EUD: 305 AUD: 610
Picture from Anandtech.
It has been a while since MSI made headlines in the enthusiast space, but the Eclipse is an unabashed attempt to get back into the ring. MSI’s Eclipse will be the middle of their X58 range. Along with the value leader X58 Platinum, Eclipse will launch with the Core i7s, and be joined by an as yet unnamed flagship down the road.
The Eclipse has as comparable connectivity as the ASUS and Gigabyte motherboards: the same 16/16 or 16/8/8 PCIe 2.0 with SLI or Crossfire setup; dual gigabit LAN;12 USB ports; 2 Firewire ports; 8-channel audio; and optical S/PDIF. Like Gigabyte’s boards, there are no SAS ports and 10 internal SATA 3G connection; but MSI adds another 2 eSATA outlets at the rear. Like the performance market (i.e. step below enthusiast) Gigabyte UD5 and ASUS P6T, the Eclipse is heat-pipe cooled. Though having 12+2 and 18+2 phase power systems like Gigabyte and ASUS, respectively, may be getting into marketing driven overkill, the 6+2 phase, the Dr. Mos branded system MSI is using does seem a little left in the dust.
The Eclipse makes a good show of overclocking goodies, including a CMOS reset like the Gigabyte offerings. MSI also throws in a little OLED screen, called VLED, that can report frequencies and temperatures, though that little ASUS gadget is still the winner here. The most distinct feature from MSI is the GreenPower Genie.
All new motherboards talk about power saving technology, in fact they all talk about it so much that one is comparing marketing material more than the underlying technology. The GreenPower Genie is a little plastic thing that goes between the 24-pin power plug from the PSU and the equivalent connector on the motherboard. Along with the GreenPower software, you can monitor and adjust your power settings and usage. It must be doing right, as the Eclipse uses relatively little power.