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MSI P35 Platinum Combo Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review

MSI P35 Platinum Combo Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: With the Intel P35 Express chipset, users have two memory options; DDR2 and DDR3 RAM. The latter is certainly the future-proof option although it is still somewhat costly, while the former is firmly on the road to obsolescence.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Computer Sep 09 2008   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI Computer P35 Platinum Combo

Intel P35 Express and ICH9 Chipsets

The Intel P35 Express is Intel's mainstream performance core logic part. The P35 Express not only supports all current Socket 775 processors running on a 533/800/1066 MHz Front Side bus, it also supports Intel's 45nm "Penryn" processor and 1333 MHz FSB processors. The P35 Express ships with the ICH9 series of Southbridge chipsets.

An increased Front Side Bus, from 1066MHz to 1333 MHz speeds up data communication to the necessary levels. Intel also modified the memory controller, boosting memory to 1066 MHz from 800 MHz. That increases maximum theoretical bandwidth to 16GB/s (in a dual channel configuration). The Intel P35 Express supports a maximum of 8GB of non ECC unbuffered memory, either DDR3 or DDR2, depending on what the manufacturer has chosen to implement. With the Asus BLITZ Extreme, the motherboard uses DDR3 memory.

Here's a quick look at how the new P35 stacks up to the P965 Express and 975X chipsets. Apart from the speed increases and new memory standard, there are just a few extra ports here and there.

Intel P35 & 975 / 965 Series Chipset Feature Breakdown
Intel 975X Express Intel P35 Express Express Intel P965 Express Intel G965 Express
CPU LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Core 2 Duo
Front Side Bus (FSB) 1066/800 MHz 1333/1066/800 MHz 1066/800/533 MHz 1066/800/533 MHz
Intel Flex Memory Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual Channel Memory Support DDR2 800/667/533 DDR2 1066/800/667
or
DDR3 1333/1066/800
DDR2 800/667/533 DDR2 667
Maximum Memory Capacity 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB
Integrated Graphics - - - GMA 3000
PCI Express x16 2 1 1 1
PCI Express x1 4 6 4 4
Intel Matrix Storage Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes
SATA/IDE HDD 4/1 6/0 6/0 6/0
SATA Speed 3Gb/s 3Gb/s 3Gb/s 3Gb/s
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH7R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH9R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH8R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH8R)
Hard Drive NCQ - Yes Yes Yes
USB 2.0 Ports 8 12 8 10
PCI Masters 6 6 6 6
Audio High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia)

By default the Intel P35 Express chipset supports a single PCI Express x16 slot running at PCIe x16 mode for videocard. There are six PCI Express lanes associated with the ICH9R Southbridge. Between the Intel P35 Express Express Northbridge and ICH9R Southbridge is a dedicated 2GB/s I/O bus. Asus get around this by splitting the 16 PCI Express lanes for the primary videocard into two PCIe x8 paths.

The ICH9R supports six 3GB/s Serial ATA II channels (which support RAID modes 0, 1, 5 and 10) as well a 7.1 channel Intel Azalia high definition audio, 12 USB 2.0 ports in total (split between headers and the I/O slot), six PCI Express x1 lanes, and an integrated Intel Gigabit MAC that runs through the PCI Express bus specific to this chipset.

Three copper heatpipes connect the chipset and MOSFET thermal solutions together. In places, risers are used so you can reach the 8-pin EPS power connector.

Noticeably lacking from the chipset is parallel IDE support. In this case, MSI rely upon a stand alone IDE controller. Without this there would be no way to hook up a DVD-ROM or similar legacy IDE optical drive. Luckily most manufacturers are installing IDE controllers onto the motherboards so you can use older drives. If not, time for you to buy a new SATA DVD burner .

The MSI P35 Platinum Combo motherboard photo gallery is next, then overclocking.

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Contents of Article: MSI Computer P35 Platinum Combo
 Pg 1.  MSI P35 Platinum Combo Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Intel P35 Express and ICH9 Chipsets
 Pg 3.  MSI P35 Platinum Combo Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  Overclocking, BIOS and Test Specs
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark06, Quake 4, FEAR
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSmark 2007
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 9.  Conclusions: A good dual-memory motherboard

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