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Moreover, MSI also equipped its K8T Neo mainboard with an additional SerialATA RAID controller – Promise PDC20378 supporting two SerialATA channels and RAID 1 and 0 arrays. Also it provides one additional ATA/133 channel. I wouldn’t judge how necessary this controller actually is for MSI’s new product, but once you have it you can connect up to six Parallel ATA devices and four SerialATA devices to the board.

I should also point out that MSI is using their brand name CoreCell chip supporting D-LED technology. D-LED has been implemented on MSI K8T Neo in a pretty traditional way. The bracket with two USB 2.0 ports, which is supplied together with the mainboard, is also equipped with four dual-color light emitting diodes, which reflect the status of the POST process and notify you about any problems that might occur during this procedure. As for CoreCell, MSI claims that this chip is responsible for processor Vcore management and cooler fan rotation speed control depending on the CPU and system temperatures and on the level of CPU utilization. Moreover, the dynamic overclocking feature implemented on MSI K8T Neo also uses the features of CoreCell chip. Note that to take real advantage of all of this chip features you should use CoreCenter utility, that is why I wouldn’t consider CoreCell to be a fully hardware solution. Besides, the working algorithms of the hardware-software CoreCell complex are also not always clear. The mainboard documentation claims that the major goal of this technology is to ensure that the CPU and system temperatures do not grow too high up. Therefore if we take the same documentation descriptions for granted, we will have to assume that CoreCell starts reducing active voltages when the temperatures grow up. I would argue about the efficiency of this method, because in my opinion it might have a negative effect on the overall product stability.

The PCB design of MSI K8T Neo doesn’t arouse any hard criticisms. You will have no problem assembling a system with MSI K8T Neo mainboard thanks to the fact that all major slots and connectors locations are the most optimal. The only thing I might want to complain about is the location of the additional power supply connector for 12V power supply, which has been placed right behind the chipset, and the location of the processor Socket754, which has been put a way too close to the right edge of the mainboard, which might cause certain problems with cooler installation in some cases.

The processor voltage regulator is based on a two-channel circuitry that is why MSI has to use special aluminum heatsinks for the MOSFETs. The CPU voltage is close to the nominal value and the CPU temperature is controlled by the integrated thermal diode. Despite the manufacturer’s claims I didn’t manage to fins any trace of Cool’n’Quiet support on MSI K8T Neo mainboard, at least not in the BIOS version 1.0 and 1.1B2.

 
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