MSI P6N SLI PlatinumPrice (as reviewed):
£98.00 (inc VAT)
Latest US Price
The Platinum range is feature filled, but MSI's most high-end product. Today, we have the P6N SLI Platinum, which is based on Nvidia's nForce 650i SLI chipset. Though the P6N SLI Platinum isn't the top dog in the line-up, it's far from being a no-frills SLI motherboard - MSI has opted to kit this out with a large complement of goodies.
The nForce 650i Ultra boards were expected in February and are still due soon, but considering the low price of the nForce 650i SLI and the recent release of the nForce 680i LT SLI, there’s a question of how little these will cost. This still means the nForce 650i SLI is the bottom end SLI chipset you can buy, but does this mean it skimps on performance as well?
MSI P6N SLI Platinum Overview
- Supports LGA775 Intel Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium 4, Pentium 4 D, and Pentium XE, including 1333/1066/800/533MHz FSB processors;
- Nvidia nForce 650i SLI SPP (C55) northbridge;
- Nvidia nForce 430i (MCP51) southbridge;
- Supports up to 8GB of dual channel DDR2 533/667/800, using four 240-pin/1.8V DDR2 DIMMs;
- Two PCI Express x16 slots (in an x16 and x1 or x8 and x8 configuration);
- One PCI Express x1 slot;
- Three 32-bit v2.3 Master PCI bus slots (support 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface)
- Two IDE ports;
- Four SATA 3Gbps ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 or JBOD;
- One eSATA port by Sil3531;
- Realtek ALC888 High-Definition audio codec supporting 7.1 channel surround sound;
- One Gigabit Ethernet port by Realtek RTL8211BL;
- VIA VT 6308P IEEE1394a Firewire chipset;
- Three red SATA ports;
- Two molex to SATA adapters;
- One Red rounded IDE cable;
- One Red rounded floppy cable;
- One SLI bridge and retention bracket;
- Additional fan for northbridge;
- Single 6-pin Firewire port PCI bracket;
- Two USB 2.0 ports and MSI D-LED PCI bracket;
- Metal rear I/O shield;
- Manual, Quick Guide and Driver CD.
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Everything you get is adorned in red which will provide a uniform colour within your case, but you only get a single IDE cable and two ports. There is also a strange amount of cables - there are three SATA cables and two hard drive power adapters for four SATA ports. I suppose for the price we weren't expecting a full complement, and getting something is better than nothing but it seems a strange mix of quantities.
The Firewire and USB brackets could have been included on a single bracket to save space, and there are only two extra USB 2.0 ports provided despite the board supporting four. Having said that, most cases offer a front pair of USB 2.0 ports anyway, so it's not a huge deal.
In addition there's an extra fan provided for the northbridge. Whilst we found we didn't need this during our main testing, the real test for needing it came during our stability testing, which will come to later.
Overall the package is pretty decent but far from complete, although for the cost of the product, that's hardly surprising.