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MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Motherboard Review

MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Built upon the nVidia nForce3 Ultra chipset, the MSI K8N Neo2 supports the socket 939 AMD Athlon64 or AthlonFX processor, and will support up to 4GB of PC3200 DDR memory.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Oct 01 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum

Nvidia does RAID

Having just moved a couple office PCs to RAID 1 configurations, I really appreciate any motherboard that includes this feature. If you have ever had a hard drive die on you, a RAID 1 array can easily save you $500 in data recovery fees. Native to nForce3 250 and Ultra motherboards is nVidia's 'NVRAID' feature. This service is essentially an IDE RAID controller which supports RAID 0, 1 and 0+1.

However, what makes this RAID controller so handy is that it works with combinations of IDE and Serial ATA hard drives. A RAID 1 array can be constructed with an IDE drive and SATA drive, just as easily as two SATA hard drives.

Serial ATA cables are small, but can they be made even smaller? You bet! The bright orange SATA cables (at right, pictured above) that come with the K8N Neo2 Platinum are about 75% the size of a regular SATA cable, and are just as durable. When you look at these cables next to an IDE ribbon, it's hard to imagine going back.

Unfortunately it's easy for one to get confused when installing memory into the K8N Neo2 Platinum. After reading the manual carefully, memory must be installed in slots one and two, or three and four to enable dual channel memory support. If all four slots are used then the pairs must be one, two and three, four. Other motherboards (including older MSI motherboards) typically colour coordinate which DIMM slots are channel A and channel B, but things are obviously quite different on the K8N Neo2 Platinum.

Also, why is it that all nForce3 Ultra motherboards have two Serial ATA channels right next to the CPU socket? Next up, a little benchmarking and some words on nVidia's NF3 ultra.

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Contents of Article: MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
 Pg 1.  MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Nvidia does RAID
 Pg 3.  nForce3 Ultra
 Pg 4.  The nVIDIA Firewall
 Pg 5.  Overclocking and the nVIDIA BIOS
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SYSmark2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 8.  SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, PCMark04
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, AquaMark3
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: UT2003, UT2004
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Conclusion

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