iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






MSI 645E Max2-LRU (SiS645DX) Mainboard

The board packed in a new box offers abundance of functions, which is typical of this company these days. 


  • Package: cardboard box laminated with yellow and green lustrous coating; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with 4 USB ports; 

  • S-Bracket; 

  • D-Bracket; 

  • 2 CDs containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • VNC; 
    • 3Deep; 
    • PC-Cillin 2000; 
    • X-Setup; 
    • MSI DVD; 
    • MSI Fuzzy Logic (for automatic CPU overclocking); 
    • MSI GoodMem (for optimization of system memory); 
    • MSI InfoView (displays information in system devices); 
    • MSI i-Speeder (for optimization of the Internet access and monitoring of network connections); 
    • MSI Live Update 2 (for automatic drivers and BIOS updates); 
    • MSI LockBox (to restrict a computer access); 
    • MSI PCAlert III (system monitoring); 
    • MSI SecureDoc (file encryption); 
    • MSI SmartKey. 

The layout is not devoid of the usual drawbacks: the CD-In is near the back panel, when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the memory modules and cables in the IDE connectors, and the IDE RAID and FDD connectors are behind the PCI slots. But it's not difficult to reach the only jumper when the board is already installed. Its function is shown on the textolite.

The 2-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 4 capacitors of 2200 uF and 7 of 1500 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having an output for front audio connectors; 
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100L; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the AChip ATP865-A chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 via the ATA133 protocol; 
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the NEC D720100AS1 chip. 
Non-unsoldered connectors: none. 

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond W83697HF chip. What is controlled: 

    • processor voltage, +3.3, +5 and +-12 V and VBAT; 
    • speed of 2 fans; 
    • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor).
There are 2 connectors for adjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 4 USB 2.0/ 4 USB 1.1 (the chipset supports up to 6 ports); dimensions - 305x245 mm.  

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
BIOS based on v.3.31a from AMI Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Timing Setting Mode, MA 1T/2T Select, Host to Memory Latency
Setup of memory frequency + CPU:DRAM = 1:1, 3:4, 3:5 (at the FSB from 100 to 132 MHz); 4:3, 1:1, 4:5 (at the FSB from 133 to 160 MHz); Auto (at the FSB over 160 MHz)
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -  
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100 -200 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x50
Changeable core voltage + 1.475-1.6 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 and 2.8 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage -  

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - BIOS 1.0. 

A fairly good set of components and rich functions coupled with an excellent speed obtained with the DDR333 memory and a notable overclocking reserve make this model a tempting offer for many. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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