Preview: MSI P55-GD80 (Intel P55) Motherboard

The MSI P55-GD80 (contd.)

The MSI P55-GD80 (contd.)

Here, we can see the OC Genie overclocking tools. A simple push of this button is all it takes to overclock the system. However, you can also overclock manually using the base clock control functions. Note the new Easy Button 2 feature which are no longer using physical control buttons, but are capacitive in nature.

The magic of the OC Genie takes place here in this hardware controller IC dubbed as the OC Genie chip. It is located in-between the expansion slots, where the clock generators are normally found.

Provided with the motherboard is also an eSATA bracket, complete with the necessary power and data cables. This is a fairly new addition to MSI motherboards - one that's familiar to long time Gigabyte users.

Some other important ICs of note is this JMicron 363 controller, which supports the IDE port and dual SATA 3Gbps ports (one of which is shared with the eSATA port at the rear of the board).

This VIA VT6315N chip supports the board's two IEEE 1394 ports, one at the rear and the other via an onboard header.

As the photos clearly show, the MSI P55-GD80 packs a meaty punch for a board based on what some have called a watered-down X58-call motherboard. It has a host of overclocking features that will surely appeal to enthusiasts, and we can't wait to give the P55-GD80 the full rundown and see how it performs in the final revision of the board. Till then, be sure to check back often for more previews of upcoming P55 motherboards.

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