Package and Contents
Starting our review off we come to the package and contents that are included with the board itself. MSI's X48 Platinum comes in one of their standard boxes with the X48 Platinum logo on the front and some basic info on the chipset used, CPU support and memory support.
On the back of the box there is a full colour photo of the board with quite a bit more on the general features including some of the additional features that the board has such as Firewire, an extra PCI Express graphics slot, memory support and storage interface support.
MSI's documentation supplied with the board is enough to get you off the ground; the main user manual is reasonably thick with info on the board layout, then there's the quick install manual which gives you the basic layout of the board so if you want to get straight into installing the board you can do it easily.
Rather than a single DVD with both XP and Vista drivers, MSI gives you two separate CDs; one has Vista drivers and one has XP drivers. The XP CD contains drivers for both 32 and 64-bit versions of XP as does the Vista CD with 32 and 64-bit support.
Moving along to the cable bundle MSI gives you four Serial ATA data cables and two SATA power splitters. The ribbon cables supplied are a single FDD cable that hosts one floppy drive and a single IDE cable that can host two drives.
Thanks to the X38 chipset Crossfire support now goes full speed, that's twin PCIE x16 slots. Unfortunately due to the spacing setup that the MSI board has between the PCI Express x16 slots, the internal Crossfire bridge cables are not usable. To this end MSI has given you two extra length Crossfire bridge cables; a big plus for MSI.
Like ASUS, MSI has gone to using block installers that allow you to connect the case headers, onboard USB ports and Firewire ports to the ATX case cables on blocks that can then be simply plugged into the board.
Lastly we come to the Rear I/O shield and the PCI cover bracket that is included which gives you a single 6-pin Firewire port and two USB 2.0 ports.