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MSI X58 Platinum LGA 1366 Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI
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Features and Layout

The entire board layout is pretty organized and even moves the high-definition audio header to the bottom of the board instead of in a cramped section between the Gigabyte LAN jack and PCI-E x1 interface. Now, if we could only get motherboard vendors to move the CPU power connector from the top to the bottom or right side I would be a much happier hardware reviewer.

 The back panel has a small aluminum backplate behind the CPU. Nothing special here.

Two headers to enable four USB 2.0 devices.

The JCOM1 header is a high speed communication port that can be used to attach a serial device. The JTPM1 header connects an optional Trusted Platform Module.

These two headers are used to for all the available options on your PC’s front panel. It is color coded and separates the speaker and power LED header from the other front panel connectors.

The JDLED1 header connects to an optional Debug-LED2 connector that shows information for users and identifies the current status or mod of the connected system.

The bottom right panel of the X58 Platinum hosts one IDE header and six SATA 3GB headers. These six SATA headers are controlled by the ICH10R Southbridge and can be configured in RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.

Copper heatsinks are used over the X58 Northbridge and DrMOS. MSI pretty much left the area around the CPU clutter-free so users can install a third-part heatsink or water block. I also notice some Japanese solid capacitors used on this board.

The X58 Platinum has six DIMMs that support DDR3 800/1066/1333. It can support up to 24GBs of RAM using dual and triple channel configurations.

DrMOS has an integrated driver IC, top MOSFET, and bottom MOSFET. It uses GreenPower technology, XpressCool, and RapidBoost to provide solutions for lower temperatures during idle, and delivering consistent power during overclocking.

The back I/O panel offers one PS/2 keyboard port, one PS/2 mouse port, one eSATA port, one Firewire 400 port, eight USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabyte LAN jacks, one optical SPDIF-out, 6-in-1 audio jack, and a clear CMOS button.

The X58 Platinum has two PCI-E x16 slots that support ATI Crossfire. It also hots three PCI-E, Generation 2 x1 slots and two regular PCI slots. Users will also notice the on-board power button, reset button, and overclocking switch at the bottom of the board.

Here’s a quick shot of the X58/ICH10R chipset and the copper heatsink.

The main feature I want to point out in this photo is the CPU overclock button. This button will set the base clock (BCLK) to 133MHz (default), 166MHz, and 200MHz.

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