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MSI P4N Diamond NF4-SLI Intel Edition Motherboard Review
MSI P4N Diamond NF4-SLI Intel Edition Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Since the MSI P4N Diamond is based on the nForce4 SLI chipset, it supports running two nVidia GeForce 6xxx videocards in SLI mode. The innovation is the switchless changeover.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Sep 13 2005   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI P4N Diamond

Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Conclusions...

Doom 3

Source: id Software

Doom 3 is the most advanced game to date. it 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.

LQ 640x480: FPS Ranking
Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2 (955X 200/533) 96.9
Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 (945P 200/533) 94.3
Epox 5NVA+ SLI (NF4 SLI 200/667 7800 GTX Single) 96.2
Epox 5NVA+ SLI (NF4 SLI 200/667 7800 GTX SLI) 94.4
MSI P4N Diamond (NF4 SLI 200/667 7800GTX Single) 97.3
MSI P4N Diamond (NF4 SLI 200/667 7800GTX SLI) 96.2

Looks like SLI on the Intel side is still a bit rough around the edges still, and may actually degrade performance a bit. Still on a while, the MSI P4N Diamond motherboard performs very well.

MSI's P4N Diamond offers a lot

After totally dominating the AMD market and giving AMD users a taste of SLI, it is Intel's turn to feel nVIDIA's wrath. I think it's safe to say that nVIDIA has already won the all-important "marketing" battle, as the nForce4 SLI Intel Edition chipset specs are more impressive than Intel's own 955X.

MSI has built a pretty well rounded motherboard here. The MSI P4N Diamond with its nForce4 SLI Intel Edition chipset under the hood offers a lot of functionality, and gaming oriented features like, you guessed it - switchless SLI. Furthermore, this Socket 775 motherboard supports all the latest and greatest Intel Pentium 4/XE, Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition processors which operate at 800/1066 MHz FSB.

The P4N Diamond has a whole host of goodies such as an additional Serial ATA II/RAID controller, a Creative SoundBlaster Live! 7.1 soundcard, IEEE 1394 and dual Gigabit NICs. The P4N Diamond is also the only switchless nForce4 SLI Intel motherboard on the market. If MSI has missed something, there is an open PCI Express x1 and two open PCI slots for your upgrading pleasure.

The motherboard itself is a breeze to work with. If an overclocking adventure goes too far there is an actual clear CMOS button to rest the BIOS with, instead of fiddling around with a jumper.

MSI also includes everything but the kitchen sink with this motherboard, although I wish it would choose higher quality rounded cables. The MSI P4N Diamond is a high performance board and you better have good case cooling if you are planning on using this board for overlocking.

Looking back at the benchmarks, we can see that the MSI P4N Diamond flew through the tests, often outperforming Intel 955X motherboards which is impressive. Things were even sweeter in 3D benchmarks although SLI performance was a bit disappointing in 3DMark05. The motherboard is a decent overclocker as well and I was able to push it as high as 253 MHz! With a retail price of $240 CDN ($212 US) the MSI P4N Diamond motherboard is darn fast, and anyone who picks one up will not be disappointed!

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Contents of Article: MSI P4N Diamond
 Pg 1.  MSI P4N Diamond NF4-SLI Intel Edition Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  NF4-SLI Chipset Cooling
 Pg 3.  Oooo Switchless SLI!
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Diamond
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, PCMark05
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, 3DMark05
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: UT2003, UT2004
 Pg 12.  — Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Conclusions...

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