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MSI P965 Neo review

A below-par motherboard, but good value

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Our Verdict

Good value. Flawed but only a BIOS update away from potential greatness.

For

  • Good price

Against

  • Poor performance

Exactly how well do Intel's in-house chipsets compare with the likes NVIDIA's NFORCE and ATI's Xpress offers? Well, it's debatable. But you can be sure of one thing. Intel-based boards are typically pretty pricey.

That explains why the three other motherboards that sport Intel's most recent chipsets all weigh in at well over £100. It's also, no doubt, the reason why this Intel 965 board boasts a rather no-frills spec list.

For starters, there's no facility for adjusting the CPU voltage in the BIOS and the FSB overclocking option tops out at 333MHz. If you plan on spanking that Core 2 Duo to within 65 nanometers of its life, then you're going to have to look elsewhere.

As for stock-clocked performance, it was compromised by our sample's refusal to run the memory DIMMs at the full 800MHz. But that's the sort of problem you'd expect a BIOS revision to sort out sooner rather than later. Jeremy Laird