Soon after the Christmas holidays our test labs were overwhelmed with a surge of Socket 939 mainboards based on NVIDIA nForce4 chipset. This chipset turned out so popular that a lot of mainboard manufacturers expressed their vital desire to introduce products based on this chipset. While only a few companies produce Socket 939 mainboards on the nForce3 Ultra, the nForce4 seems to enjoy a much warmer welcome among the manufacturers.
This is natural since NVIDIA is more relied upon as a trusted chipset developer and it has also left VIA behind in implementing the perspective PCI Express bus on the Socket 939 platform.
Among the profusion of nForce4-based mainboards we are primarily interested in products offered by companies who already have experience in designing Socket 939 mainboards on NVIDIA chipsets. Since nForce4 is an evolutionary logical continuation of the nForce3 Ultra, we can expect these companies to offer most advanced, fast and stable solutions.
That’s why we had been looking forward to nForce4 Ultra- and SLI-based mainboards from MSI, who had become famous for its nForce3 Ultra-based K8N Neo2 Platinum. The wait wasn’t that long fortunately, and now we can offer you a review of the K8N Diamond mainboard. Many users fairly considered the K8N Neo2 Platinum to be the best Socket 939 mainboard, so the new K8N Diamond simply has to become another bestseller.
The MSI K8N Diamond is also the first mainboard on the nForce4 SLI chipset we have in our test labs. As you know, this chipset allows using two graphics cards (GeForce 6800 or GeForce 6600) in one computer to parallel the load between them in 3D modes. So, at first sight the MSI K8N Diamond looks like an excellent gift for dedicated gamers that want the maximum possible performance for the highest pleasure in contemporary games. Let’s see if the K8N Diamond can meet their demands as well as those of ordinary PC enthusiasts since the use of the nForce4 SLI inevitably makes this mainboard a costlier purchase than analogous products on the nForce4 Ultra.