iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






MSI 865P Neo (i865P) Mainboard

The first board we received on this chipset turned out to be of the budget level: the ICH installed is old and has no SATA support and fewer USB ports. 


  • Package of the standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • Cables: FDD, ATA66/100/133, both are in the mesh pipe; 
  • Blank bracket; 
  • CD with: 
    • drivers; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • WinVNC; 
    • 3Deep; 
    • PC-cillin 2002; 
    • X-Setup; 
    • MSI Corecenter; 
    • MSI Fuzzy Logic (auto CPU overclocking); 
    • MSI GoodMem (memory optimization); 
    • MSI InfoView (info about system devices); 
    • MSI i-Speeder (optimization of the Internet access and network connection optimization); 
    • MSI Live Update 2 (auto drivers and BIOS update); 
    • MSI LockBox (PC access lock); 
    • MSI Password Keeper; 
    • MSI PCAlert IV (system monitoring); 
    • MSI SecureDoc (file encryption); 
    • MSI SmartKey. 

The board is smaller than usual, and the layout is not that convenient: IDE and FDD are behind the PCI slots and audio-ins are in front of them; a video card inserted may lock access to the memory modules, and it can be hard to plug in cables into some connectors along the left side of the board. It's not easy to reach the only jumper even when the board is not installed yet. Its functions are not shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 6 capacitors of 2200 uF and several less capacious ones. Also, there are voltage regulators for the AGP bus (4 of 1000 uF) and memory bus (4 of 1000 uF).

Integrated controllers: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset and C-Media CMI9739A AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio outputs and SPDIF connectors provided.

Non-unsoldered connectors: network controller chip and RJ45 connector. 

System monitoring is supported by Winbond W83627THF-A chip. It controls: 

  • processor voltage, +3.3, +-5 and +-12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (built-in sensor), the board (built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief board's characteristics: memory slots - 2 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x200 mm. 


jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
BIOS based on AMI v3.31a Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, Precharge Delay, Burst Length
Setup of memory frequency + Auto; DDR266 at FSB 100 MHz; DDR266 and DDR333 at FSB 133 MHz; DDR400 at FSB 200 MHz
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + AGP(PCIx2) = 66-150 MHz in 1MHz steps
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-500 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x32
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-1.85 V in 0.0125V steps up to 1.6 V and in 0.1V steps over
Changeable memory voltage + 2.5-2.8 V in 0.1V steps
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + 1.5-1.8 V in 0.1V steps

We used the BIOS 1.0 as the latest available version. 

This is a board with budget-level functions and modest speed characteristics. You can take maybe only because of its good overclocking potential. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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