LGA775, ATX, Intel P45 chipset, supports: Celeron Dual Core, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme
MSI’s P45 Neo-F is one of the cheapest Intel motherboards here at £72 including VAT. The Neo doesn’t have a second PCI Express x16 graphics card slot as Foxconn’s P43A does, but it has two PCI Express x1 slots rather than just one.
Like all the other Intel motherboards here, the Neo has ports for a set of analogue 7.1 surround-sound speakers. It’s the only motherboard here without any S/PDIF outputs, though, so you’ll need to add a dedicated sound card if you want to output digital sound.
In addition to its four USB ports, the Neo has four USB headers, so you can use brackets to add four more USB ports. This is fewer than the P43A offers, but it should be more than enough for most people.
Like Foxconn’s P43A, the Neo lacks some of the more advanced storage features found on the other Intel motherboards here. It doesn’t have any FireWire ports or headers and lacks an eSATA port, although brackets to convert SATA ports cost only a few pounds. It’s also one of just two Intel motherboards here not to have a built-in RAID controller for linking multiple hard disks together. If you really want RAID, you can buy an expansion card that provides these features.
MSI’s P45 Neo-F isn’t a bad motherboard, but unless you can buy it for less or you need the extra PCI Express x1 slot, there’s little reason to choose it over Foxconn’s P43A. It has more features but doesn’t cost any more money.
|Processor support||Celeron Dual Core, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme|
|Processor external bus||400MHz (1,600MHz quad-pumped FSB)|
|Chipset north bridge||Intel P45|
|Chipset south bridge||Intel ICH10|
|Passively-cooled north bridge||yes|
|Supported memory type||DDR2 667/800/1066|
|Maximum memory speed||PC2-8500|
|Power connectors||1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX|
|PCI-E x16 slots||1|
|Dual graphics architecture||none|
|PCI-E x4 slots||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots||2|
|Serial ATA ports||6|
|RAID chipset (max disks)||none|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Sound (ports)||Realtek ALC888 (6x analogue out)|
|USB2 ports / headers||4/4|
|Firewire ports / headers||0/0|
|Legacy ports||2x PS/2, parallel, serial|
|Cables included||1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power|
Setup and Overclocking
|CPU clock max adjustment||800MHz|