Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Peformance Analysis: When we go over each area of testing, the MSI 915P Neo2 Platinum was right on top, running test for test along side our comparison system from ASUS. In 3DMark05, the 915P Neo2 lost ground to the ASUS P5GDC-V, but regained that ground in PCMark04. With both the video encoding and game related tests, the MSI board managed to either top or tie the ASUS P5GDC-V, while the Winstones tests were given to the ASUS model. As we've stated several times, however, we are really splitting hairs when we say one board beat the other. When it comes to breaking it down, the differences were minescule and insignificant most of the time. The MSI 915P Neo 2 has best of class type performance metrics, plain and simple.
Now that Intel's Grantdale and Alderwood chipset have brought PCI-Express to the mainstream, we've started seeing some nice offerings from a number of OEMs as of late. From what we've seen so far, the MSI 915P Neo2 Platinum is riding pretty high on the list of top i915G/P-based motherboards. MSI went all out with this board, putting every feature the chipset is capable of to use, while adding features and options along the way. The board itself is a gem to look at, with a quality design and impressive color scheme. We were also impressed with the attention paid to heat dissipation, with heatsinks mounted on the North and Southbridges as well as the MOSFETs. The only thing that would make it better would be active cooling on some of these components. However, as we saw in the benchmarking phase, the heat precautions appeared to be quite adequate.
On the whole we've had good experiences with MSI products over the years, but the 915P Neo2 Platinum seems to stand out above the others. The feature set, retail package, attention to detail and performance were all top class, leaving us with very little to take issue with in this board. Overclocking the 915P Neo2 yielded outstanding results, pushing our Pentium 4 530 @ 3GHz just shy of the 4GHz mark. If you're an overclocker, the MSI 915P Neo2 Platnium will not disappoint.
If you're waiting for the right time to move to the latest Intel platform, with DDR2, LGA775 and PCI-Express, that time is now and the MSI 915P Neo2 Platinum is great place to start. Weighing in with a retail price of around $155, the MSI 915P Neo2 Platinum is priced to sell, and is a real bargain with all that you get.
We're giving the MSI 915P Neo2 Platinum Series Motherboard our Editor's Choice Award for being one of the best in its class, along with a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of a 9.5.
Best In Class i915 Based Motherboard