WE‘VE COVERED BOTH Asus and Gigabyte’s upcoming LGA-1155 boards in some detail, so we figured it was time to take a look at what MSI has up its sleeve. Today we’ll take a closer look at MSI’s H67 mATX boards which consists of at least four different models, although there might be more models coming.
Starting with the H67 boards, the most basic model is the H67MS-E33 and even so, this isn’t a terrible board. It has one x16 PCI Express slot and three x1 slots, two memory slots, four SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports. Around the back you’ll find two PS/2 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, a D-sub, DVI and HDMI port, a Gigabit Ethernet port and six audio jacks. The board also has headers for another eight USB 2.0 ports and a serial and parallel port. The power regulation is a basic five phase design without a heatsink, although it does apparently support phase switching.
Moving up a step we have the H67MS-E43 which adds a pair of memory slots and at the same time also grows in width. The slot layout is the same as the previous model, although the rear ports have changed slightly with one of the PS/2 ports having been replaced by an optical S/PDIF and some re-arrangement having been done of the other ports. The chokes have been upgraded to SFC chokes and we’re now looking at a six phase design. Gone is also the parallel port header.
The H67MA-E45 is yet another small step up and the overall board layout is identical to the H67MS-E43 bar two features, USB 3.0 and FireWire support. This means that two of the rear USB 2.0 ports have been replaced in favour of two USB 3.0 ports and a rear FireWire port has been fitted as well as a pin header for a second port.
The fourth and last mATX board is the H67MA-ED55 which is a pretty feature packed mATX board, although it’s possible that MSI might launch an even more advanced version of this board in the future. Here we have a pair of x16 PCI Express slots; although we’d presume the bottom slot only features four PCI Express lanes, as the H67 chipset doesn’t support dual x8 slots. It’s also clear that MSI has borrowed a leaf out of Gigabyte’s book here by adding a special USB header for charging mobile devices.
The H67MA-ED55 also has a power and reset button and a set of readout points for various board Voltage with a multimeter, a handy feature for overclockers. The rear ports haven’t changed from the previous model much, although some changes have been made to the general layout. Finally we’re looking at a 10 phase power regulation covered by heatsinks connected via a small heatpip. What’s missing from this board is eSATA and a secondary SATA controller for this and one further internal port, which suggests either a last minute change, or yet another version coming.
MSI tends to offer a wide selection of mATX boards, but so far we’re not aware of a P67 mATX model and we haven’t seen any H61 products which will most likely be in the shape of mATX boards. We’ll be following up this preview with a look at MSI’s P67 ATX boards which hold a few surprises, although none that are likely to set the world on fire, but at least enough to allow MSI to keep up with the competition.S|A
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