It’s almost impossible to drop a processor into MSI’s 890FXA-GD70 motherboard without overclocking it. The reason has nothing to do with MSI not letting you run a chip at stock speeds—it does—but the temptation to goose your processor presents itself at every turn. If you’re poking around the BIOS, you need only enable the OC Genie Light option for a free speed boost. Alternately, you can turn a knob on the motherboard to make front-side-bus adjustments on the fly. And yet a third way to overclock is to fire up the included Control Center software and start moving sliders, or press the OC Genie button and be done with it. Using the latter option, we were prompted to restart our test bed, at which point the MSI board cranked our Phenom II X4 955BE up from 3.2GHz to a stable 3.68GHz. Not bad.
One look at the Big Bang-XPower’s row of six x16 physical PCI-E slots tells you the board is special. PCI? Feh, who the hell needs that in 2010?
MSI has now also adopted the one-clip DIMM slots that let you easily remove RAM without having to pull out the GPU first. The board also includes a somewhat nifty wired remote to monitor system vitals and perform an overclock. Unfortunately, we found the OC Dashboard a bit buggy. While trying to crank up the bclock using the small device, we had to manually refresh the display in order to see the correct frequency.
Hewlett Packard (HP) expects to become the world's second largest supplier of netbooks in 2011, and should the company get there, they should consider sending a bottle of Cristal to Intel, the world's No. 1 chip maker. It only seems fitting, considering Intel just shipped a large number of its new dual-core Atom N550 processors to HP for $65, representing a significant 25 percent savings over the chip's official $86 price tag.
As it currently stands, Acer, Samsung, and Asus are the three largest netbook suppliers in the world, in that order. MSI could have been in the mix too, but the company is putting on the brakes somewhat citing concerns over market demand for dual-core netbooks. Instead, MSI is reportedly stepping back to focus on single-core units, and eventually will exit the market in favor of traditional notebooks.
MSI's latest Fermi-based graphics card is a tweaker's dream, assuming you sit around dreaming about cranking voltage knobs on your hardware. That's exactly what you can do with MSI's new N460GTX Hawk, supposedly the world's first videocard with a triple overvoltage function to support core voltage, memory voltage, and PLL voltage adjustments.
MSI says the N460GTX Hawk is also the only model on the market to have successfully achieved 1GHz on air, a feat made possible in part by the 7+1 PWM power design, V-Check Points (which allows users to measure voltage on the graphics card with a multimeter), active phase switching (APS), and the dual-fan Twin Frozr II heatsink.
With the core clockspeed cranked to 1GHz, Indonesian overclocker "Hazzan" posted a 3DMark Vantage score of 21,706 (18,725 GPU, 41,552 CPU), an impressive mark for an air cooled setup.
MSI on Monday unveiled the newest member to its Classic Series of laptops, the 14-inch FX400. Billed as the company's "latest masterpiece," MSI is talking up the FX400's special "totem seal coating" that promises to keep scratches and smudges from mucking up the FX400's "stylish and meticulous craftsmanship."
Beneath the shiny exterior sits an Intel Core i5 processor nestled into Intel's HM55 chipset, Nvidia GeForce GT 325M graphics with a 1GB frame buffer, two DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM slots, up to a 500GB SATA hard drive, DVD burner, 2-1-in memory card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, HDMI, and a 6-cell battery.
As is becoming standard on MSI notebooks, the FX400 also includes MSI's Turbo Drove Engine (TDE) technology, which throttles up the CPU and graphics with the touch of a button situated above the keyboard.
MSI's latest all-in-one PC -- the Wind Top AE2420 3D -- says it's all about the 3D, baby, and apparently this is a world's first. The AE2420 brings 24-inches of 3D imagery to a touchscreen LED panel with a 120Hz scanning frequency when paired with the bundled 3D shutter glasses that MSI claims is all that a bag of popcorn.
"The Wind Top AE2420 3D comes with MSI's exclusive 3D Infinity (Shutter Glasses) that solve the problem of blurred 3D images caused by visual angle deviation," MSI explains. "With a large 24" display, several people can view 3D images at the same time, making it even more suitable for use in family entertainment. MSI's 3D Station also integrates 2D to 3D transfer technology, addressing the current shortage of 3D movies. Even DVD rentals or home videos can be instantly transferred and viewed as 3D images."
Other hardware consists of an Intel Core i5 650 processor clocked at 3.2GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics with 1GB of dedicated memory, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 1TB hard drive, optional Blu-ray drive, 1.3MP webcam, four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, LAN, VGA and HDMI, 6-in-1 memory card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, TV tuner card, and MCE remote control.
We're starting to see a resurgence in planned Windows 7-based tablets, with the latest entry belonging to MSI. After putting on display its WindPad 100 tablet at Computex, the company has gone and released a bunch of press images into the wild, indicating that it's moved past the prototype stage.
In addition to Windows 7, the WindPad 100 struts into the tablet scene with a 10.1-inch display, Intel Atom Z530 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB SSD. According to the press images, a dock will add two USB 2.0 ports, audio jacks, LAN, VGA, and an HDMI port.
Initially, MSI was talking up a $500 price point, but that was months ago and nothing has yet been made official.
MSI this week announced its most powerful all-in-one PC yet, the Wind Top AE2280. The company says it's the first desktop PC to integrate Hollywood-standard THX TruStudio Pro audio capabilities, which is piped through two integrated 5W Hi-Fi speakers.
"The Wind Top AE2280 brings the ultimate in Hollywood-caliber video and audio technology to the desktop," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI Computer. "It packages the perfect combination of processing power, stunning graphics, HD video, and powerful, crystal-clear audio in a sleek, modern and energy-efficient design. As both a multimedia and home entertainment system, the newest Wind Top sets a new standard for the level of power, functionality and ease-of-use available in All-in-One PCs."
The new AE2280 comes in configurations sporting an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, ATI Radeon HD series graphics cards, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, up to 640GB of storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
MSI is one of a handful of companies riding the wave of affordable gaming notebooks, and the company's latest power packed laptop -- the GT660R -- has sailed into U.S. shores.
The 16-inch GT660R comes crammed with high end parts, including an Intel Core i7 740QM processor clocked at 1.73GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX285M graphics with 1GB of dedicated memory, 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB of storage (2x500GB HDDs), a Blu-ray reader that doubles as a DVD/CD burner, 720p webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth LAN, 4-in-1 memory card reader, HDMI, eSATA/USB combo, two USB 2.0 ports, and even a pair of USB 3.0 ports.
For those who want a little more kick, the GT660R also comes equipped with MSI's TDE+ (Turbo Drive Engine+) technology, which gooses the CPU, GPU, and memory with a single touch of the Turbo hotkey resting above the chiclet style keyboard.
You can find the GT660R selling for $1,700 on both Amazon and Newegg.
After a rough start to the summer, motherboard manufacturers are seeing sales pick up this this month and have turned optimistic about the third-quarter. Shipments are on pace to grow 20 percent on month in July, and if things continue this way, shipments will grow 15-20 percent sequentially for the quarter.
This is a far different picture than the gloom and doom scenario top-tier motherboard makers were painting just a short time ago. But as demand has started to pick up in Europe and China, so has their confidence that they'll be able to move more boards than previously thought.
So far this year, Asus has shipped roughly 10.3 million of its own-branded boards, followed by Gigabyte with 8.4 million units. ECS shipped the third most boards with 4.4 million units, followed by MSI and ASRock (a subsidiary of Asus) at 3.8 million and 3.9 million units, respectively.