MSI has quite a few fancy names for the features on the 6163 such as CPU Plug & Play, PC Alert II, Soft Cooler II, and 3D! Turbo II.  The CPU Plug & Play, as discussed before is the jumperless setup provided by the 6163 as well as the special voltage configuration utility that has been present in the most recent of MSI motherboard releases.  The PC Alert II is the software front end for the hardware monitoring support provided by the on-board Winbond 83781D.  The 83781D is used to monitor both onboard fans, 7 voltages, and up to 3 temperatures, the 6163 only has two fans so there is no need to worry about a third fan going un-monitored.  The reason for "up to 3 temperatures" is that the Winbond hardware monitor can only monitor one temperature on its own - the temperature of the Winbond chip itself. In order to monitor the other two temperatures, such as that of the CPU, the Winbond chip requires an external thermistor.  The SC242 (Slot-1) connector has a built in thermistor adjacent to it, and there is another thermistor header on the opposite side. 

Soft Cooler II is essentially a Software CPU Cooling Device that allows the processor to essentially "rest" while it is waiting for user input to begin processing another item, and depending on your CPU usage patterns, this software may significantly reduce the heat production and power consumption of your CPU.  For most gamers, and high-end users that are always doing something with their PC, don't expect SoftCooler to do all that much for you, although it is nice to know that it is included.   Finally, 3D! Turbo II is a little utility that basically functions as something like PowerStrip although not quite as useful.  All of these utilities are bundled on a CD that also contains drivers, and is packaged with the 6163.

The stability and performance of the 6163 was top notch as we've come to expect from Microstar, and as you can probably expect, the performance of the board is on par with the BX6 Revision 2 and other such competing boards.  Finally, the written documentation provided with the 6163 is also classic Microstar, as it covers the basic functions of the motherboard, and offers a quick "how to" installations guide as well. 

Index The Bad

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