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MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI: Specifications & Bundle

MSI's K8N Neo2 Platinum nForce 3 based motherboard won an Editor's Choice award in a recent Socket 939 motherboard round-up we posted here on HotHardware. With that in mind, we were eager to get our hands on MSI's nForce 4 SLI offering.  We had originally seen the K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI on display at CES, and after our experience with the K8N Neo2 Platinum and after seeing what MSI had in store we had high-hopes for the K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI.  As you'll see on the coming pages, this board may not ship with the most comprehensive accessory bundle, but its got some relatively unique integrated peripherals that help set it apart from the rest of the pack...

  

Specifications of the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI
Following In The Footsteps of an EC Winner

CPU
_Supports Socket 939 for AMD Athlon 64FX/64 processor
_Supports 3500+, 3800+ Athlon 64FX 53, FX55 or higher CPU

Chipset
_NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Chipset
_HyperTransport link to the AMD Athlon 64/Athlon 64FX CPU
_HyperTransport supporting speed up to 1GHz (2000MT/s)
_Supports 2xPCI Express X16 interface
_Two independent SATA controllers, for four drives
_IEEE 802.3 NVIDIA MAC for 1000BASE-T
_Dual Fast ATA-133 IDE controllers

Main Memory
_Supports dual channel DDR 266/333/400, using four 184-pin DDR DIMMs
_Supports the memory size up to 4GB
_Supports 2.5v DDR SDRAM DIMM

Due to the High Performance Memory design, motherboards or system configurations may or may not operate smoothly at the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standard settings (BIOS Default on the motherboard) such as DDR voltage, memory speeds and memory timing. Please confirm and adjust your memory setting in the BIOS accordingly for better system stability. Example: Kingston HyperX DDR500 PC4000 operates at 2.65V, 3-4-4-8, CL=3.


For more information about specification of high performance memory modules, please check with your Memory Manufactures for more details.

DIMM Module Combination
_Install at least one DIMM module on the slots. Each DIMM slot supports up to a maximum size of 1GB. Users can install either single- or double-sided modules to meet their own needs. Please note that each DIMM can work respectively for single channel DDR, but there are some rules while using dual-channel DDR (Please refer to the suggested DDR population table below). Users may install memory modules of different type and density on different-channel DDR DIMMs. However, the same type and density memory modules are necessary while using dual-channel DDR, or instability may happen. Please refer to the following table for detailed dual-channel DDR. Other combination not listed below will function as single-channel DDR.

MSI Reminds You...
_Please select the identical memory modules to install on the dual channel, and DO NOT install three memory modules on three DIMMs, or it may cause some failures.
Always insert the memory modules into the GREEN slots first, and it is strongly recommended not to insert the memory modules into the PURPLE slots while the GREEN slots are left empty.
This mainboard DO NOT support the memory module installed with more than 18 pieces of IC (integrated circuit).


_The Maximum memory speed decreases when the following two memory combination is selected:
- Each channel is installed with two double-sided memory module
- Both DIMM1 and DIMM3 are installed with double-sided memory module
_Due to the South Bridge resource deployment, the system density will only be detected up to 3+ GB (not full 4GB) when each DIMM is installed with 1GB memory modules.

Slots
_Two PCI Express X16 slot (supports PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant)
_2nd PCI Express X16 is compatible with PCI Express x 1
_Three 32-bit Master PCI Bus slots, one orange slot reserves as communication slot.
_Support 3.3V/5V PCI bus Interface

On-Board IDE/SATA
_An IDE controller on the nVIDIA nForce4 chipset provides IDE HDD/CD-ROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA133/100/66 operation modes
-Can connect up to 4 IDE devices


_NV RAID supports 4 SATA II ports (SATA1-4).
_Transfer rate is up to 300MB/s.
_NV RAID (Software)
- Supports up to 4 SATA plus 2 ATA 133 Hard drives
- RAID 0 or 1, 0+1, JBOD is supported
- RAID function work w/ ATA 133 + SATA H/D or 2 SATA H/D


_Silicon Image's SATA RAID supports another 2 SATA II ports.
_Transfer rate is up to 300MB/s.
- RAID 0 or 1 and JBOD groups are supported
- Support up to 2 SATA devices connected to a single controller

BIOS
_The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
_The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.
_Supports boot from LAN, USB Device 1.1 & 2.0 and SATA HDD.

Audio
_Creative sound Blaster Live 24-bit H/W audio
_24-bit / 96KHz audio quality
_100db SNR clarity
_Up to 7.1 CH Surround Sound, Dolby Digital ready

LAN
_Supports dual LAN jacks
_1st LAN supports 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by nForce4 SLI
_2nd PCI Express LAN supports 10/100/1000 _Fast Ethernet by Marvell 88E8053

IEEE1394
_VIA 6306 chipset
_Supports up to 3 x 1394 ports
_Transfer rate is up to 400Mbps

On-Board Peripherals
_1 floppy port supports 1 FDD with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
_1 serial port
_1 parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
_1 audio jack (5-in-1), coaxial/fibre SPDIF out
_10 USB 2.0 ports (Rear x 4 / Front x 6)
_2 RJ45 LAN jack
_3 IEEE 1394 a connectors (Rear x 1/ Front x 2)

Dimension
_11.96 in (L) x 9.61 in(W)
_ATX Form Factor

Mounting
_9 mounting holes

Accessories
_D Bracket
_2 Serial ATA Power Adapters
_2 pcs Serial ATA Cables
_Round Cable


   

   

After seeing the smorgasbord of goodies DFI and Gigabyte included with their boards, the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI's bundle may seem a bit lackluster, but MSI makes up for it with a unique set of integrated peripherals (more on this on the next page). What MSI does include is a single manual, along with two driver / utility CDs. MSI also included two orange SATA cables, a single Molex-to-SATA power adapter, a rounded floppy cable, a rounded 80-wire IDE cable, a custom I/O shield, and a pair of case brackets.  MSI calls one of them a "D-Bracket." This custom bracket houses two USB connectors, along with four diagnostic LEDs. The LEDs blink in certain combinations should there be a problem with the motherboard. The other bracket houses a pair of IEEE1394 Firewire connectors.  Also included with the K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI is an MSI case badge, and the obligatory SLI connector.


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