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MSI announces P45 motherboards

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In June MSI releases it's P45 motherboard line-up, which according to the manufacturer, is loaded with innovative features and enhanced cooling. In the P45 series MSI will release two DDR3 supporting boards, with memory speeds of up to 2 GHz, and four DDR2 models. MSI likes to be ahead of the competition and has a lot of faith in Intel's chipset. On the DDR3 models, and the two most expensive DDR2 ones, MSI guarantees a symbolic 2008 MHz FSB (502 MHz quad-pumped).

To make things easier for overclockers, MSI has modified the BIOS. This allows to delay the usage of the BIOS modifications till after the POST phase of the system, thus being able to get into the BIOS at all times, even after a failed overclock attempt. All six P45 boards and the two P43 boards have jumpers to set the FSB of your processor to 333 or 400 MHz. This can come in handy when you're certain a processor can run the higher FSB on stock voltage, so that a CMOS clear won't make you start all the way at stock again.

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The most luxurious board is the P45 Diamond with DDR3, dual Gbit LAN, Creative Extreme Audio PCI-Express 1x soundcard and a chipsetcooling that is compatible with watercooling. The P45 Diamond is also the only P45 MSI board that uses new Hi-c condensators. These new condensators are a lot smaller than the usual solid capaciators, and allow more room around the processor socket, making installation of big air coolers and LN2 tubes a lot easier.

Another MSI extra is the GreenPower Genie, a small circuitboard that is connected to the power supply's ATX connector. This module can measure the amount of Amps running through the ATX plug and therefore also how much power the motherboard uses.  Software comes with the boards to adjust CPU, memory and chipset voltages while in Windows. The software can also determine the power consumption on several motherboard components.

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The cheaper DDR3 motherboard, named P45D3 Platinum, lacks the additional soundcard, second Gbit LAN connector and the Hi-c condensators, but does have a renewed version of the famous Circupipe cooling. This new Circupipe 2 cooling system no longer has a round heatpipe, but brings five heatpipes together and equips them with cooling fins.

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Because the P45 chipset supports PCI-Express 2.0 with 16 lanes, most MSI P45 models also have a second PCI-E 16x slot for Crossfire, in which both slots run at a speed of 8x. Only the two cheapest boards (the P45Neo3-FR and P45Neo-F) lack the second PCI-Express slot, and feature some old PCI slots in it's place. The budget model, MSI's P45 Neo-F, does not have the Circupipe cooling, nor does it support RAID. The chipset also lacks a second power phase, decreasing the overclock potential.

The two P43 motherboards will be around the same as the simple P45-Neo-F, but the usage of the cheaper chipset will make them less expensive. 

MSI promises to have a few new motherboards released based on the G45/43 chipset and an ultimate P45 version, before July.  It's also worth mentioning that all MSI P45 motherboards feature an EFI compatible BIOS and a header for a version 1.2 TPM module.

MSI P45 Diamond

P45 Diamond with chipset watercooling


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