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Review: MSI i865PE Neo2 FIS2R

by Tarinder Sandhu on 9 July 2003, 00:00 4.0

Tags: MSI

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It seems as if all the major motherboard manufacturers have jumped on the Canterwood wagon with gusto. We reviewed 3 big-name boards in our recent Canterwood comparison, and after many hours of benchmarking and analysing, we found that the three boards were difficult to separate. All had a plethora of useful features, reasonable BIOSes, and similar performance. The distinguishing factors would come down to brand loyalty, price and availability, we surmised.

Now a cheaper derivative of the Canterwood has been launched to general consumption. The Springdale chipset does away with some of the i87P's core benefits such as PAT (Performance Acceleration Technology) Ed: But this can be enabled on some of the mainboards via a 'hacked' bios which are readily available. This is because the 865 and 875 chipsets are made on the same production line, the cream of the crop is put in to 875 and the others are set as 865. It is however rumored that Intel will stop this PAT enabling with the next revision of the silicon and ECC checking, but that in turn makes it cheaper to produce. The i865PE, in particular, seems to offer almost everything else Intel's premium, performance-based chipset offers. We expect the fight for Springdale sales with be as tough as, if not tougher than, the Canterwood's. These i865PE motherboards fall into a lower, more competitive price bracket, thereby opening up a larger target audience.

It seems that motherboard manufacturers are all too acutely aware of the Springdale's selling potential.We have already seen a raft of motherboards hit the retail shelves. Expect everyone who is anyone to bring out their personal interpretation of a winning Springdale board. We've already seen several Springdale light up the benchmarking trail. Let's now see if MSI can emulate the promise shown by their Canterwood board. Time to take a closer look at the MSI 865PE Neo2 FIS2R.