Articles: Mainboards

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MSI P45 Platinum is one of the most interesting mainboards in the line-up. It is equipped with advanced Circu-Pipe 2 chipset cooling system, a second PCI Express x16 slot, and additional IEEE1394 controller and uses Intel ICH10R South Bridge with RAID support.

Now not only the chipset North Bridge, but also the memory has dual-phase voltage regulator circuitry. There is an additional controller that delivers an eSATA port to the rear panel. There are six USB 2.0 ports, a Clear CMOS button and an optical S/PDIF.

Economical overclockers should be interested in MSI P45 Neo2 mainboard, because it uses the same PCB layout as MSI P45 Platinum.

The chipset cooling system is a little simpler, there is no IEEE1394 and no additional eSATA that is why MSI P45 Neo2 has the funniest connector panel of all mainboards in the family:

MSI P45 Platinum PCB design was used for one more mainboard: MSI P45D3 Platinum. The only difference is the supported memory type: MSI P45D3 Platinum works with DDR3 SDRAM.

MSI P45 Diamond is the top mainboard in the family and it also works with DDR3 SDRAM. Eight-channel sound is not integrated onto the board, there is a separate daughter card called Creative X-FI. The free room on the connector panel was taken by the second Gigabit network card, second eSATA port and additional USB 2.0 ports, so that there are 8 of them now.

MSI P45 Diamond mainboard uses enhanced Hi-CAP solid-state capacitors in the processor voltage regulator circuitry. However, the first thing that will attract your attention is the hybrid chipset cooler that can be part of a liquid-cooling system or be air-cooled.

Six different mainboard models are more than enough to satisfy all users starting with the least demanding ones and finishing with the dedicated enthusiasts. This line-up used to look like this until recently, when MSI announced one more mainboard on Intel P45 Express in the end of August. It is called MSI P45-8D Memory Lover. At this time there is merely the press release. We do not have detailed mainboard specifications yet at our disposal. This is going to be a mainstream solution with two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots for graphics cards and a not very sophisticated chipset cooler using heatpipes technology. The board will support DDR2 as well as DDR3 SDRAM. However, its main peculiarity is the 8 DIMM slots: 4 for each memory type.

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