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Socket 939 Motherboards - MSI and nVidia vs. ABIT and VIA

By: Mike Wright | Socket 939 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 10, 2004 4:00 am

MSI K8N Neo 2 Platinum Edition

 

 

Our entry from the MSI lineup is none other than the highly vaunted K8N Neo 2 Platinum Edition motherboard. It is based on the nForce3 Ultra chipset and requires no added Southbridge to function at its full potential. It is a full-featured board and can be found online for about US$139 at the time of this piece. Before we take a look at some of the highlights of the board, let's take a look at a feature list as provided by the manufacturer:

 

CPU Support

 

Supports Socket 939 for AMD Athlon™ 64 FX / Athlon™ 64 processor

 

Supports up to 3500+, 3800+ Athlon 64 FX 53, or higher CPU

 

nForce 3 Ultra Chipset

 

HyperTransport link to the AMD Athlon 64/Athlon 64 FX CPU

 

HyperTransport supporting speed up to 1GHz (2000MT/s)

 

AGP3.0 8X interface at 533 MT/s (million transfers per second)

 

Two independent SATA controllers, for four drives

 

IEEE 802.3 NVIDIA MAC for 1000BASE-T

 

Dual Fast ATA-133 IDE controllers

 

Memory

 

Supports dual channel DDR 266/333/400, using four 184-pin DDR DIMMs.

 

Supports a maximum memory size up to 4GB with ECC.

 

Supports 2.5v DDR SDRAM DIMM.

 

IDE/SATA

 

An IDE controller on the nVidia nForce3 Ultra chipset provides IDE HDD/CD-ROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA133/100/66 operation modes.

 

Can connect up to 4 IDE devices

 

Supports 4 SATA ports. Transfer rate is up to 150MB/s.

 

NV RAID (Software)

 

Supports up to 4 SATA & 2 ATA133 Hard drives

 

RAID 0 or 1, 0+1, JBOD is supported

 

RAID function work w/ATA133 + SATA HDD or 2 SATA HDD

 

Other Features

 

Realtek 7.1 Audio

 

Dual GigABIT LAN ports (1x Realtek, 1x Marvell)

 

3x IEEE 1394 Firewire (VIA 6306)

 

8x USB 2.0

 

Live Update 3

 

Core Cell

 

Core Center

 

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