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MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Motherboard Review

MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Built upon the nVidia nForce3 Ultra chipset, the MSI K8N Neo2 supports the socket 939 AMD Athlon64 or AthlonFX processor, and will support up to 4GB of PC3200 DDR memory.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Oct 01 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum

nForce3 Ultra

You might be asking yourself, what is this "Ultra" thing tagged onto the nForce3 chipset? Well, nVidia's new NF3 Ultra is basically the NF3-250 chipset with some socket 939 support tossed in, and fixes for all the bugs steaming from the original NF3-150 chipset. The nForce3 Ultra is a single chip solution like its predecessors, but where IDE was the norm, it now natively supports four Serial ATA channels and SATA RAID.

'NVidia RAID' is a glossed up version of the IDE RAID we have been seeing on motherboards for many months now, and it offers the standard package of RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and JBOD arrays. Users can mix and match IDE and Serial ATA drives, but other than that its a pretty standard feature which nVidia ought to have implemented long ago.

While I doubt the vast majority of end users can fully take advantage of Gigabit ethernet, it seemed a little cheap that the NF3-150 only included a 10/100 MAC in its time. The nForce 3 Ultra resolves this gripe, and features Gigabit networking run through its own dedicated bus, not through the PCI bus. This approach is similar to that of Intel's CSA Gigabit Ethernet solution.

Rounding out the list of features the NF3 Ultra offers us is a novel hardware firewall for that network connection, called appropriately enough the nVidia Radeon Firewall. The nVidia Firewall is a hardware based solution, and it is included on the NF3-250GB chipset as well... and yes I'm just pulling your leg about the 'Radeon' bit. ;-)

nVidia has also increased the number of USB 2.0 ports to eight on the NF3 Ultra chipset. Apparently it even optimized the NF3 Ultra chipset to run better with nVidia-based videocards. As PCstats has shown in the past look at the MSI K8N Neo Platinum motherboard review, this is true. If you own an ATI video card, the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum will work just fine with it; nVidia did not engineer any hadicaps into the NF3 Ultra to affect performance with non-nVidia graphics solutions.

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Contents of Article: MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
 Pg 1.  MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Nvidia does RAID
 Pg 3.  — nForce3 Ultra
 Pg 4.  The nVIDIA Firewall
 Pg 5.  Overclocking and the nVIDIA BIOS
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SYSmark2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 8.  SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, PCMark04
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, AquaMark3
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: UT2003, UT2004
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Conclusion

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