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MSI P45 Neo-F review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £72
inc VAT


LGA775, ATX, Intel P45 chipset, supports: Celeron Dual Core, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme

MSI’s P45 Neo-F is one of the cheapest Intel motherboards here at £72 including VAT. The Neo doesn’t have a second PCI Express x16 graphics card slot as Foxconn’s P43A does, but it has two PCI Express x1 slots rather than just one.

Like all the other Intel motherboards here, the Neo has ports for a set of analogue 7.1 surround-sound speakers. It’s the only motherboard here without any S/PDIF outputs, though, so you’ll need to add a dedicated sound card if you want to output digital sound.

In addition to its four USB ports, the Neo has four USB headers, so you can use brackets to add four more USB ports. This is fewer than the P43A offers, but it should be more than enough for most people.

Like Foxconn’s P43A, the Neo lacks some of the more advanced storage features found on the other Intel motherboards here. It doesn’t have any FireWire ports or headers and lacks an eSATA port, although brackets to convert SATA ports cost only a few pounds. It’s also one of just two Intel motherboards here not to have a built-in RAID controller for linking multiple hard disks together. If you really want RAID, you can buy an expansion card that provides these features.

MSI’s P45 Neo-F isn’t a bad motherboard, but unless you can buy it for less or you need the extra PCI Express x1 slot, there’s little reason to choose it over Foxconn’s P43A. It has more features but doesn’t cost any more money.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor socket LGA775
Form factor ATX
Size 220x305mm
Processor support Celeron Dual Core, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme
Processor external bus 400MHz (1,600MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge Intel P45
Chipset south bridge Intel ICH10
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR2 667/800/1066
Maximum memory speed PC2-8500
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £72

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 2
PCI slots 3
Fan headers 2
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 6
RAID chipset (max disks) none


Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC888 (6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers 4/4
Firewire ports / headers 0/0
Legacy ports 2x PS/2, parallel, serial
Other ports none
Cables included 1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 800MHz

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