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Five i845E mainboards in the test: who will win?

Five i845E mainboards in the test: who will win?

Features

If you had to do without Bluetooth with the GA-8IEXP, the 845E Max2-BLR delivers exactly this. But every medal has two sides and so you have to go for it with the 845E Max2-BLR from MSIDo without firewire. Every potential buyer will have to weigh up which feature he can do without, since no manufacturer has combined all components on just one board.

MSI Max2-BLR - connections
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MSI Max2-BLR - Board 2
MSI Max2-BLR - Board 4

The layout of the 845E Max2-BLR knows how to convince, as MSI has also relocated all important connections to the edge of the board and so the cable routing and simplifies the connection. Such a neat arrangement of the IDE, floppy ports and the power connector is not often seen.

MSI Max2-BLR - Board 3
MSI Max2- BLR - IDE power connections
MSI Max2-BLR - Slots 2

We also like the additional slot bezels very much, because MSI doesn't limit itself to this output with the S/PDIF-Out module, but also to the rear -Out and Center/Subwoofer-Out with leads to the outside via this module. On the subject of sound, it can also be said that the MSI board also relies on the AC97 codec using Realteks ALC650.

MSI Max2-BLR - audio module
MSI Max2-BLR - slots
MSI Max2-BLR - base and fan

Like the GA-8IEXP, the 845E Max2-BLR relies on a raid Controller from Promise, the PDC20276. This means that even with the 845E Max2-BLR, hard disks cannot be operated via the raid controller without them forming a raid array. ATA133, just like the GA-8IEXP, is denied to him in theory.

MSI Max2-BLR - ICH4 - Raid
MSI Max2-BLR - IDE -RAM socket cooler
MSI Max2-BLR - Slots and Raid

With Fuzzy Logic 4, PC Alert III, Live Bios/Live Driver and Live Monitor, MSI does not miss the opportunity to give the inclined buyer some programs that are supposed to simplify operation. Fuzzy Logic 4 works in principle like Easy Tune 4 from Gigabyte. It also enables easy overclocking and changing of voltages under Windows. PC Alert III also monitors temperatures, fan speeds and voltage fluctuations. Live Bios/Live Driver and Live Monitor should help to automatically always get the latest drivers for the 845E Max2-BLR from the MSI homepage. An existing internet connection is of course a prerequisite for this.

MSI Max2-BLR -Bluetooth module
MSI Max2-BLR - packaging - back2
MSI Max2-BLR - Bluetooth module 2

We also found an active cooler on the northbridge of the 845E Max2-BLR, which works at over 5000 revolutions per minute. But the really amazing thing about it is that you practically don't even notice it, even though it's spinning so fast. But here, too, the question may be allowed as to whether it is really necessary. Definitely not for normal home users. In addition, this fan can at some point no longer run smoothly and then represent an additional source of noise.

MSI Max2-BLR - Socket and cooler
MSI Max2-BLR - USB module
MSI Max2-BLR - USB module 2
MSI Max2-BLR - packaging - back1

On the next page: Stability