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MSI P6N SLI Platinum nForce 650i SLI Motherboard Review

MSI P6N SLI Platinum nForce 650i SLI Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The MSI P6N SLI Platinum motherboard is a good mainstream motherboard for part time tweakers, full time gamers, or for anyone who wants a fully featured board without too steep a price tag.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Mar 21 2007   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI P6N SLI Platinum

The nVidia nForce 650i SLI chipset

Feature wise the nVIDIA nForce 650i SLI offers only a small improvement over the nForce 570 SLI Intel Edition chipset. In fact the only new feature it incorporates are support for a higher FSB, 1333 MHz according to MSI. Unofficially the nForce 650i SLI chipset is also supposed to be an overclocking monster... for the final word on that flip on over to the next page of this review.

As you might expect, the nVidia nForce 650i SLI is split into the traditional Northbridge/Southbridge configuration. As with earlier nForce chipsets, the nForce 650i MCP Southbridge handles most of the work. According to MSI nVIDIA has rebranded the nForce 430 Southbridge the nForce 650i MCP.

nVidia nForce 600 Series Feature Breakdown
nVidia nForce 680i SLI
CPU Socket 775
nVida SLI Support Yes, (2 x16)
nVidia FirstPacket Yes
nVidia DualNet No
Native Gigabit Ethernet 1
Teaming No
TCP/IP Acceleration No
nVidia MediaShield Storage Yes
SATA/IDE HDD 4/4
SATA Speed 3Gb/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5
nVidia nTune Utility Yes
PCI Express Lanes 18 lanes
USB Ports 10
PCI Slots 5
Audio High Definition Audio (Azalia)

The nForce 650i SLI Northbridge supports a 533/800/1066/1333 MHz FSB connection to the processor, so it's compatible with Intel's next generation quad core processors. Between the nForce 680i SPP and nForce 650i MCP is a 2GHz HyperTransport connection. The nForce 650i SLI Northbridge supports the regular JEDEC standard DDR2-800 memory. We should also note that the nForce 650i SPP supports 16 PCI Express lanes itself.

The nVIDIA nForce 650i MCP Southbridge is the busier of the two, with capabilities to support two PCI Express x1 lanes, five regular 32 bit PCI slots, one Gigabit MAC, a 7.1 channel High Definition Intel Azalia audio controller, four Serial ATA II slots and two IDE channel which supports four devices.

Of course, it is up to the individual motherboard maker to decide how and which of these features are actually implemented.

nForce 650i SLI Assorted Technologies

nVIDIA's integrated audio solution supports Intel's High Definition Audio Azalia standard. On the hard drive front, nVIDIA's Serial ATA II channels adhere to the Serial ATA 2.0 spec and support RAID mode 0, 1, 0+1 and 5.

nVIDIA's nForce 650i SLI supports nTune which is arguably the best enthusiast software available. It allows users to control their systems and realistically with nTune, there is no longer a need to go into the BIOS to adjust settings, now you can do everything within WindowsXP or Vista!

MSI's Dual CoreCell:

These days virtually every manufacturer supports dynamic overclocking, fan speed control, voltage adjustments along with a spiffy software interface. MSI was one of the first with its CoreCell technology and with some updated features, MSI now calls its custom software Dual CoreCell.

Dual CoreCell promises to improve performance, cut system noise output, enhance 3D performance along with providing a better image quality and finally improve sound circuitry which will decrease signal noise and provide better signal quality. Unfortunately image quality and sound improvements are quite subjective and difficult to test but we can definitely vouch for Dual CoreCell's ability to keep noise at a minimum and overclock the system.

The MSI Dual CoreCell software allows you to monitor and adjust not just the motherboard clock speed and voltages, but also the videocard as long as you're running a compatible MSI videocard. MSI's Dual CoreCell software not only allows you to adjust motherboard FSB, videocard core and memory clock speeds, it also gives you the options to adjust CPU, memory, videocard core and memory voltages!

Yes you read that right.. videocard voltage options too. Just make sure you're careful with what you're doing! Extra cooling is definitely recommended if you plan on adjusting voltages of your videocard and or CPU, motherboard and memory. MSI's Dual CoreCell does an excellent job with fan speeds and those options are adjustable in both Windows and the BIOS.

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Contents of Article: MSI P6N SLI Platinum
 Pg 1.  MSI P6N SLI Platinum nForce 650i SLI Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Passive Cooling System for Chipsets
 Pg 3.  MSI P6N SLI Platinum Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  — The nVidia nForce 650i SLI chipset
 Pg 5.  Overclocking the MSI P6N SLI Platinum Motherboard
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Graphics)
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Office)
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Data Crunching)
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, SuperPi, PCMark05
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3
 Pg 13.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Quake 4 / Conclusions

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