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The most luxury NVIDIA SLI 16X motherboard- MSI K8N Diamond first look The most luxury NVIDIA SLI 16X motherboard- MSI K8N Diamond first look
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The most luxury NVIDIA SLI 16X motherboard- MSI K8N Diamond first look
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Old 1st December 2005, 15:28   #1
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Default The most luxury NVIDIA SLI 16X motherboard- MSI K8N Diamond Plus first look

Base on the new release NVIDIA 16X]16X Chipset, it・s seems there is no motherboard good at spec and over clock. Now the MSI K8N Diamond Plus which is base on the good performance Diamond series enhances the spec to become the shining Socket 939 K8 motherboard.
First, let us take a look of this motherboard.




The bottom left side of the motherboard has been set up 2 PCI, 2PCI-E 1X, and 1 PCI-E 2X slots to satisfy the expansion demand of users.





MSI brings the Creative SB Live! 24 to Diamond, set up the highest integrated audio class, now we have Sound Blaster Audigy SE comes with 24-bit/192kHz sampling, 106dB S/N ratio, supports EAX Advanced HD technology, and S/PDIF digital output through fiber optics or coaxial.
The enthusiasts often buy another sound card to gain the better sound quality because they do not satisfied by integrated AC・97 audio.





The bottom right
It is convenient that the Clear CMOS becomes a botton.
4 SATA2 by NVIDIA and 2 by Sil3132, support RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 mode.





The jumper on the upper right of south bridge is the key point of this board,
After DFI, this board becomes the second one which able to over 3.2V on DRAM!





The extension of16X PCI-E slots bring the bigger thermal space,
It・s also convenient to add on water cooling system, compressor, or other advanced thermal system.





The partition of memory slots is almost the same as Neo4/Diamond,
and the power connector is 24 pins, too.





The materials surround CPU・s power
The input power connector changes to 8 pins
But the common power line which is 20+4 pins is also workable




High quality copper-made heat pipe used between north bridge and south bridge
A small fan is add on north bridge with low noise
This design is prevent the high temperature cause the nForce4 chipset burn out.






the IO partition
Dual Gigabit LAN ports
IEEE 1394 and fiber optics output with 4 USB ports
The ability of expansion is very good





Test Platform

AMD 939 Athlon 3000+
MSI K8N Diamond Plus
GSkill 1GBGH/2GBHZ
MSI NX7800GT SLI
MAXTOR 30GB 5400 rpm
COOLER MASTER 550W



Because the DRAM slots support high voltage, I try to warm up with Winbond DDR
G.Skill 1GBGH, 300MHz frequency divider 5:6, DDR490 2-2-2-5@3.3V
(Low HD, mess system, Super PI 32M cannot get good record)






3D performance
Operating with MSI brand 7800GT SLI is a great hit



G.Skill 2GBHZ, 300MHz frequency divider 5:6, DDR490 3-3-3-6@2.6V




the score of 3DMark 2003



the score of 3DMark 2005 @ VGA default





Base on the :Diamond Heart; slogan of MSI
This revision board has a very attractive spec
The over clock ability is also enhanced, especially the memory over voltage up to 4.1V!

This board is a nice motherboard with above average performance on feeling/spec/over clock sides
MSI is quiet for a long time and bring us this good product, let us expect its coming.
I spend a lot of time to take photo and testing, my weekend was over againK
Other testing report of this motherboard will to be continued.
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Old 1st December 2005, 15:50   #2
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That's some insane stock chipset cooling!

Is the NF4 chipset such a hot chip, or is this motherboard for overclockers only?
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Old 1st December 2005, 15:53   #3
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the Asus AN32 Premium has the same chipset cooling for the 2x16x chipset
 
Old 1st December 2005, 17:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by RichBa5tard
That's some insane stock chipset cooling!

