MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R - Page 8

..:: Conclusion ::..

Let’s start off with the usual topic of overall system stability. The overall stability of the system was very good with zero crashes throughout stress testing and our use with the board. I was once again surprised as the level of stability we were seeing even when the system was heavily overclocked, and running some very aggressive memory timings. As is the norm for our stress tests, we have been running multiple distributed computing programs in the background while looping benchmarks, taking part in heavy gaming, and other processor intensive applications for several days non-stop and have had no crashes, glitches, or twitches. Overall, the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R performed stably and gave us no problems.

Overall, the layout of the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R is very nice indeed. We have seen several great designs come from the MSI factories, and the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R only cements this idea. There are only two issues that I can find with the design of the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R, the first of which deals with the D-Bracket LED header. I would’ve preferred to see this header located along the bottom edge of the PCB, or more towards the rear of the PCB. Although this location will not cause any problems, it would’ve been nice to see it located elsewhere for cable cleanliness. The second issue lies in the fact that the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R only provides for one three-pin fan power connection. I would’ve liked to see another power connector for a rear system fan. Otherwise, the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R sports a stunning layout.

The MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R comes along with a very nice feature set, one that is easily capable of nearly matching those seen from Gigabyte. The 865PE Neo2-FIS2R offers several nice features, such as Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE1394 support, up to eight USB 2.0 ports, extra Serial ATA RAID support, etc. Something I would like to see MSI begin including in their package is one of the large stickers that displays the core headers, connections, and other items of the motherboard for the user. We’ve begun to see more manufacturers beginning to add such items to their packages, and an additional item such as this can only better the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R‘s package. When we take into consideration the price level of the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R, currently going for roughly $165.00, and only a mere $99.00 for the Neo2-LS, it’d be hard to go wrong with this motherboard.

The BIOS that comes along with the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R is close to what I was expecting, although I was hoping for better memory timing and setting adjustment options. With MSI’s recent inclusion of the “Performance Mode” settings, a.k.a. PAT, you can take the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R to performance heights easily rivaling, and even besting some of the top i875P motherboards on the market, along with other i865PE PAT-Enabled motherboards. The voltage selections offered by the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R are paralleled by none. I haven’t seen voltage options this high, in well, ever as far as I can remember. These settings will allow you to take your system to the pinnacle of performance and speed, while still holding on to overall system stability. From the looks of things, MSI has fixed several of the issues that were noticed upon original release of their i875P and i865PE motherboards.

Overall, the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R is a great motherboard suited towards overclockers and true high performance users. Modding fans will equally find the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R attractive due to its bright red PCB, along with the Northbridge fan which sports tri-color “dancing” LED’s. MSI’s “Performance Mode” and “Dynamic Overclocking” technologies add some serious value to the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R, especially when placed against some of the less tweakable i875P motherboards that are currently on the market. There has been a rumor circulating that soon Intel will begin shipping a new revision of the i865PE chipset that finally disables any notion of PAT, so if you’re looking into purchasing one of these boards, now could be the best time. The MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R offers some serious performance, especially when run in “Ultra-Turbo” mode. You’ll need some real high quality, high performance RAM to run in this mode, but it’s well worth it for the added performance. The overclocking capabilities of the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R rival that of the IS7-G, and actually best the IS7-G by a small margin. I haven’t seen a motherboard to date that offers the voltage selections that the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R bring to the table. Only the true overclockers out there sporting a Prometia or high-end water cooling system will want to apply some of these voltages to their system. The only issue many of you may be concerned with is “Prescott” support. As this issue is still rather unclear, I can’t say whether or not this board will or won’t support “Prescott.” If you’re looking to upgrade, and aren’t worried about this issue, then the 865PE Neo2-FIS2R and its various incarnations would be a nice choice. Overall, the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R has earned a total of 95 points with three perfect scores for performance, overclocking, and stability. Therefore, we are proud to give the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R the MBReview Editor’s Choice Award. This is the highest scoring motherboard to date, and it will certainly be hard to dethrone. I’d like to send out a big thanks to MSI for supplying me with the board for review, and thanks to all of you for reading!

- Stability: 20/20
- Design: 18/20
- Features: 19/20
- BIOS: 8/10
- Overclocking: 10/10
- Performance: 20/20
Total: 95/100 Points - Superior