There can be no doubt that the 645E Max2-LRU is a gaming powerhouse, and its top placing against the Intel competition is another impressive showing by the SiS 645DX chipset. Business performance is still behind the i850E, but it makes up the slack with more demanding multimedia application tests. You give a little in basic application performance, but gain it back in 3D gaming speed, and that's an equation we think Sharky readers can live with.
The 645E Max2-LRU is still a relatively new motherboard and we have not (as yet) been able to locate a true street price. The standard 645E Max2 (no LAN or RAID) is available at a price of $84, which undercuts the current ASUS P4S533 ($98-$100) by a good margin. If the higher-end 645E Max2-LRU pricing follows the same pattern, it may turn out to be one of the best Pentium 4 motherboard values.
* Please note that online prices are taken at the time of review and are not intended to reflect long-term trends.
The MSI 645E Max2-LRU is a truly exceptional piece of hardware, and from a physical standpoint, it has virtually no flaws. This is a super board with high-end performance, excellent stability, and all the LAN, USB 2.0 and IDE RAID bells and whistles. Only the core voltage options need some tweaking, but this is an issue that could easily be rectified by MSI. Keep a very close eye on this board, since as it stands now, the 645E Max2-LRU falls just one BIOS update short of an Editor's Choice
- Exceptional Game Performance
- USB 2.0, ATA-133 IDE and ATA-133 RAID
- True 533 MHz FSB
- Needs Additional Core Voltage Settings
- A Few Layout Issues