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           MSI K7N2G-L and ILSR

Product :


Manufacturer :


Reviewed by :

Wayne Brooker

Price :

£82.75 (L) £102.75 (ILSR) + Vat @ Scan

Date :

February 12th, 2003.


   Page No:   1
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The time has come to concede defeat, put your hand in your pocket and lay out cash for that long delayed upgrade. You want to run with a socket A board and you want to know you're getting the best performance your money can buy you but that doesn't mean you've got cash to burn. No? Okay then how about this.... you're looking to upgrade but you rarely play games because you're too busy with the spreadsheet. You want a solid motherboard that lets you stick with your beloved AMD Duron while offering a whole heap of future-proofing like support for DDR400, USB 2.0, AGP 8X and ATA-133 and you want it to have good, competent onboard video for those rare occasions when you do get the urge to break out that fave game? Close? Alright so you're a power gamer, you want to just plug in the latest monster graphics card, you want class leading Dolby Digital 5.1 audio...onboard of course, and you want all the future expansion options like Serial ATA, IEEE1394, USB 2.0, AGP 8X, DDR400 10/100 LAN? Oh, and you don't want to pay too much.

Believe it or not the two products I want to look at today will cater to all the users I mentioned above and then some. The MSI K7N2G-L is an entry level nForce2 motherboard that brings with it all the essential features you need to let you take advantage of the power of the nForce2 platform without loading you down with (and making you pay for) features you don't need or aren't ready for yet. It features the basic MCP chip which lacks the high end audio of the more feature rich MCP-T. Also missing, or should I say not included, with the MCP are IEEE1394 (Firewire) and DualNet dual networking option.

The second board we'll be casting an eye over is the MSI K7N2G-ILSR. This is MSI's top dog nForce2 motherboard and comes with all the glitz and glitter you'd expect. Along with the MCP-T which adds incredible audio to the mix comes Serial-ATA and IEEE1394 Firewire. Both models come with NVIDIA's IGP controller which offers GeForce4 MX level onboard video functions and of course what the nForce2 is best known for, dual channel memory run through dual independent 64bit memory controllers.

If you'd like to know a little more about the nForce2 architecture I've pasted our recent technology overview across the next two pages rather than divert you off somewhere else. If you've no interest in this there's a link to page 4 at the bottom of this page so you can get straight to the actual review.

     • K7N2G-L (IGP+MCP, Onboard 10/100 Lan)
K7N2G-ILSR (IGP+MCP2-T, IEEE1394, Serial ATA RAID and
       10/100 Lan)
Circle SpotCPU
  • Supports Socket A for AMD® Athlon™/Athlon™ XP/Duron™
   processors @FSB 100/133/166
• Supports 600MHz up to Athlon™ XP 2700+ processor or higher
Circle SpotChipset
  nVIDIA® nForce2 IGP Chipset
- Integrated TV encoder
- Supports DDR266/333 with internal graphic core,
   DDR266/333/400 with external add-on card
- AGP 3.0 8x interface at 533MHz

nVIDIA® nForce2 MCP2 or MCP2-T Chipset
- AC97 Interface supporting up to two concurrent codecs
- Ultra ATA133 for the fastest hard disk throughput
- USB 2.0 EHCI/1.1 OHCI controller
- FireWire® and USB 2.0 for the fastest digital connectivity
  (MCP2-T only)
- Audio Processing Unit(APU) encodes audio in Dolby® Digital 5.1
   format for full surround sound effects (MCP2-T only)
Circle SpotFSB
  100/133/166(200/266/333)MHz clocks are supported.
Circle SpotMain Memory  
  • Supports six memory banks using three 184-pin DDR DIMMs
• Supports up to 3GB PC3200/2700/2100/1600 DDR SDRAMs
• Supports both 64-bit and 128-bit DDR SDRAM
Circle SpotSlots
  • One AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) 1.5V 4x/8x slot
• Five 32-bit PCI bus slots (support 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface)
• One ACR (Advanced Communication Riser) slot
Circle SpotOn-Board IDE  
  • An IDE controller on the MCP2/MCP2-T chipset provides IDE
   HDD/CDROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA133/100/66
   operation modes
• Can connect up to four IDE devices
Circle Spot Serial ATA Interface (Optional)
  • Support 2 serial ATA plus 1 ATA133
- RAID O or 1 are supported
- RAID function works w/ATA133+SATA H/D or 2 SATA H/D
• Connect up to 2 Serial ATA devices and 1 ATA133 device
Circle SpotIn-Chip TV-out  
  • Integrated TV-out encoder, through external bracket

Circle SpotIn-Chip IEEE1394 (Optional)
  • nVIDIA MCP2-T IEEE1394 controller
- Support up to two ports via external bracket
Circle SpotAudio
  • Realtek ALC650 6-channel audio
- Dolby Digital 5.1 format (with MCP2-T option)
Circle SpotNetwork
  Chipset integrated 10/100 Base-T Ethernet/Fast Ethernet
Circle SpotOn-Board Peripherals  
  On-Board Peripherals include:
- One floppy port that supports two FDD with 360KB, 720KB,
   1.44MB and 2.88MB
- 1 serial port and 1 VGA port
- 1 parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
- 3 audio ports in vertical
- 2 IEEE1394 connectors (Optional)
- 6 USB ports (Rear * 4/ Front * 2)
- 1 RJ-45 jack
Circle SpotBIOS
  • The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects
   the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board
• The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface
   (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.
Circle SpotDimension
  30.5 cm(L) x 23 cm(W) ATX Form Factor
Circle SpotMounting
  6 mounting holes.
Circle SpotAccessories


(Optional, MCP2-T only)


MSI™ 1394 Cable (Optional)


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