MSI has long been a leader in
the 'eye candy' department and the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum is easily one of the
better looking motherboards on the market right now. You won't be ashamed to
have a case window with the K8N Neo4 Platinum as your backbone! Of course
there's more here than meets the eye, and the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum is in
general a very well rounded motherboard.
The Nvidia nForce4 Ultra chipset is already very feature
rich, and the board builds on that foundation by offering up two Gigabit network
cards, IEEE 1394 Firewire, 7.1 channel audio and an additional Serial ATA/RAID
controller (4x SATA, 4X SATAII ports). If that's not enough, the MSI K8N Neo4
Platinum also has plenty of PCI and PCI Express expansion room.
The motherboard itself is nearly perfect in component
layout. If I had to find a fault here, I would have preferred that MSI included
the new locking-type Serial ATA II-style connectors. The current ones are fine
,but first-generation Serial ATA cables have a tendency to pull out easily.
Overall, I think it is safe to say that the performance
of the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum motherboard was good. Its memory bandwidth scores
seemed a bit on the low side in SiSoft Sandra, and the X2: The Threat benchmark,
but everything else was either on par with the other nForce4 Ultra/SLI boards
we've tested recently or better.
With a retail price of of $185 CDN ($151 US), the K8N Neo4 Platinum
is priced with somewhat of a premium, but then this motherboard is pretty much
equipped to the max. It even has MSI's "Core Cell" chip if you'd like to let the
board automatically handle Dynamic overclocking for you. I recently recommended
this exact model to a friend and I think it's safe to say it would satisfy the
needs of most mainstream users.
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