This motherboard from MSI is a fairly feature-rich one that has FireWire connectivity, eight USB ports, four SATA connectors, two regular PATA connectors, one PCI Express x16 slot and three PCI slots.
That 's not all. The board also manages to fair well on the performance that it delivers. As far as the price is concerned, it falls between the regular AGP boards and the high end feature-rich PCI-Express ones. We tested the board with an Athlon64 Pro 3500+ processor, Radeon X850 series graphics card and 1 GB of RAM.
The results in most of the benchmarks were even better than the 915 and 925 chipset-based motherboards that we'd reviewed last month (MSI 925XE Neo Platinum and MSI 915G Neo2). In the Business Winstone benchmark, the RS480 beat the 925XE Neo by a margin of 22 %.
In the graphics intensive Quake3 benchmark, RS480's victory margin was again 22 %. MCCW (Multimedia Content Creation Winstone) was the only benchmark in which the RS480 board scored lower than the 925XE. The 925 clinched victory by a margin of 9.5% in this benchmark.
The board is almost half the price of the 925XE Neo and almost the same price as the 915G Neo2, but yes the 925XE Neo has lots more features as compared to the RS480.
Based on ATI's XPRESS 200 chipset, the board can support upto 4GB of DDR-333/400 RAM in either dual or single channel mode.
The board supports 64-bit Athlon64 and Athlon64 FX processors (socket 939). Also, processors above AMD 3500+, 3800+ and Athlon 64 FX 53 are supported too.
Bottom Line: Overall, the board is a great performer with rich feature set, and is affordable too.