Microstar International's MS6337 i815E Pro

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Microstar International's MS-6337 - i815E Pro
Our second pass at the i815E and it gets better every time.

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla
9/27/00

 
You probably have noticed...  Intel's latest motherboard chipset the i815E, has taken hold with virtually all of the major motherboard manufacturers as a major component in their mainstream and high end product offering.  Not long ago product offerings were a flood with boards based on the VIA Apollo Pro133A chipset.  However, now that Intel finally has their own PC133 ready product out the door, we knew it wouldn't be long before the Big "I" would permeate once again.

The HotHardware labs have recently been inundated with i815E boards and over the next few weeks, we'll try to cover many of the players.   A few weeks ago, we gave you a glimpse of what Abit had to offer with the SE6.  This time around we bring you MSI's entry into the field, the MS-6337 or i815E Pro as it is affectionately known.  With a few more weeks of development time under their belt, you may be wondering what good things MSI can bring to the i815E that others may have missed.  We'll look into that as well as most all other aspects of the feature set and performance within this board, in the pages to follow.

Specifications / Features Of The MSI i815E Pro
It's in there

Click for full view

  • CPU:
    Socket 370 for Intel(R) Celeron(TM) / Coppermine (FC-PGA) processors of 500, 550, 600, 633, 667, 866MHz. and higher.
  • Memory:
    Four PC133 SDRAM DIMM slots supporting up to 512MB using 16/64/128/256 Mbit technology
  • Slots:
    One CNR (Communication Networking Riser) slot; One AGP slot (2X/4X mode); Six PCI slots.
  • Video:
    2D/3D graphics integrated in chip using Intel DVM Technology. Optional AGP In-line Memory Module (AIMM) support.
  • Audio:
    DirectSound AC'97 audio integrated in chip.
  • Form Factor:
    ATX form factor
  • BIOS:
    Plug & Play BIOS providing DMI (Desktop Management Interface) function.
  • Chipset:
    Intel(R) 815 + Intel(R) ICH2 chipset. Supports 66/100/133MHz bus speeds
  • On-Board IDE:
    Two dual channeled PIO Bus Master IDE controllers supporting UDMA 66/100.
  • On-Board Peripherals:
    One floppy port; One serial ports; One parallel port; Four USB ports (2 on board rear connectors and one USB front pin header); One VGA port; One Audio / Game port, on board Health Monitoring Functions for CPU and System temp. sensing and fan speed monitoring.

From what we have seen on the market thus far, this is pretty much standard equipment for and i815E board.  6 PCI slots is a welcomed standard that most manufacturers are following.  In addition, the AC'97 Software Audio Solution and the integrated 2D/3D graphics that is part and parcel to the i815E chipset, is common place with others as well.  On a side note, we will not be looking at the 2D/3D performance of this board since most folks are aware, that feature on the i815E is not up to par with today's standards for performance.  This doesn't hinder the board in any way obviously since there is an AGP slot ready and waiting for your 3dfx, nVidia, ATI or Matrox based solution.

What is interesting is the fact that MSI did not include a heat sink on the i815E chipset itself.  As you can see, the standard green aluminum sink that is prevalent on almost every board out on the market today, is non-existent here.

Now you are probably wondering if the chip itself gets hot.  "Hot", I would have to say no.  Very warm to the touch yes.  In fact, our personal opinion is that a heat sink is definitely merited in this site on the board.  The real question is, does it have an effect on stability?

Click for full view

Stick around and you'll find out!

 

Setup, Installation, BIOS Settings and Over-Clocking

 
Tags:  ATI, MS, OS, MIC, NAT, international, pro, AR, Micro

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