Notice: Undefined index: article460 in /www/hardwaresecrets/article.php on line 5 MSI P35 Neo Combo Motherboard Review | Hardware Secrets
Hardware Secrets

Home | Camera | Case | CE | Cooling | CPU | Input | Memory | Mobile | Motherboard | Networking | Power | Storage | Video | Other
Content
Articles
Editorial
First Look
Gabriel’s Blog
News
Reviews
Tutorials
Main Menu
About Us
Awarded Products
Datasheets
Dictionary
Download
Drivers
Facebook
Forums
Links
Manufacturer Finder
Newsletter
On The Web
RSS Feed
Test Your Skills
Twitter
Newsletter
Subscribe today!
Search



Recommended
Upgrading and Repairing PCs (21st Edition)
Upgrading and Repairing PCs (21st Edition), by Scott Mueller (Que Publishing), starting at $33.88
Home » Motherboard
MSI P35 Neo Combo Motherboard Review
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Reviews Last Updated: June 13, 2007
Page: 1 of 9
Introduction

P35 Neo Combo from MSI – which is also known as MS-7365 – is based on the latest Intel mainstream chipset, P35, being a motherboard targeted to the average user that wants support for DDR3 memories but keeping DDR2 compatibility, as this motherboard provides sockets for both DDR2 and DDR3 memories, plus support for the forthcoming Core 2 Duo CPUs based on the new 1,333 MHz external bus. Let’s see the features and performance from his new release from MSI.

MSI P35 Neo Combo
click to enlarge
Figure 1: MSI P35 Neo Combo motherboard.

Intel P35 succeeds Intel P965 chipset, being targeted to mainstream motherboards. The difference between these two chipsets is the support for DDR3 memories and the new 1,333 MHz bus on P35. Please note that DDR3 support does not mean that all motherboards based on P35 accept DDR3 memories: since DDR2 and DDR3 sockets are different, is up to the manufacturer to decide which kind of memories the motherboard will accept. In the case of P35 Neo Combo it has two DDR2 sockets and two DDR3 sockets, so that is why it can accept DDR2 or DDR3 memories. Also, you cannot use both memory technologies at the same time. You have to choose between one of the two to use.

Another difference between P35 and P965 is the south bridge chip. Intel P965 uses ICH8 chip, while P35 uses the new ICH9 chip. The difference between the two is very small, with ICH9 supporting 12 USB 2.0 ports instead of 10. The ICH9R variant (P35 Neo Combo is based on the plain ICH9) supports RAID, six SATA-300 ports (the plain ICH9 support only four) and the new ”Intel Turbo Memory“ technology, codenamed Robson Technology, which is a disk cache technology using flash memories, available through the installation of a x1 PCI Express card. Click here to learn more about this technology.

Officially Intel P35 chipset supports DDR2 memories up to DDR2-800 and DDR3 memories up to DDR3-1066. However, just like it happens with Intel P965 chipset, P35 unofficially supports DDR2-1066. On this motherboard, however, we had a problem setting up our DDR2-1066 memories to run at 1,066 MHz. Even though on the motherboard setup there is an option to set our memories at 1,066 MHz (actually a FSB/memory clock ratio option) our memories were always running at 800 MHz. This is probably a bug with the BIOS we were using, which was the first release (1.0), because on another P35-based motherboard (MSI P35 Platinum) we could set our memories at 1,066 MHz without a problem. We complained with MSI about this bug and we got no answer from them before we posted this review (at a later date they wrote us saying that a new BIOS is available solving this problem).

Another problem we had was that leaving our memory set to ”auto“ on the motherboard setup made it to be configured as DDR2-667, even though we were using DDR2-1066 modules (which are usually recognized as DDR2-800).

As mentioned this motherboard has two DDR2 sockets, supporting up to 4 GB total, and two DDR3 sockets, also supporting up to 4 GB total. Since you cannot use DDR2 and DDR3 at the same time the maximum memory capacity of this motherboard is 4 GB.

This motherboard supports dual channel, but MSI made a carnival, with each memory socket using a different color. DDR2 sockets are green and orange, while DDR3 sockets are blue and pink. In order to enable dual channel on this motherboard just install two DDR2 modules or two DDR3 modules.

MSI P35 Neo Combo
click to enlarge
Figure 2: MSI P35 Neo Combo memory sockets.

Unfortunately we don’t have DDR3 modules, so we will benchmark this motherboard using only DDR2 modules.

On the storage side, this motherboard has a total of five SATA-300 ports, four controlled by the ICH9 south bridge (not supporting RAID, as mentioned) and one controlled by a Marvell 88SE6111 chip. This chip also controls a parallel ATA (ATA/133) port, since Intel P35 chipset does not support parallel IDE devices.

This motherboard has one Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by the south bridge using one Realtek RTL8111S chip to make the physical layer interface.

This motherboard has 12 USB 2.0 ports (four soldered on the motherboard and eight available through I/O brackets, which don’t come with the motherboard) and two FireWire ports controlled by VIA VT6308 chip (one soldered on the motherboard rear panel and another available through an I/O bracket that doesn’t come with the motherboard).

Page 1 of 9  | Next »
Print Version | Send to Friend | Bookmark Article | Comments (0)

Related Content
  • ASUS P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review
  • MSI P35 Platinum Motherboard Review
  • ECS P35T-A Motherboard Review
  • Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R Motherboard Review
  • Abit IP35 Pro Motherboard Review

  • RSSLatest News
    LUXA2 Releases New P1-PRO Battery Power Pack
    October 1, 2013 - 7:23 AM PST
    MSI unveils GP70 and GP60 Laptops
    September 30, 2013 - 7:23 AM PST
    AMD Unveils Next-Generation Radeon Graphics Cards
    September 27, 2013 - 5:33 AM PST
    Genius Introduces Energy Mouse in North America
    September 27, 2013 - 5:32 AM PST
    Apple Updates iMac
    September 25, 2013 - 5:27 AM PST
    .:: More News ::.




    © 2004-13, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Advertising | Legal Information | Privacy Policy
    All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST, GMT -08:00)