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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




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.




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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