MSI P55-CD53 Motherboard Review :: Layout

09-07-2009 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Board

Board

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review 4-pin power

4-pin power

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review CPU Area

CPU Area


Starting at the upper left hand corner of the board we find that MSI has included a 4-pin power connector. Most modern PSUs have 8-pin power connectors but you can use them in a 4-pin connector. To the left of the 4-pin power is the DrMOS logo covering the DrMOS MOSFETS..


MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Rear of PCB

Rear of PCB

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review P55 Express chipset

P55 Express chipset

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review DIMMs

DIMMs

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power


Below the DrMOS is the CPU socket. The LGA-1156 Socket is only slightly bigger than the LGA-775 Socket on earlier Intel motherboards. The CPU is laid down into the Socket the cover is flipped back under the nut and the lever is lowered to lock the CPU into place. Below the CPU Socket is the DIMM Slots.

The P55-CD53 has four Dual Inline Memory Modules (DIMMs) that hold up to 16GB of DDR3 memory. The memory controller on the Core i5 CPUs supports up to DDR3-1333MHz speed. When overclocked, the memory controller can be sped up to DDR3-2100 (assuming the memory can handle it and the CPU can handle the Base Clock).


MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Sysfan

Sysfan

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review CPUFan

CPUFan

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review IDE

IDE


The 24-pin power connector is on the middle bottom edge of the board next to the capacitors and PWM circuitry on that edge. To the left of the 24-pin power is the SysFan header. The P55 chipset supports 6 SATA ports natively and these are positioned sideways to the board. To the left of that is an IDE port. Two further SATA ports are located on the left side of the board controlled by a JMB363 chip.


MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review 2 more SATA

2 more SATA

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review FP I/O

FP I/O

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review 2 more SATA

2 more SATA

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review FDD

FDD


The FP I/O connector headers are located to the left of the two blue SATA connectors. Each connector is labeled with what wires go where plus the + - signs to show the facing. The FDD controller is to the left of that. MSI includes an onboard Power button which allows the motherboard to be tested outside of the case. To the left of that is the OC Genie button. An empty IEEE-1394 header area is to the left of the OC Genie button, followed by a SPDIF jumper, the Audio jumper, the CD-In and the onboard audio chip which is a Realtek ALC889 CODEC. This CODEC supports 7.1+2 channel simultaneous output (Multi-streaming) and True Blu-Ray Audio.


MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Realtek ALC889

Realtek ALC889

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Control Panel for audio

Control Panel for audio

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Audio driver

Audio driver

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Fintek chip

Fintek chip


Expansion on the board consists of three PCI Express x1 slots, a PCI Express x16 slot for the graphics, and three PCI slots. While several of the P55 chipset based motherboards sport two or more PCI Express slots, the P55 Express PCH can only handle 16 PCI Express lanes. In any event, the MSI board is a mainstream board and does not support Multi-GPU solutions. The rear of the board is interesting as it has a few legacy device connections. There are ten USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 mouse, a PS/2 keyboard, a Gigabit LAN, and 6 jacks for the onboard audio jacks. The PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports are legacy ports as most people use USB mice or keyboards but nice to have if you donít have them. Ten USB 2.0 ports are enough for even the most hardcore enthusiast with USB devices.


MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review SPI Jumper

SPI Jumper

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review CD-In

CD-In

MSI P55-CD53  Motherboard Review IO

IO