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MSI P7N Diamond Review

ccokeman    -   May 18, 2008
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Testing:

MSI's P7N Diamond will be put through our benchmarking suite to see what kind of performance the motherboard delivers. The OverclockersClub series of benchmarks includes system tests and gaming benchmarks to verify the performance of this product. I will be comparing the performance of the Diamond against the Asus Striker II, the Abit IX38 Quad GT, the Asus Maximus Formula, and the Foxconn MARS. The tests will compare performance against one P35, one 780i SLI, and two X38 chipsets, to see if the MSI 780i SLI chipset can outperform the Intel built solutions. Testing will be a direct comparison of our stock speed benchmarking; all clock speeds and memory timings will be as close as possible to offer a fair comparison on each of the boards. All motherboard and video card settings were left at setup defaults, again to eliminate any variables.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Motherboards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Q6600 391x9
  • Sytem Memory: Mushkin XP2 8000 Redline 5-5-5-12

With the positive results I achieved with on the last 780i board I tested still fresh in my mind, I was looking forward to pushing the MSI P7N Diamond to the absolute limit. Unfortunately, the limit came rather quickly. I tried using the official BIOS and two of the available beta releases, and found that my overclocking efforts were severely hampered by an inability to lower the multiplier on my Q6600 processor. In fact, this same CPU has achieved rock-solid stability with its FSB set at 491MHz - but on the MSI P7N Diamond, stability stopped at 391MHz. The 780i boards are tough nuts to crack, but this one was just too tough, and did not produce much fruit for my labor. After spending a week trying to gain some semblance of stability, I found it at 391 x 9. Voltages up and down the spectrum were adjusted, and I even tried leaving them set to Auto just for kicks. Did the board overclock? Sure it did, but not to the extent I am used to seeing. It may be that a more mature BIOS is the key to unlocking all of the potential of the P7N Diamond.

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. SPECviewperf 10
  4. PCMark Vantage Professional
  5. Sandra XII
  6. ScienceMark 2.02 Final
  7. CineBench 10
  8. HD Tune 2.54
  • Video:
  1. Crysis
  2. Knights of the Sea
  3. BioShock
  4. Call of Duty 4
  5. World in Conflict
  6. Call of Juarez
  7. 3DMark06 Professional

 




  1. Introduction & Closer look
  2. Closer Look (Bundled Accessories)
  3. Closer (The Motherboard)
  4. Closer Look (The Bios)
  5. Closer Look (The Bios Continued)
  6. Configuration ( Drivers & Programs)
  7. Specifications & Features
  8. Testing (Setup, Overclocking)
  9. Testing (Apophysis & WinRAR)
  10. Testing (SPECview, PCMark Vantage)
  11. Testing (Sandra XII Professional)
  12. Testing (ScienceMark, CineBench 10, HD Tune)
  13. Testing: Crysis
  14. Testing: Knights of the Sea
  15. Testing: BioShock
  16. Testing: Call of Duty 4
  17. Testing: World In Conflict
  18. Testing: Call of Juarez
  19. Testing: Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts
  20. Testing: 3DMark06 Professional
  21. Conclusion
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