MSI P35 Platinum

P35 Neo

P35 Neo Combo
MSI has no less than five P35 Express motherboards ready to launch

MSI is preparing its new Intel P35 Express powered motherboards, with support for DDR3 and/or DDR2 memory. The new P35 Express powered lineup includes five new models ranging from the flexible P35 Neo Combo to the flagship P35 Diamond.

Leading MSI’s P35 Express lineup is the DDR3 packing P35 Diamond. This model features four DIMM slots with support for DDR3-1066/800 up to 8 GB. Users hesitant to adopt DDR3 memory so quickly can opt for the P35 Platinum, which features four DDR2 DIMM slots. MSI also has a hybrid version of the P35 Diamond and P35 Platinum, the P35 Platinum Combo.

MSI’s P35 Platinum Combo packs four DDR2 and two DDR3 DIMM slots. The flexibility of the P35 Platinum Combo allows users to have up to 8GB of DDR2-800/667 or 4GB of DDR3-1066/800 memory. As with most combo memory supporting motherboards, the P35 Platinum Combo will not function with both types of memory installed.

All three P35 Express powered motherboards have similar feature sets, despite the different memory configurations. MSI packs its high-end P35 Express motherboards with two physical PCIe x16 slots, one full-speed and the other x4 electrically. Two PCIe x1 and two PCI slots are also available for expansion.

New to the high-end P35 Express lineup is the integration of Realtek’s ALC888T high-definition audio codec. Realtek previously announced the ALC888T over a year ago. The integrated Realtek ALC888T allows users to connect standard house phones to PCs for VoIP services. The Realtek ALC888T also allows users to use VoIP services while the system is off. MSI currently supports SkyTel and Skype VoIP services with its ALC888T powered motherboards.

All three high-end P35 Express powered motherboards feature Intel’s ICH9R south bridge. The ICH9R powers four internal SATA 3.0Gbps and two e.SATA ports. MSI installs a secondary Marvell storage controller for one more SATA 3.0Gbps and one IDE port.

Catering to mainstream users are the P35 Neo and P35 Combo. MSI’s P35 Neo offers four DDR2 memory slots while the P35 has two DDR2 and two DDR3 memory slots. Both boards have identical expansion and storage configurations. MSI packs the mainstream P35 models with one PCIe x16, three PCIe x1 and two PCI slots for expansion.

The mainstream P35 Express lineup lacks e.SATA ports. Nevertheless, MSI equips the P35 Neo and P35 Combo with four SATA 3.0Gbps powered by Intel’s ICH9 and one SATA 3.0Gbps powered by a separate Marvell controller. The Marvell controller also provides an IDE port. Since MSI has opted to equip its mainstream P35 Express lineup with Intel’s ICH9, there is no RAID support.

Aside from feature differences, all five P35 Express powered motherboards support LGA775 processors up to 1333 MHz front-side bus. MSI supports all Core architecture processors including Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium E2100 and Celeron 400-series. Netburst processors are no longer officially supported, due to Intel no longer validating the processors with its Bearlake chipset family. Nevertheless, MSI will support Intel’s upcoming Penryn family of 45nm processors.

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