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New chipset new platform on AMD-MSI K9A2 Platinum performance overview
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Old 14th February 2008, 14:16   #1
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Default New chipset new platform on AMD-MSI K9A2 Platinum performance overview

In the recent time, AMD launched new Phenom with native quad core CPU design.
Of course, chipset will also comes faster to support new generation CPU.
This time AMD’s new chipset called AMD 790FX, keep the naming rule from ATI.
I think it’s still designed by ATI, still use old SB600 south-bridge chip.
Hope AMD can use new SB700 chipset to enhance.


MSI did good job to make AMD 790 chipset motherboards early to the market.
They have K9A2 Platinum with 790FX chipset as high-end, and K9A2 CF with 790X chipset as mainstream.
This time we present K9A2 Platinum, let’s take a look on packing design.


Inside stuff
Menu, XP/VISTA deiver.
Cables
USB/Debug light, 1394 port.
2x CrossFire bridge.


MSI K9A2 Platinum board




Left down side
2x PCI-E x16 (Run x16 + x16 when CrossFire.)
2x PCI-E x8 (Support newest CrossFire technology, install 4 VGA will run by x8+x8+x8+x8)
1x PCI-E x1
2x PCI
Realtek ALC888 audio chip, 8 channel audio.


Down right down side
4X SATAII,RAID 0, 1, 0+1 mode (SB600)
2X SATAII,RAID 0, 1, 0+1 mode (Promise T3)


Up right side
24PIN power input
4DIMM DDR2, support DDR2 400/533/667/800/1066 on Phenom, DDR2 400/533/667/800 on AM2.


Up left side
5 phase PWM
Support AM2/AM2+ CPU


IO port
2X eSATA(PromiseR T3)
1X 1394
4X USB 2.0
1X optical fibre , SPDIF


Sink design.
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Old 14th February 2008, 14:17   #2
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North bridge.


South bridge.



Boot up screen.


Cell Menu


CPU Voltage 1.219~1.468V(with Phenom9600)
Memory Voltage 1.80~2.10V
1.80~2.10v stepping 0.05v,2.10~3.10V stepping 0.1V
NB Voltage1.125V~1.525V
Hypertransport Voltage 1.175~1.525V


AM2+ HT Ratio




Phenom memory ratio.


DRAM configuration.


MSI new product feature on BIOS – BIOS file saving, 2 set.
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Old 14th February 2008, 14:18   #3
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Test platform setup.
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+/AMD Phenom 9600
MB: MSI K9A2 Platinum
DRAM:CORSAIR Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF
VGA:MSI NX8800GT-T2D256E
HD:Seagate 7200.10 320G
POWER:POWER:Corsair HX520W Modular Power Supply
Cooler:Thermaltake V1


First we take a look on Athlon 6400+ test
CPU OC 3520Mhz,Super PI 1M/CPUMARK99


DRAM present
Dual SP2004 Blend test full loading.
DDRII 1066 CL5 5-5-18 1.95V


DDRII 1066 CL4 4-3-7 2.1V


PCMARK2005


AM2 CPU got better die quality recently, we can see the 3.4G~3.6G
overclock capability on 5000+/6400+ X2 high-end CPU.
When comes with higher frequency, the performance is also closed to Intel
platform, 3DMARK is only 5%~10% behind.
Hope the AM2/AM2+ CPU could have 3.6G or higher frequency ability,
that can make the platform more extra value.

Then we use AMD new Phenom 9600,
3DMARK2003


3DMARK2005


3DMARK2006



PCMARK2005


CINEBENCH R10


CrystalMark


AMD Phenom is the native Quad-Core CPU, but AM2+ CPU frequency behind AM2 a lot,
now Phenom’s frequency limited is under 2.7G, it’s a pity, compare with Intel easy to over 3.5GHz,
the extreme frequency will become the biggest condition for user.

MSI K9A2 Platinum
Pros:
1.Full solid capacitors, rich accessories, with 2 CrossFire bridge.
2.Good Circu-pipe design, AMD(ATI) chipset temp. is low.
3.Great improve on CPU frequency, up to 450~500MHz depends on CPU capability.
4.4x PCI-E VGA slot design, Power/Reset button.

Cons:
1.Memory overclock ability is not good, use AM2 CPU can only run about DDR2 1066, BIOS needs to be improved on memory side.
2.The AMD platform performance is really behind Intel platform, so the high-end AMD motherboard is not really popular.

After AM2+ CPU launched, we can see the new AMD motherboards also come out soon.
This moment we only have AMD chipset based.
Although AMD chipset motherboards price is lower than same segment Intel motherboards,
but most users will consider CPU first when purchase PC platform,
in this situation, AM2/AM2+ have to create more value for end users,
besides price, frequency improvement is also the major subject to enhance total performance.
It’s my first time to use AMD 790FX motherboard,
besides FSB overclock great improvement, the features is also more deluxe.
Hope we can have more new AMD platform motherboard on the market,
make AM2+ motherboard become lower price, than user can have cheaper Quad-Core platform in 2008.
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