MSI P45 PlatinumManufacturer: MSI
UK Price (as reviewed): £122.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $185.49 (ex. Tax)
We've already looked at the unique Asus P5Q Deluxe along with the fully featured Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 and, since trilogies are in fashion at the moment, we complete our little P45 trilogy with a review of the MSI P45 Platinum. We felt the P35 Platinum was certainly a solid board—even if it wasn't exceptional at the time of launch—and although we didn't review one of the P35 Neo boards, we know MSI sold these very attractively priced boards more than anything else.
Again this year we've taken to the P45 Platinum which debuts with MSI's new DrMOS and GreenPower power regulation features – yes, MSI has also jumped on the "It's 2008, we need to be Green
" bandwagon too.
However the MSI board is more focused – it has a new cooler and lots of simple features, meaning there’s less fluff than what you’ll get from Asus or Gigabyte. Does this mean MSI has made the core experience that much stronger – focusing on making better what it already knows? We dived in to find out.
MSI P45 Platinum Features:
- Support for socket 775 Intel Core 2 Extreme, Quad, Duo and Pentium processors with 1,600, 1,333, 1,066 or 800MHz FSB
- Intel P45 north bridge
- Intel ICH10R south bridge
- Four DDR2 DIMM slots supporting up to 16GB of memory at 1,200, 1,066, 800 or 667MHz
- Realtek ALC888 audio codec supporting 7.1 channel High-Definition surround sound
- One Realtek RTL8111C PCI-Express Gigabit Ethernet connector
- One PCI-Express x16 2.0 slot (x16 or x8 electrical)
- One PCI-Express x16 2.0 slot (x8 electrical)
- Two PCI-Express x1 slots
- Two PCI slots
- Six SATA 3Gbps ports including support for RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5
- Two SATA 3Gbps ports from JMicron JMB363 chipset
- One eSATA 3Gbps port from JMicron JMB361 chipset
- One IDE and one floppy port
- Two IEEE1394a Firewire sockets from a JMicron JMB381 chipset
- Twelve USB 2.0 ports (six on rear I/O and six via pin-outs)
- Onboard power, reset and clear CMOS buttons
- DrMOS Power and GreenPower efficiency features
- Four red SATA cables
- Two molex to SATA adapters
- One red IDE cable
- One red floppy cable
- One CrossFire bridge
- Metal rear I/O panel
- MSI M-connectors
- Two USB port and one 6-pin Firewire port PCI bracket
- Driver CD, Quick Install Guide, P45 Platinum Manual and HDD Backup manual
The M-connectors are MSI's version of the Asus Q-connector, except MSI isn't stingy and provides enough little adapters for every pin-out instead. Of the total eight SATA ports included, only four SATA cables are provided and even though they come with the clippy ends, there isn't a 90 degree connector in sight.
There are plenty of manuals and quick guides to fish through; all of which are all very well put together and the driver CD includes an auto-install driver program which makes our lazy side very happy indeed.