|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: MSI P55A-Fuzion Motherboard|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Monday, 27 September 2010 00:03|
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Boy it must have been at least a good six months since my last MSI motherboard review. At that time, if I remember correctly, it was a MSI X58 Platinum motherboard that's packed with great features and performance to match. Things have moved on since then, and it looks like MSI have taken the gear up a notch, with their new range of P55 motherboards (LGA1156). They have now taken all the best features from their previous designs and included them on their new motherboards. This should now make their new range of motherboards appealing.
I'm not going to lie ... in the past, I always thought that MSI motherboards were boring and not very innovative. They seem to lag behind others when it comes to overclocking, and features for enthusiasts. Fortunately, this has all changed in the past couple of years. Their motherboards now seem a lot better, so much so ... they are now used in many overclocking competitions, inlcuding MSI's own MOA (MSI Overclocking Arena). But overclocking isn't always for everyone, and it's not the only thing that attracts the users ... so what else have they included? Well, MSI have also made sure that their motherboards now offer better stability and longevity, through good quality components and more user-friendly features.
In this review, we'll taken a look at the MSI P55A-Fuzion Motherboard. It's aimed at the higher-end of the mainstream market, which includes the occasional overclocker and the enthusiast gamer. It uses the already proven Intel P55 chipset, supporting dual channel DDR3 ram with speeds from 1066/1333/1600 upto 2000*/2133* (in OC mode). The motherboard is absolutely packed with great features, far too many to list. Take for example, the "Military Class Components" used on the P55A-Fuzion, which includes Icy Choke, Hi-c Cap, Solid capacitors, all of this offers superb stability and longevity. What's more, their DrMOS feature give users energy saving capabilties, while their and APS (Active Phase Switching) enables better power efficiency for CPU, chipset and memory.
Video clip showing MSI's Fuzion Multi-GPU feature in action
The P55A-Fuzion is among the first motherboards to be marketed as a Multi-GPU ready. Using MSI's Fuzion Technology (requires Lucid drivers), it allows users to install non-identical graphic cards with different GPUs from different vendors into a single system. In otherwords, you can install both a Geforce and a Radeon graphics card into your system, and benefit from an increase in performance by upto 15%. Here's a little more information regarding the MSI's Fuzion Multi-GPU feature, which I've taken from MSI's website ...
Lucid® LT22102 chipset allows you can use the graphics cards from different vendors. To make A-mode, N-mode and X-mode work, you need to install the software drivers we provide. If your graphics cards are under ATI 4xxx, using driver 1.3.105 will get better perfomace. If you are using ATI 5xxx, you must install driver 1.4.106. Please check Driver 1.3.105 readme and Driver 1.5.106 readme for more information.
For overclockers, MSI have also included their OC Genie BIOS and Super Unlock feature, which can boost CPU performance upto 4GHz. The specifications of the MSI P55A-Fuzion certainly looks and sounds impressive ... but can it live up to its promises. Read on and find out.
Looking at the full specifications of the motherboard, I'm expecting the MSI P55A-Fuzion to perform as good as the Gigabyte P55 USB3, which we tested a few months ago. It will be interesting to see how this "Multi-GPU" Fuzion technology really works. We'll be testing the MSI P55A-Fuzion motherboard, using the following components, which includes ... an Intel Core i5 - 650 procesor (LGA 1156), Geforce GTX 460 (1Gb GDDR5), 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler and a Silverpower 650w power supply.
OK, let's not waste any more time and take a closer look at the specifications and features of the MSI P55A-Fuzion motherboard ...