The dual processor motherboard MSI K8N Neo from Microstar is a good solution for AMD processors. It has main features, which differentiate Microstar motherboards from the competition products, such as a good quality and interesting design enhancements. The Microstar Company is one of the largest motherboards producers all over the world. It produces motherboards of different classes for many types of existing chipsets. There are some modifications for the nForce3 250 chipset. The basic dual AMD motherboard of this type is the ATX card K8N Neo.
The design of the dual processor motherboard becomes simpler according to the usage of the new chipset. Memory slots of K8N Neo are placed in the upper part of the motherboard. This way the processor zone is unloaded an additional cooler can be installed in the assembled computer. This design provides a free access to memory cards and to a video card.
The dual process motherboard has optimal positions for power supply sockets. There is the compact 4-pin socket ATX 12V in the upper part. The common socket is placed on the other side near the IDE sockets. The developers should place these sockets aside from the processors. The serial ATA sockets are in the center of the dual processor motherboard between the AGP and VRM. The additional pair Serial ATA is in a usual place near the PCI slots.
There are sockets for connecting light diodes and buttons with color markers on the lower edge of the dual processor motherboard. Here you can see two USB ports, sound sockets and two sockets for air-exhausters. There is a third socket for a chipset cooler. The chipset and processor cooler support the function of rotation management. This task is delegated to the Super I/O Bridge Winbond W83627THF. This device determines a critical temperature level, which is defined in the BIOS Setup. Then, the module decreases the voltage, passed to air-exhausters, and they decrease their speed. This function is not available for dual AMD systems, since many coolers for Athlon 64 have an integrated thermo-control function. Therefore, a cooler for chassis requires the ability to reduce the speed of rotation. That is the reason why this cooler should be connected to an enhanced socket.
The chip CoreCell, provided by Microstar, is packed to the metal case, and it performs the function of dynamic acceleration. This module monitors the processor's loading and increases the clock rate of the processor bus if needed.
The motherboard has an additional plain card with four pair of light diodes. This is an enterprise technology for self diagnostics Dr. LED, which permits defining the device that failed at the initial booting.
The network functions of the motherboard are provided by the integrated MAC and external PHY modules. Transceiver Marvell 88E1111 is used as a PHY module, which supports 1 GB network interface and allows to define the type and place of the failure in the network cable due to the used technology Virtual Cable Tester.
The ports panel includes four USB ports, one COM port and seven sockets for the integrated sound controller - five analogues and one optical socket and also an electrical socket S/PDIF. The motherboards of Platinum series also have the FireWire socket.