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Computex 2009: Hardware Preview

MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty

MSI's P55-GD65 is one of three Intel P55 motherboards the firm will show at Computex, but we managed to (literally) twist an arm or two and get some very early pictures of its design.

As it's not yet a finalised design, details are still subject to change. In particular, the cooling the board will feature is still to be decided, as are a few of extra features such as on-board power and reset buttons. MSI told us that the rest is pretty much good to go.

Unlike MSI's AMD-focussed 790FX-GD65, this board sports a far more fetching black and blue colour scheme. The GD65 is designed with seven phases of DrMOS/GreenPower hardware for the Lynnfield CPU (most likely a 6+1 for CPU and CPU-NB), and a pair of phases with Power-PAK MOSFETs for the memory and one for the P55 chipset too.

As with the ECS P55 board, MSI has added two PCI-Express x8 slots (x16 physical) from the CPU. Two PCI-Express x1, one open ended PCI-E x4 and two PCI slots, which are powered by the Southbridge. In addition to the six S-ATA ports provided by the P55, there's only a single extra S-ATA port, quite awkwardly placed.

Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty

Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty
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EIDE support is provided by the usual bog standard Jmicron controller- MSI claims for a mainstream board, EIDE is still required - but to be honest, we've absolutely no idea why a floppy port still gets board space.

Another MSI unique feature is its newly developed OC Genie hardware (we find it hard not to draw parallels between this and Asus RoG chip), which will aid overclocking. Whether or not Asus did it first, if it works then fantastic, as it means not having to buy a very high priced RoG motherboard for specialised overclocking hardware.

Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty

Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty Computex 2009: Hardware Preview MSI P55 GD65 looks tasty
Click to enlarge