MSI Ventures Further Into Enthusiast Market

Overall Score

Although MSI is not a new name in the component market, it has mostly occupied the mainstream and low end market in the past. After its recent success on the X58 flagship Eclipse SLI motherboard, MSI is poised to venture further into the enthusiast sector. At Computex Taipei, MSI has introduced a new range of products designed for those willing to push their hardware to the next level.

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Motherboards

 

Eclipse Plus

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Piggy-backing on the success of Eclipse SLI motherboard, MSI intends to create a new ultimate board for hardcore enthusiast. The resulting Eclipse Plus sports numerous features only seen in other extremely high end X58 boards. As seen in the photo, the biggest difference between Eclipse Plus and Eclipse SLI is the use of NF200 chip in the Plus. The new Eclipse Plus can support up to 3-way SLI @ x16, as well as a slot for a PhysX card. Aside from the PCI-E slots, the Eclipse Plus also features extremely user friendly overclocking utilities such as OC Dial. With the turn of the knob, users can easily overclock his/her own CPU without foraying into a maze of settings in the BIOS.

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X58-M

MSI has also followed ASUS and EVGA into the X58 micro-ATX market. Currently the MSRP for the board is 169.99USD, which is quite affordable for those looking to build a Core i7 HTPC, or even a Lanparty gaming machine.

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Next up, the P55 motherboards. Although Lynnfield is still 3 months away from launch, MSI has already lined up three different SKUs of P55 boards to accompany them once the CPUs have launched.

 

P55-GD80

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P55-GD65

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P55-CD45

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Unlike the P55 motherboards we saw at the Gigabyte and ASUS booths, MSI’s P55 boards appear to be the final production model.

 

Graphics Card

On the graphics side, MSI has showcased its newest non-reference GPU cooler, the Cyclones.

 

R4890 Cyclone

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R4770 Cyclone

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We also saw the widely anticipated GTX275 Lightning. The NGTX275 boasts 10-phase SSC (solid state chokes) PWM for maximum power stability and efficiency, which really helps while overclocking. Aside from that, the implementation of SSC eliminates the annoying high pitch noise commonly heard on Nvidia cards at full load.

 

NGTX275 Lightening

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A closer look at NGTX275 Lightning’s PWMs and SSCs.

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Last but not least, MSI has also presented their first waterblock, the HydroGen OC on a GTX285.

 

NGTX285 HydroGen OC

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EDIT: It is confirmed that MSI’s HydroGen block is indeed a HeatKiller GPU-X^2 block.

 

MSI has really refocused its effort on the enthusiast segment and has brought out numerous exciting products. With the introduction of these high end components and motherboards, the brand MSI no longer just exists in the mid to low end segment. It is certain that MSI’s effort will be warmly welcomed by enthusiasts.

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