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MSI K8N Diamond Plus nForce4 SLI x16 Motherboard Review

MSI K8N Diamond Plus nForce4 SLI x16 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Instead of waiting for the videocard bandwidth crunch to roll around, nVIDIA introduced the nForce4 SLI x16 chipset. And from this came MSI's latest overclocking motherboard deluxe!
 89% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Computer Apr 27 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI Computer K8N Diamond Plus

Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Conclusion

Doom 3

Source: id Software

Doom 3 takes advantage of the latest videocard technology and pushes the processing power of the CPU to its absolute limit. At its highest setting, Ultra quality, texture sizes pass the 500MB mark which means even tomorrow's videocards will have a hard time running everything. The frame rates in the game itself are locked at 60 fps so anything above that point is wasted. Each test is run three times with the third run being recorded.

Doom3
LQ 640x480: FPS Ranking
Albatron K8X890 Pro II (K8T890 200/400) 125.7
MSI RS480M2-IL (RS480 200/400) 110.4
Chaintech Zenith VNF4 Ultra (NF4 Ultra 200/400) 124.7
DFI LANPartyUT NF4 SLI-DR Expert (NF4 SLI 200/400 7800GTX Single) 127
DFI LANPartyUT NF4 SLI-DR Expert (NF4 SLI 200/400 7800GTX SLI) 125.1
DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR (NF4 SLI 200/400 7800GTX Single) 126.9
DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR (NF4 SLI 200/400 7800GTX SLI) 127.5
Epox 9NPA+ SLI (NF4 SLI 200/400 7800GTX Single) 124.3
Epox 9NPA+ SLI (NF4 SLI 200/400 7800GTX SLI) 122.2
ECS KN1 Extreme SLI (NF4 SLI 200/400 GeForce 7800GTX Single) 124.4
ECS KN1 Extreme SLI (NF4 SLI 200/400 GeForce 7800GTX SLI) 121.2
MSI K8N Diamond Plus (NF4 SLI x16 200/400 7800GTX Single) 127.5
MSI K8N Diamond Plus (NF4 SLI x16 200/400 7800GTX SLI) 127.8

In our final test Doom 3, we see that the framerates from the MSI K8N Diamond Plus are in line with the previous motherboards, but no greater.

Final Thoughts: 16 PCI Express Lanes

New technology is most often introduced to address possible future issues rather than present problems. History has shown this time over, and while there might not be much of a performance difference between the nVIDIA nForce4 SLI and its new nForce4 SLI x16 chipset right this second, there undoubtedly soon should be.

With the speed at which videocards advance, it is possible that the bus that connects it to the rest of the computer may become a bottleneck within a few videocard generations. There is already talk about doubling the available bandwidth to a videocard from PCI-E x16 to PCI-E x32, although when that will happen is not yet known.

The MSI K8N Diamond Plus is one of the new breed of nVIDIA nForce4 SLI x16 motherboards and it comes with some pretty impressive specifications. This motherboard is loaded to the hilt with IEEE 1394, dual Gigabit NICs, an additional Serial ATA II RAID controller and a Sound Blaster Audigy SE soundcard. Even though the MSI K8N Diamond Plus is well equipped, the board has two PCI Express x1, a PCI Express x4 and two 32 bit PCI slots available for expansion. The PCI Express x4 slot will even run a standard PCI Express videocard if you just need the extra monitor space.

The MSI K8N Diamond Plus is the first motherboard that can openly rival DFI's Athlon64 LANParty series motherboards to reach the PCSTATS test bench. With voltage options as high as 4.1V for the DDR memory and 2.3V for the processor, we can see the K8N Diamond Plus is no slouch when it comes to overclocking potential.

Along with the voltage options, the motherboard also contains a huge number of memory tweaks to wade through. In PCSTATS tests, we were able to overclock to a top speed of 327 MHz. It's not the tip-top fastest speed we've come across, but certainly significant enough to push entry level Athlon64 chips past the 50% mark....

In terms of performance, the MSI K8N Diamond Plus was no doubt fast and it easily kept up with the fastest Athlon64 motherboards on the market. The extra PCI Express lanes available to videocards did not seem to make much of a difference in 3D benchmarks, however it's possible that the GeForce 7800TX is too slow to take advantage of this aspect. With a retail price of $221 CDN ($192 USD, £109 GBP) the MSI K8N Diamond Plus is in the ball park of other flagship motherboards. MSI did many things right with the K8N Diamond Plus, and it's quite easy to be satisfied with its performance and capabilities!

PCSTATS Editor's Choice Award

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: MSI Computer K8N Diamond Plus
 Pg 1.  MSI K8N Diamond Plus nForce4 SLI x16 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Creative Audio Hardware
 Pg 3.  User friendly Aspects and nForce4 SLI x16 chipset
 Pg 4.  Cooling the nForce4 SLI x16 Chipset and Overclocking!
 Pg 5.  Voltage and overclocking options in the BIOS
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, PCMark05
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, 3DMark05
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: UT2003, UT2004
 Pg 13.  — Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Conclusion

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