Is the NF4 chipset such a hot chip, or is this motherboard for overclockers only?
chipset doesn't get hot at all
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Old 1st December 2005, 17:25   #5
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that's an ironic statement

NF4 chipset is smoking hot
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Old 8th December 2005, 17:19   #6
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Next, the BIOS introduce

Then main menu



CPU frequency from 200 ~ 450 MHz



CPU voltage 1st section from 0.080 ~ 1.450V



CPU multiplier
According to the CPU frequency, the lowest value is x5



CPU voltage 2nd section
+50 ~ 750mV, one 50mV is about plus 0.1V
max plus to 1.2VK quite high
You can get any voltage you want when match with 1st level CPU voltage.
(ex: 1.575V=1.375V(Level 1)+100mV




DRAM: CPU
Combination as 1/1, 5/6, 2/3, 1/2




Memory voltage has a big revolution
It define to 2 level, switch by jumper
When it work over 3.3V, the IC of motherboard won・t create much heat
Section 1 is 2.6 ~ 3.2V
Section 2 is 3.3 ~ 4.1V
After DFI, this becomes the 2nd motherboard of memory voltage over 3.5V
And this is the 1st motherboard which reach 4.1V high memory voltage







Another important point
The options of DRAM BIOS was improved a lot and release a lot of catalogue



Under the options of DRAM BIOS




the options of north/south bridge and HyperTransport are quite good in detail



Compare with Neo4, the BIOS options of this board definitely improve a lot.
Next is about the ability of over clock.
On CPU side, the ability of over clock is almost the same if the manufactures which have good over clock ability above average.


Test Platform
AMD 939 Athlon 64 3000+
MSI K8N Diamond Plus
G.Skill 1GBFF/1GBGH/2GBHZ
SPARKLE 6200
MAXTOR 30GB 5400rpm
EnLight 420W


First is 1GBFF Samsung TCCD series



295MHz DDR590 1.5-4-3-7 1T, PI 32M 2.80V achieved



Next is 1GBGH Winbond UTT series



DDR510 2-2-2-5 1T, PI 32M 3.3V achieved



At last, 2GBHZ Samsung UCCC series



DDR550 3-4-4-8 1T, PI 32M 2.6V achieved



ps.
The test of over clock is concerned in 3 phase, CPU, MB, and DRAM
For example,
If over clock to 300MHz FSB and 2T, CPU/Motherboard are fine, but DRAM is not, then it・s better to speed down the DRAM
If the CPU/DRAM can up to 300MHz frequency, DDR600 is stable but the MB is not, then it better to speed down the FSB
If the MB/DRAM can up to 300MHz FSB, but the CPU is not, then it better to turn down the multiplier or frequency
Because the standard spec of CPU/MB is 200MHz, the good over clock ability of CPU/MB is the key point of total over clock, on the other side, if the DRAM cannot reach the high frequency, there is still a way which is frequency divider.



Let us make a conclusion of this Diamond Plus


Good:
1. Use the 16X+16X chipset (although the performance up is not stand out enough)
2. DRAM Voltage from 2.85V to 4.1V (don・t tell me it cannot reach without Winbond DDR, I think it・s good to consumer that the function is provided)
3. the BIOS menu advanced, very close to DFI・s BIOS
4. the usage of heat pipe between northbridge and southbridge, it・s quiet and qualified with small fan
5. the overclock ability of CPU/DRAM is quite good, if the DFI get 100 scores, then MSI get 90
6. Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy SE, the highest spec so far.
7. the additional SATA2 chip uses Sil3132
8. this board seems solve the problem of voltage swing, It・s stable that the voltage move between 0.01~0.02V
9. addition PCI-E as Neo4 before, although cannot run 3VGA SLI, but provide additional fun


Bad
1. the airflow of northbridge is face to VGA, I think it should be change the direction, although the small fan is windless and do not has the big influence to VGA
2. Clear CMOS button is integrated, better if provide Power/Reset button
3. It・s better to use the heat sink on MOS section, the temperature is 40~50 degree by hand touch, not quite high

I give a highly recommend on spec/overclock/performance/layout of this board
It・s a balanced all new brand SLI motherboard
Of course there is no perfec motherboard, if the overclock is your first concern, DFI is still the better choice; if you want a better MOS components and fast release, ASUS A8N32-SLI also in concern


answering the question before
the gap between 7800GT and northbridge heat sink



I get the A8N32-SLI




after doing a rough test, I found that the overclock ability of ASUS is weaker in faith
I・ll make a testing comparison in detail at free time, Wind・s hardware testing schedule at the end of this week is doneKhuhuK
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Old 26th December 2005, 18:36   #7
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Any update
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