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The MSI K8N Diamond probably has the most imposing looks among all mainboards for the Socket 939 platform:

The number of various connectors this mainboard offers is even frightening at first. MSI stuffed this thing up the way enthusiasts like it. You can clearly see my point not only from the picture, but also from the detailed specification below:

MSI K8N Diamond


AMD Athlon 64 for Socket 939



Hypertransport bus

1 GHz

Clock generator frequencies

190, 200-400MHz (with 1MHz increment)

Overclocking friendly functions

Adjustable Vcore, Vchipset and Vmem;
Independently adjustable PCI/PCI Express bus frequencies.


4 DDR DIMM slots for dual-channel DDR400 SDRAM

PCI Express slots

2 x PCI Express x16

PCI expansion slots


USB 2.0 ports

10 (4 – on the rear panel)

IEEE1394 ports

3 (2 – on the rear panel, by VIA VT6306 controller)


2 ATA-133 channels

Serial ATA

4 Serial ATA-300 channels (with RAID support in the chipset)
2 Serial ATA-300 channels (with RAID support in the Silicon Image Sil3132 controller)

ATA RAID support

RAID 0, 1, 0+1 in the chipset
RAID 0, 1 in Silicon Image Sil3132 controller

Integrated sound

Creative Sound Blaster Live 24-bit

Integrated LAN

Gigabit Ethernet (via chipset)
Gigabit Ethernet (via Marvell 88E8053 controller)

Additional features

D-LED diagnostic system


Phoenix-AwardBIOS v6.00PG


ATX, 304mm x 244mm

The specification needs one comment: the additional Serial ATA RAID controller from Silicon Image is an optional component and is not present on all samples of the K8N Diamond mainboard.

MSI’s product range also includes an analogous mainboard called K8N SLI Platinum which is a little bit less expensive than the K8N Diamond, is based on the nForce4 Ultra and, accordingly, doesn’t support the SLI mode. So, one of the PCI Express x16 slots of the K8N SLI Platinum works as PCI Express x2 on the logical level. Otherwise the two mainboard models are identical.

The K8N Diamond amazes not only with its widest functionality, but also with an extremely rich set of accessories, including:

  • A CD with drivers and utilities;
  • One Serial ATA cable;
  • One round 80-pin Parallel ATA cable and one round FDD cable;
  • A bracket for the back panel of the system case with two FireWire ports;
  • D-Bracket 2 for the back panel of the system case with two High-Speed USB ports and a system of diagnostics indicators D-LED;
  • An I/O shield;
  • A SLI kit including a SLI Switch Card and a SLI Bridge;
  • A “wireless” PCI card that supports Bluetooth and 802.11g WLAN, with an antenna;
  • User manual.

Of course you have to pay for every item on the list. Due to its complexity and its numerous additional controllers and accessories the MSI K8N Diamond is going to cost close to $300. We think the real adepts won’t be set aback by that, though.

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