5 MSI K8T Neo2 FIR Review

The MSI K8T Neo2-FIR at first glance may resemble any other high end MSI motherboard. Using MSI’s traditional red colored PCB and the ATX form factor, the K8T Neo2-FIR differs from other motherboards primarily in on-board features. The board is packed full of almost every I/O connection possible on a modern PC, and is one of the first boards we’ve seen to come with onboard 7.1 Channel Audio.

7 MSI K8T Neo2 FIR Review

When we look at the K8T Neo2-FIR’s socket, we can see that MSI made sure that large heatsinks, like the Swiftech MX6400-V, were able to attach without incident to the board.

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The VIA K8T800 Pro northbridge is passively cooled with a small heatsink.

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Since the Athlon 64 can finally support dual channel memory, the MSI K8T Neo2-FIR includes two banks of DDR slots for full dual channel support. MSI’s CoreCell Chip is also pictured and allows for on the run overclocking and power management.

11 MSI K8T Neo2 FIR Review

The MSI K8T Neo2-FIR comes standard with one AGP 8X slot, four PCI slots, and one "Communication Slot" where the bundled wireless network card goes.

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SATA RAID is handled by the Promise PDC20579 and the VIA VT8237 Southbridge, allowing a maximum of four SATA hard drives.

6 MSI K8T Neo2 FIR Review

The MSI K8T Neo2-FIR’s back I/O panel includes a parallel port, COM port, PS/2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, IEEE 1394 port, Gigabit Ethernet port, SPIDF out, one

IrDA connector, and five audio ports

(Left, Center, Right, Line-in, MIC).

 

4 MSI K8T Neo2 FIR Review

Included with the K8T-Neo2FIR is a wireless networking adapter. The adapter goes into the K8T-Neo2FIR’s "Communication Slot" and works with any 802.11b/g network.