Barren MSI Mobos

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Barren MSI Mobos

Postposted on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:34 pm

I've always wondered this, but reading the latest Trinity review rekindled my curiosity. Has anyone else noticed how MSI motherboards tend to have much less "clutter" than other manufacturers? (by this I mean all the little IC's scattered throughout the board) Why is that?
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Re: Barren MSI Mobos

Postposted on Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:37 am

Can you give some examples?

I tend not to buy too many boards that aren't Gigabyte or ASUS since I have a 15-year history of building machines and those are the two companies that have resulted in the least complaints and returns.

In saying that my HTPC is an MSI and it looks exactly like every other board to me.
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Re: Barren MSI Mobos

Postposted on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:21 am

Sure:
AM3+ 990X mobos
Intel Z77 mobos

See how the MSI PCB seems to be "cleaner" than other manufacturers?
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Re: Barren MSI Mobos

Postposted on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:37 am

I'm now shying away from MSI products at this point, as I still do have two in active duty at my house, but I just don't trust their mosfet or VRM components anymore. Look at the list I linked and notice if you see a trend ??

http://www.overclock.net/a/about-vrms-mosfets-motherboard-safety-with-high-tdp-processors

Granted, that is a sampling of older boards, but of my two, one MSI board already had its caps replaced, and the board itself (MSI 7411 Media Diva) is notorious for its multiple failure points. I'm one of the very few that actually has a functioning Diva board. They may have started to correct this by now, but its hard to forget such failures when it renders an entire PC dead in the water. Altho I don't own any, Asus boards have a solid rep, and I don't feel at all dirty recommending Asrock either.

Back to the OP's question ... carry on. I've got that off my chest.
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Re: Barren MSI Mobos

Postposted on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:11 pm

WHAT? "Military Class Compnents" is just a marketing gimmick? :o (mind blown) Nice article by the way, I've wondered about that in the past.
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Re: Barren MSI Mobos

Postposted on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:18 pm

Hmm, based on those examples you linked, the newer MSI boards do appear "cleaner"

I think on closer inspection it's 80% optical illusion and 20% component reduction. MSI will occasionally use one big capacitor where the competition will use a bank of smaller ones, but actually it's probably down to silkscreening quantity and style. MSI boards seem to have much less surface silkscreening and also it's smaller/fainter.

MSI don't feel the need to plaster a logo or silly feature text everywhere either. Take the Asus P8Z77-V LK model you linked. It has large white lettering everywhere to "advertise"(?) features such as:

  • Digi+ VRM
  • Display Port
  • EPU
  • PCIe 3.0
  • Gb Lan
  • Lucid Universal MVP
  • USB 3.0 Boost
  • Network iControl
  • SLI Ready
  • UEFI BIOS
  • DirectX 11 Support
  • TurboV
  • SATA 6Gb/s
I mean, wow; I'd never really paid attention but now that you made me look at it, that's a lot of pointless crap ASUS have printed all over the board!
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Re: Barren MSI Mobos

Postposted on Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:27 pm

The MSI boards certainly appear "cleaner" but like Chrispy_ mentioned I think that comes from significantly less silk screening. There does to appear to be less components though on the MSI boards. In terms of motherboard brands I stick to Asus, ASRock and Gigabyte these days. The last MSI board I used extensively was fine (the one before that wasn't) but I didn't find their support very helpful and I don't see where MSI has any competitive advantage. MSI is not cheaper than ASRock nor higher quality and MSI doesn't match Gigabyte or Asus in terms of quality or support. Though honestly I'd say all those companies have poor support... just different levels of poor.
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