Introduction: Once again, AMD is ready with an integrated solution for chipset and graphicscard. The motherboard we’re reviewing is from MSI, called K9N2GM-FD/FIH. The chipset also goes by the name of 730a or GeForce 8200 chipset. We’re reviewed motherboards from MSI previously, and know them as some of the most popular on the market, which sets our preliminary expectations high. The motherboard is aimed at entry-level, so we’re at the low end of the scale. The motherboard follows the M-ATX standard.
Packaging: Our sample was so new that it came in an anonymous box, containing the necessary parts. In the box there was a manual and two homemade cd’s containing drivers etc. The motherboard has been released now on MSI’s website, and it’s is possible to study the details closer.
MSI has chosen to use high quality capacitors. This is a good sign and promises a longer lifespan. Aluminum capacitors don’t dry out like the cheaper ones do.
Two SATA cables, one IDE cable, an I/O shield and drivers is bundled with the motherboard.
The motherboard also has a power plug next to the CPU socket, but only one. The plug was introduced alongside with the Pentium 4 processor, and since then it has developed to consist of two plugs. On this board only one can be found, even though the board supports the Phenom CPU with 4 cores.
At the back of the motherboard (the I/O connections) a HDMI connection and analog VGA connection has been fitted. This might make you think that MSI has though of the HTPC homebuilders when they designed the board. The motherboard is in the M-ATX form factor, making it perfect for media centers.
The motherboard is equipped with 6 SATA connections which should be enough for the biggest home theater. The space is limited in most cases anyways.
Specifications: The motherboard supports CPU’s with the AM2 and AM2+ standard. This includes most Athlon 64 X2 and all Phenom CPU’s. Still it’s recommended to check MSI’s CPU support list before buying.