IN THE BUILD up to CeBIT which kicks off next week, MSI has announced that it will start supplying two of its H55 motherboards with a bundled USB Wi-Fi dongle. This is something of a blast from the past, as MSI used to offer a special upgrade card that added both WiFi and Bluetooth to some of its motherboards.
The two motherboards in question are the H55-GD65 and the H55M-ED55. The H55-GD65 is a full size ATX board while the H55M-ED55 is a micro ATX board. The USB dongle goes under the name of US310EX and it will connect to 802.11b/g/n networks. MSI also claims that it supports MIMO, but doesn’t mention any actual speeds. Considering the size of the dingle we doubt it offers transfer speeds of more than 150Mbps (theoretical max of course).
We’re not sure if this will help MSI sell any more motherboards, but as far as H55 based motherboard goes, both models appear to be on par with the competition. Both boards feature a pair of x16 PCI Express slots, although they’re of course limited to x8 operation in a CrossFireX setup due to chipset limitations. MSI hasn’t really jumped on the USB 3.0 or SATA 6Gbps bandwagon, although this is really the only features missing.
Both boards feature DVI and HDMI output as well as a single eSATA port. The rear port layout is rather unusual compared to what we’re used to seeing, but this is unlikely to be a problem to anyone. Both boards offer six rear USB ports, a PS/2 port, Gigabit Ethernet, eight-channel audio and an optical S/PDIF out. The H55-GD65 adds a single FireWire port to the mix.
The H55-GD65 has seven SATA ports, a single IDE connector, two PCI Express x1 slots, two PCI slots and four memory slots in addition to the already mentioned features. The smaller H55M-ED55 has to make do with six SATA ports, an IDE port and a single PCI Express x1 and PCI slot, but it too has four memory slots. Both models also feature MSI’s OC Genie which is a hardware button on the board that automagically overclocks your system for you. MSI also bundles its Winki instant on OS which now comes with Open Office as part of the package.
MSI will be showing off a lot more products alongside with its Bing Bang motherboards at CeBIT next week, although it seems like MSI, as so many other motherboard manufacturers, have shifted its focus towards the (hopefully) more lucrative notebook market. Although MSI is also set to show off some new All-in-One systems, but we have to wonder how popular they really are.S|A
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