THE MSI MS-6167 ATHLON MOTHERBOARD
Last updated: 11/23/99
SLOTS. The MS-6167 has the popular 1/5/2 AGP/PCI/ISA
expansion board slot configuration. Contrary to previous motherboard
reviews I have written, I am finding, as time goes by, that two ISA and five
PCI slots (with one of each shared) is now the best compromise for the available
motherboard real state and that the days of the ISA bus are about to end. However,
I choose this motherboard over others that were available at the time because
it did have two ISA slots and other candidates had fewer.
I/O There are PS/2 keyboard, PS/2 mouse, 1
printer, two serial, and two USB ports along the back of the motherboard
(the A.3.a, Intel "Universal, "configuration matches all of the
ATX cases I have reviewed). The MS-6167 supports four USB ports. Two
of them are taken to the exterior of the case by the I/O back panel. The
other two are available from a header on the front of the motherboard and
would require a USB cable and bracket set, which is not supplied with the
motherboard, to use.
HARDWARE MONITORING. This motherboard has
no hardware monitoring chip. In my considered opinion this is a cheap
shot for an expensive, high-end motherboard. This board needs heat and fan
monitoring. The computer I built with it has five fans counting the
one on the Diamond viper V770 Ultra graphics board.
IN THE BOX The motherboard is attractively
packed in a retail box. It comes with a motherboard book (User's Manual),
ATA/66 cable, floppy cable, CPU and heat sink restraining hardware, CD with
software, and, surprisingly, an ATA/33 cable for your DVD or CD-ROM drive.
USER MANUAL. The user manual is typical and
has some inaccuracies. The pictures of SIMM installation are backwards
unless one were to install the memory from the back of the computer. The
CMOS Jumper instructions are confusing. Etc.
INSTALLATION I will cover this shortly in
a series of articles on how to build a computer with this motherboard. The
first draft has been written.
PERFORMANCE If you are looking for the ultimate
game machine this motherboard plus an Athlon packs one heck of a punch. Winstone
99 testing scored 27.1, the WinTune 98 floating point test registered 803
Mflops, and the Quake 3 demo ran as high as 51.3 fps. Put a 7,200 RPM
drive like the Western Digital WD273BA in
a computer with this motherboard and you will see ATA/66. Click
here for all of the benchmarks.
MSI WEB SITE. You won't find much on the MS-6167
at MSI's web sites. There
is virtually no promotion material for this fine product whatsoever--not
even a news release. There is no downloadable Motherboard Book. If
you look hard (see links below) you can find a BIOS update and an interesting
Test document. The explanation I received from MSI via E-Mail is quoted
"Hi! For some reasons, MS-6167 could not be released
on our www..."
I could guess at a reason and one of the reasons the board
costs so much, but I choose not to contribute to rumors.
AVAILABILITY. This board is readily available
albeit hidden from promotion. One of my readers found four sources for it.
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