The Box and the Goodies within
MSI has always had a thing for flair in its packaging, even at the beginning of its life. The K8N Diamond Plus is no different. The font of the box doesn't give much information to the potential buyer, but its silver reflective surface does tend to catch the eye.
The back of the box however, gives a lot of info on many of the features the board supports along with a list of the basic specifications.
While there is your usual drivers and CD bundle, we decided to skip looking into these, as they are pretty much all the same. MSI provides a single user manual, driver and software CD, 6 SATA data/power converters, 2 IDE and 1 FDD cable, along with an I/O shield.
We didn't decide to skip this little baby, shown above, which is only available in the K8N Diamond Plus Special Edition package. This is MSI's Tube Audio front panel and is made for MSI by Cooler Master and its true name is the Musketeer III front panel. The big claim to fame of this is the Vacuum Tube for the audio to pass through and is supposed to have some affect on the audio, however, when tested, audio quality sounded identical with or without the vacuum tube system. Also on the front is the volume indicator and slider to control the volume level when the audio panel is in use. If you want to use above two channel audio, you can't use the vacuum system.
From the back we can see the circuitry. There is a loop back cable connection for the audio to plug into the external green audio jack, a 4 pin Molex power connector to give the unit power as well as various circuits to make the whole show work. Also take note of the high voltage warning, it won't kill you, but man does it give you one hell of an electric shock. (Editor Note: Yes, one hell of a shock for sure - been there, done that!)