MSI GNB Max Motherboard

The MSI GNB Max Motherboard - Page 2

The MSI GNB Max-FISR Motherboard
Intel's Granite Bay With Dual Channel DDR and AGP8X

By, Dave Altavilla
December 8, 2002

Features and Setup
Granite Bay with all the creature comforts

The layout of the MSI GNB Max-FISR is very nicely done, with power connectors at the edge of the board.  However, there are a fair number of large metal can capacitors around the CPU socket, which may inhibit some larger heat sink installations.  This is not a show stopper however, the retention brackets are unobstructed and for the most part there is ample room to get by.


Also, notice the fairly large heat sinks attached to the power MOSFETs near the CPU socket.  This is a big plus in our opinion.  We've had more than one Pentium 4 board here in the lab, go meta-stable due to overheated MOSFETs during overclocking.  As a matter of fact, we would go so far as to say, that if you don't have these attached to the FETs on your P4 board, it is cheap insurance to add them and it may very well bring you better over-all stability, especially if you like to overclock.



As we noted earlier, this board has a myriad of bells and whistles with all the latest features in connectivity technology.  As a matter of fact, it is as if EVERYONE came to this party.  Winbond, VIA, Intel, Promise, C-Media, and ICS all provide the latest gizmos, from USB 2.0 to Gigabit Ethernet and SATA (Serial ATA) RAID.

So plain for such a feature packed board, it's a shame

Then we hit a bit of a brick wall.  At first, the BIOS on the board that we received was ridiculously bland.  There were only limited Front Side Bus speed selections to chose from and no voltage adjustments whatsoever.  However, we did obtain a new BIOS from MSI and here are a few screens from the setup that is available.



This version of the MSI GNB Max-FISR BIOS is still pretty boring.  It's a shame, with all the features and capabilities of this board and the chipset that powers it, that MSI doesn't give the enthusiast the tools to work with, like they have in virtually all the other boards they have released in the market today.  The only real tweaking features that are available, as of right now, are memory timings and FSB selection in 1MHz increments up to 200MHz.  There are still no voltage tweaks for DRAM or CPU adjustments.  One word... bummer.  We're very hopeful that MSI will release a BIOS for the GNB Max-FISR, that will unlock its full potential and give the end user full control over performance optimizations and tweaks.

Sandra and Winstones


Tags:  MSI, Motherboard, MS, board, AR

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