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Ive been using the MSi 845E max (6566e) motherboard for the past 2 years and it still performs as stable now as it did back then.
The board itself is very well packaged and comes with all the usual extras including drivers CD and IDE cables for both CD-roms/hard drives and floppy disc aswell as an excellently informative and well laid out manual.
The 845E Max by MSi supports all Pentium 4 processors as well as Celerons upto 3.06 ghz using the built in 845E Intel chipset and includes full support for both 133mhz front side bus (FSB) quad pumped (133 x 4 = 533 fsb) Pentium 4's and 184 pin PC 2100 (266mhz) DDR memory upto 2 ghz, there are 2 available memory slots which is plenty for most people and i whole heartedly recommend firstly adding 1 x 512mb of DDR to the motherboard so as to leave 1 free DDR slot if you ever chose to add more ram at a later date, this motherboard however does NOT support sdram which is now considered obsolete for P4 boards anyway.
Onboard sound is also provided as standard with this motherboard using the AC 97 sound chip and the drivers for the sound have been updated frequently on MSi's website so there should be no problem for anyone into gaming who needs the latest sound drivers.
On the subject of driver updates i really should take this time to explain a little regarding one of the best features surrounding this motherboard (and indeed MSi's motherboards in general) included on the supplied CD is a small program called 'Live update' (requires an internet connection) now what this does is basically scan your motherboard on request to see what version drivers you have installed for both the motherboard, sound and bios and then if these are out-dated you have the very simple task of just clicking on update and your chosen driver updates are done for you with nothing else required, its extremely simple and straightforward and a massive bonus of this and other MSi motherboards to have included.
The 845E max is a typical ATX motherboard and therefore will fit into most (if not all) modern desktops and the exact size dimensions are...
Width 30.5 cm Depth 20 cm
Heres a full list of the included supported features of this motherboard as specified by MSi themseoves on thier website...
Expansion Slots Total (Free) 1 ( 1 ) x processor - Socket 478 1 ( 1 ) x AGP 4x ( 1.5 V ) 2 ( 2 ) x memory ( 2.5 V ) - DIMM 184-PIN 1 ( 1 ) x CNR 6 ( 6 ) x PCI ( 3.3 V/ 5 V ) Interfaces 1 x storage - floppy interface - 34 PIN IDC 2 x serial - RS-232 - 9 pin D-Sub (DB-9) 1 x parallel - IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP) - 25 pin D-Sub (DB-25) 2 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 PIN USB Type A 2 x storage - DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra) - 40 PIN IDC 1 x keyboard - generic - 6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style) 1 x mouse - generic - 6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style) 1 x audio - line-In - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm 1 x audio - line-out - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm 1 x microphone - input - mini-phone mono 3.5 mm 1 x gameport / MIDI - generic - 15 pin D-Sub (DB-15) 1 x audio - line-In - 4 PIN MPC
This motherboard has proven to be extremely stable for me and has produced no problems whatsoever in 2 years of constant use, it is fast, stable and easy to install/use.
One downside i really must mention however is that this motherboard does NOT support Windows 98 or older, you must have Windows ME (Millenium) Windows 2000 or Windows XP in order to use this motherboard, its perhaps a small downer but one that can be forgiven as most people tend to use Windows XP these days anyway.
Thas basically all i can think of regarding this product, i highly recommend it to anyone who needs a fast, stable Pentium 4 motherbaord that supports DDR memory, this board can be picked up for as little as £45 online and therefore comes VERY recommended by me, i paid £70 two years ago and im still happy so at a lower cost you really should be checking this motherboard out.
Thanks for reading
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