Here at CeBIT MSI has Intel’s next generation P55 boards on show, as well as its own G7P55-DC. The first thing to notice is that MSI has upped its DrMOS count from six on Core i7 to ten on Core i5 (although the board actually claims 15 Phase DrMOS in its entirety).
This isn't MSI playing the numbers game either, this is simply because the CPU, GPU, PCI-Express and memory controller needs that much more to power everything. The non-GPU version of the Core i5 fits in the same socket, just with the display outputs disabled, and the extra DrMOS will be excessive for even extreme overclocking.
With four slots of DDR3 for dual channel memory, “optimised” QPI, but a standard rear I/O with VGA and DVI – not two digital outputs – we fear this is a limitation of the CPU-GPU. If so then yet again Intel’s graphics products have fallen behind the competition even months before release.
Three PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots also exist that support both SLI and CrossFire and from the slot colours it appears we might be lucky to get x16/x16 or x16/x8/x8 – this also comes routed from the new Core i5 CPU. In addition there are a few PCI slots and PCI-Express x1 from the lone southbridge – another feature that gives the board far more space to play with for cooling and component placement, as it’s a chip short of a set.
With three “Turbo” buttons intermingled with the typical power, reset and Clear CMOS, this controls MSI’s recent auto overclock (OC optimise) feature that runs an algorithm to automatically overclock the CPU and other features. MSI admits it won’t be as good as a skilled overclocker fine tweaking the values but it’ll get the more inexperienced, or those with limited time, up and running a lot quicker.
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