MSI P7N SLI Platinum (750i) Motherboard Review

Motherboards/Intel S775 by geoffrey @ 2008-06-22

In this review we take a look at this affordable NVIDIA 750i based motherboard from MSI. It allows you to build an SLI gaming system powered by an Intel S775 CPU. Is this product good enough for the enthusiast? We compare its performance to an X38 based S775 board and also let you explore the BIOS of the MSI with our virtual tour.

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Inside the box & board overview

Inside the box

Madshrimps (c)

  • IDE cable
  • floppy cable
  • 4 x SATA cables
  • 2 x SATA to molex power cables
  • Firewire + USB PCI bracket (rear)
  • SLI bridge
  • MSI M-Connector kit
  • I/O shield
  • User's guide, quick guide & manual

    Board overview

    Madshrimps (c)

    Nowadays, a good looking product helps to get it sell better, just look at how fancy video cards often are these days. Same course for the mainboard industry, well at least for the retail boards... MSI's P7N Platinum comes with a black painted PCB and large copper cooling fins which are all connected with each other via heatpipes. The different I/O connectors and PCIe bridges come with special colors which gives the board a colorful look. MSI succeeded in making the board look nothing too boring, but the many different colors don't go together that well and the overall impression is that you got a board with got less attention in the designing labs. Well that's personnel taste so let us not talk too much about it, at least the different colors help you to identify the many different connections and plug-ins (e.g. DIMM slots).

    During install I found the board to have a quite good component layout. I started with installing the CPU + heatsink and the memory modules before having the mainboard inside my Antec housing. Afterwards I had not much problems hooking everything up, only problem might be the 8-pins EPS connector located on top left of the board: when using larger CPU heatsinks you might have problems reaching this connector.

    The P7N Platinum is build upon the NVIDIA nForce 750i chipset for Intel LGA 775 CPU's. It features dual channel DDR2 memory up to 800MHz and two PCI Express x1 bus, the latter are not used on the MSI P7N. Advanced graphics cards can be connected via three PCI Express slots. The first PCI Express x 16 slot (PCI_E1) supports PCIE 2.0 x 16 mode, the two light-blue PCI Express x 16 slots (PCI_E2 & PCI_E3) support PCI Express x 8 mode only. SLI is supported.

    Madshrimps (c)

    LAN, PCI, USB, IDE, SATA and audio devices are all connected to the older 430i (MCP51) chipset, a HyperTransport bus is used to exchange data with the 'north bridge'. We will come back on this later; let's have a close-up look at some of the board components ->
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    Comment from Massman @ 2008/06/22
    Said it already, but I just love the bios thing
    Comment from Cranox @ 2008/06/23
    Fault detected
    Second page :
    ABIT Fatal1ty FP-IN9-SLI: Board overview

    must be MSI P7N SLI Platinum (750i)

    Comment from jmke @ 2008/06/23
    Comment from Faiakes @ 2008/06/23
    Actually, I have this board and it allows me to OC my E6750 to 3.2GHz (8x400 bus) with no additional vCore!
    Comment from geoffrey @ 2008/06/25
    So you found it as easy in use as I did?