MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review :: Setup and Test System

05-28-2004 · Category: Motherboards

By Doc Overclock

MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review

Since I got an early sample version of the board, amenities like the box and proper manual were absent as the board came in a plain MSI box with no board nomenclature to be seen and the manual was printed from somebody's PC at MSI corporate. I did however get all the required drivers on an included CD and most of the cables to get up and going although the additional USB cable adding 2 more USB ports was absent, but for testing is really rather unnecessary anyways. The ZIF Socket is surrounded by critical connections only allowing for cooling solutions that meet the required spec as anything bigger would block or crossover these other areas making assembly next to impossible. Many of the features you get with an MSI product are inherent to all there motherboards and you can see them here.


MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review

The board is clearly labeled and easy to see by the naked eye making connecting the various cables and system wiring an easy task, even without the manual in hand. There are nine mounting holes for securing the board to your enclosure and each one is shielded, so using washers like the old-school way is not necessary and can sometimes cause more problems than good. The system BIOS automatically detects your CPU and memory timing by SPD so unless you are overclocking you really do not need to make any BIOS adjustments other than to enable or disable a said feature option. Windows installed without error after I made a floppy with the RAID drivers on it to detect the SATA hard drives as without it the Windows setup does not recognize your SATA chain. MSI has their ''Live'' series of updates and BIOS flash options that can be accessed in the Windows environment as long as you have a modem or internet connection. This was essentially a no-brainer task for someone familiar with PC assembly, and it could be tackled by a green enthusiast if they were so inclined if they pay attention to detail.


MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review
MSI K8N Neo MS7030 Review

System Specifications

  • MSI K8N-NEO (MS-7030)
  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+
  • 512MB Corsair DDR3200 memory running@400 MHz
  • GIGABYTE 3D Cooler-Pro
  • ATI RADEON 9700 Pro running Catalyst 4.4 drivers
  • Windows XP SP 1
  • Dual 7200RPM 80GB Seagate SATA RAID O
  • 16x AOpen DVDROM
  • ePOWER 450W Jaguar

Tests

  • Sysmark 2004
  • PCMark 2004
  • 3dmark 2001 SE Build 330
  • 3Dmark03 Build 340
  • Quake3
  • UT2003
  • SpecViewPerf 7.1.1
  • Prime95
  • BurnIn Test Pro