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MSI P6N Diamond nForce 680i Motherboard Review

MSI P6N Diamond nForce 680i Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Believe it or not, there are high performance motherboards out there for Intel's latest and greatest CPUs which don't have an Intel chipset at their heart. Top of that list is the nVidia nForce 680i.
 89% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Nov 02 2007   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI P6N Diamond

MSI P6N Diamond Motherboard Highlights


The MSI P6N Diamond has four PCI Express x16 slots, allowing to SLI videocards to be run at full x16/x16 and quad SLI with x8/x8/x8/x8 PCI Express lanes to each graphics card. When nVIDIA is ready to go prime time with its Quad SLI feature, gamers packing the P6N Diamond will be ready to frag! The board also has one PCI Express x1 and two PCI slots. Note that MSI are using all solid state aluminum capacitors here.

The Creative Soundblaster X-FI chipset is tucked away under the last PCI Express x16 slot.


In this corner the nVidia nForce 590i southbridge is visible. The P6N Diamond features seven Serial ATA II ports placed right next to each other (five from the Southbridge, two from the Silicon Image SATA controller). The SATA ports support all common RAID modes. Three USB headers are colour coordinated with positive/negative pinouts indicated.

The red button blows up your computer in case of emergency. Okay, no, it just clear's the CMOS if you overclock things too far. MSI's Dual Core Cell chip is visible in the upper right corner.


The MSI P6N Diamond has four DDR2 memory slots. You install the memory in alternating slots to enable dual channel memory support, not in the same coloured slots. The single IDE, floppy and main ATX power connectors are positioned to the right of the memory slots which makes cable management easy.


There is a fair amount of space around the LGA775 CPU socket. There won't be many after market Intel heatsinks which are incompatible with the P6N Diamond. The nVidia nForce 680i chipset is cooled by a copper heatsink and fan, which can be removed easily for cleaning. The copper MOSFET heatsink is designed to be cooled by exhaust air from the CPU fan.


The nVIDIA 680i Northbridge and 590i Southbridge chipsets get quite warm during operation that's why MSI places a medium sized heatsink on the Southbridge (with a heatpipe to move the heat away) and a larger heatsink on the Northbridge. Heatpipes transfer the heat to the MOSFET heatsink, keeping the most important motherboard components cool.

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Contents of Article: MSI P6N Diamond
 Pg 1.  MSI P6N Diamond nForce 680i Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — MSI P6N Diamond Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 3.  The nVIDIA nForce 680i Chipset
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Diamond
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004 Continued
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Graphics)
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Office)
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Data Crunching)
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark05
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 13.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3., Quake 4
 Pg 14.  PCSTATS Maximum Motherboard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions

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