Socket 939 Motherboard Roundup: ABIT, MSI, Gigabyte
MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum: Bundle & Specifications
The K8N Neo2 Platinum Edition is currently MSI's flagship Socket 939 motherboard for the Athlon 64. This board, like the Gigabyte K8NSNXP-939 we spoke of on the three previous pages, is powered by NVIDIA's single-chip nForce3 Ultra. As such, the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum has many of the same features and capabilities, plus a few more courtesy of MSI's "Core Cell" chip and a few additional integrated controllers...
•_Supports Socket 939 for AMD Athlon 64 FX/64 processor
•_Supports 3500+, 3800+ Athlon 64 FX 53, or higher CPU
•_nVIDIA nForce3 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 533MT/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 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.
•_One AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) 1.5V 4X/8X slot
•_Five 32-bit v2.3 Master PCI bus slots (support 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface).
•_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 four IDE devices
•_Supports four SATA ports. Transfer rate is up to 150MBps
•_NV RAID (Software)
•_Support for up to four SATA & four ATA 133 Hard drives
•_RAID 0 or 1, 0+1, JBOD is supported
•_RAID function work w/ATA133 + SATA H/D
•_The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS that detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
•_The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function that records your mainboard specifications.
•_7.1 channel audio codec RealTek ALC850.
•_Compliance with AC97 v2.3 Spec.
•_Meet PC2001 audio performance requirement.
•_Supports dual LAN jacks
•_1 LAN supports 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Marvell 88E1111 PHY
•_1 LAN supports 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Realtek 8110S (1000Mbps)
•_VIA 6306 chipset
•_Supports up to 3 x 1394 ports
•_Transfer rate is up to 400Mbps
•_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
•_8 USB 2.0 ports (Rear x 4 / Front x 4)
•_2 RJ45 LAN jack
•_3 IEEE 1394 connectors (Rear x 1/ Front x 2)
•_30.5cm(L) x 24.5cm(W) ATX Form Factor
•_D Bracket 2
•_Serial ATA Power Adapter
•_2 x Serial ATA Cables
When compared to the other motherboards in this roundup, the K8N Neo2 Platinum's bundle seems a bit hollow, but all of the necessities are there. Think along the lines of the ABIT AV8, minus a couple of well-written user's manuals. MSI does include a single manual, however, along with a driver / utility CD and a floppy disk that contains RAID drivers. MSI also included two 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 custom case bracket MSI calls a "D-Bracket." The custom bracket houses two USB connectors, along with four LEDs. The "D" in "D-Bracket" stands for "Diagnostic." The LEDs blinks in certain combinations should a problem with the motherboard arise. Look up the lighting combination, and the underlying problem becomes much easier to diagnose.