 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