MSI P55-CD53 Motherboard Review :: Features

09-07-2009 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • Active Phase Switching
  • Winki 2.0
  • OC Genie
  • DrMOS
  • Intel P55 Express chipset
  • LGA-1156 CPU interface
  • Core i5/i7 (Lynnfield and Clarkdale)
  • Dual Channel DDR3-2133 (OC), 2000 (OC)/ 1800 (OC)/ 1600 (OC)/ 1333/1066MHz DDR3 memory up to 16GB
  • OC Genie
  • Winki OS

Part Number P55-CD53
Chipset P55 Express
North BridgeN/A
Socket LGA-1156
Memory speed DDR3-2133 (OC), 2000 (OC)/ 1800 (OC)/ 1600 (OC)/ 1333/1066MHz
Processor Types Core i7, Core i5
Number of CPUs 1
QPI Up to 6.4GT/second
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Channels Double
Maximum Memory 16GB
External Graphics PCI Express x1
South Bridge ICH10R
Audio 8-channel
IDE 133/100/66
SATA 3.0 GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10
LAN 10/100/1000 4 LAN Ports
Firewire No
Form FactorATX

MSIís new motherboard is based upon Intelís new P55 Express chipset. The P55 chipset supports both the Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs on the Socket-1156 interface. The major change from previous chipsets is that there is only a single chipset the P55 Express Platform Controller Hub instead of the Northbridge and Southbridge of earlier motherboards.

The MSI P55-CD53 board has Active Phase Switching. APS lowers the Power Phases when low loads happen like browsing the Internet, or using an Office application. Higher Phases are active when high loads like 3D gaming are used. DrMOS is the MSI designed 3-in 1 MOSFET design designed to deliver higher efficiency compared to Discrete MOSFET designs.The Core i5 CPU controls the PCI Express lanes to the graphics cards on the motherboard, meaning that you can have up to 16 lanes either in one slot or two x8 lanes controlled by a Core i5 CPU. This functionality used to be on the Northbridge. Both ATIís and NVIDIAís CrossfireX and SLI are supported for multiple card functionality respectively on this board.

The Platform Controller Hub controls the I/O such as the SATA ports, the USB devices, the Firewire devices and more. The PCH replaces the ICH10R found in earlier Intel chipsets like the X58. With the memory controller now on the CPU since the advent of the Nehalem based Core i7 CPUs that means that the PCH controls the graphics with up to 16 lanes dedicated to the graphics of the system.

MSI has introduced something new with their P55 motherboards, the OC Genie. The OC Genie is an Integrated Circuit which starts with the press of the OC Genie button on the motherboard. The OC Genie will automatically detect the CPU Timing, Memory Timing, and System Power and find out the configuration thatís optimal for the system. One thing, MSI suggests you run OC Genie with a high-end CPU cooler for best results.

The MSI motherboard is the first on their lineup to have a Winki Operating System on it. Normally, Windows takes a minute or more to boot. Winki is a Linux based OS that resides on a Flash drive much like Express Gate. You can also boot off the included DVD. Once Winki is installed, you have nearly instantaneous access to the Internet, Skype, Instant Messenger, Photos and Open Office which is Sunís free Office suite allowing you to work on Office files in the Winki interface.