MSI Eclipse SLI Reviewccokeman - December 22, 2008
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With the introduction of the Core I7 architecture there is a need for a new platform. This platform begins with the X58 and ICH10R chipsets and builds upwards from there. The initial fears about the inability of the Core I7 processors not being able to overclock have been proven false. We have found that they do indeed overclock and performance scales well in non-gaming applications. What does this platform offer for the gamer? We are no longer bound to one chipset or the other depending on our video card preferences. So whether you prefer ATI or Nvidia, they are both covered on the X58 based Eclipse SLI. What else is there to distinguish one board from the other at this point? Feature set, technologies, price, performance, and brand loyalty, these are things that most people take into consideration. MSI has released the Eclipse SLI X58 based motherboard as a board that has the features and uses the latest technologies.
The MSI Eclipse SLI includes a multitude of features that include the X-Fi Extreme audio sound card sound solution in lieu of an on-board solution, OC switches for no fuss overclocking, on-board reset and power switches, ten SATA ports, DRMOS technology for cleaner power and lower temperatures, a split cooling system, the capability to run both TRI SLI and CrossfireX video solutions and much more. At $322, the Eclipse is what would be called an enthusiast grade product. Billed as the fastest motherboard, I am anxious to see how it performs when compared to its peers.
The MSI Eclipse packaging, strangely enough, shows a picture of a solar eclipse on the front and rear panels, The front panel shows that the Eclipse SLI is part of the Gaming series and uses DRMOS technology and is built using the X58 chipset for use with socket LGA 1366 Intel Core I7 processors. The rear panel lists the specifications of the Eclipse in detail. The front cover flips open to give a description and glimpses of the exclusive features that MSI has included on this series. These items include the X-Fi sound solution, DRMOS technology, Rapid Boost and the GreenPower Genie.
Pulling the contents from the packaging, the Eclipse is shipped in a plastic enclosure with the X-Fi sound card, DLED Module and Green Power Genie module in compartments on top of the board. The balance of the accessories are shipped in the box underneath the motherboard container. The box is quite full with the documentation and the balance of the accessories.
Let's take a look at everything that is included with the Eclipse as well as the board to see how it stacks up against the competition.