MSI K7N2 Delta2 Platinum Athlon XP nForce2 Review

Motherboards/AMD S462 by jmke @ 2004-09-26

With the latest nVidia chipset for the Athlon XP we get onboard Gigabit, RAID and SATA; we take a closer look at MSI?s implementation of this feature rich chip and see what it has to offer.

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System setup, Performance & OC

System Setup

JMke's Test Setup
CPU AMD Athlon "Barton" 2500+ @ 1800Mhz - 1.75v
Mainboard MSI K7N Delta2 Platinum
Memory 2 * 256Mb PC3700 OCZ
Video nVidia Geforce 4 Ti4600

With the system specified above, I was able to run all recent games at high/medium quality without problem. Even Doom 3 ran fluently at 1024x768 MQ! All this with a system that costs considerably less then a P4 or A64 setup. The system felt very responsive and delivered an enjoyable experience, either by browsing the web, creating new WinRAR archives, encoding MP3’s or working in Office applications.

Overall performance is comparable to the older Ultra 400 nForce2 chipset.

Network performance at 100Mbit was on par with a 3Com 3C905-TX card once the nVidia onboard controller was set to optimize for “throughput” instead of the default “CPU”.

Left to right: 3Com ----------------------- nVidia opt NW ----------------------------- nVidia opt CPU
Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
Left to right: 3Com ----------------------- nVidia opt NW ----------------------------- nVidia opt CPU


One thing which will differ from any board is the overclocking ability, the MSI starts of great with controls for increasing the voltage to CPU, Memory and AGP way beyond “safe” limits. However it seems as though they just forgot about the north bridge, this limits the maximum FSB overclocking quite a bit. I was able to run the board at 215 MHz without issue, but anything higher became flaky, at 220 MHz I could boot into Windows and run some benchmarks, but gaming was out of the question.

At 8.5x * 215 FBS I ran PCMark04 to get an idea of the system’s performance when overclocked, the results were far from bad. 3DMark01 returned a score of 12130.

Madshrimps (c)

But 215 MHz is not that impressive, as we have motherboards on the market which can hit 230+Mhz without having to modify anything. If you like some extra speed then the MSI will suffice, but more extreme overclockers should look elsewhere.

MSI includes some very useful programs with this motherboard let’s take a closer look ->
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