MSI X58 Platinum ReviewZertz - March 1, 2009
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Just a few months ago, Intel presented to the world the fastest processor it had ever designed. Core i7 is, without a doubt, the leader in terms of pure performance, although it's a bit on the expensive side. As you probably know, it comes in a new and much larger socket, with 1366 pins this time, which is 571 more than what we got used to from Intel since the not so glorious Pentium 4. Obviously, this means we need a new platform to run those four cores and eight threads. The new motherboards are identical in terms of platform used since there is only one to choose from at the moment, which is the combination of the X58 and ICH10 or ICH10R chipsets. With the memory controller integrated on the processor, there shouldn't be much difference between every motherboard and it will be interesting to see what manufacturers will come up with to impress the consumer. Features, board layout, power regulation, looks and, of course, overclocking will be even more important than ever before.
The MSI X58 Platinum is one of the least expensive boards to support the latest Intel Core i7 processors, but with a price tag of $230 it can hardly be called an entry level board. Fortunately, it has features to back this price up, including CrossFire, on-board power, reset and clear CMOS buttons, but lacks SLI. MSI surely and rightfully does not market it as an entry board but more like a gaming board. On paper, it looks like it has what it takes to hang out with the big boys out there. Hopefully the numbers will prove me right.
The MSI X58 Platinum packaging has a pretty good looking design with the model clearly displayed and some of the main features listed on the bottom left. Those include MSI's DrMOS technology, which is compromised of GreenPower, XpressCool and RapidBoost. On the back of this same box there is a ton of information about the board, I'd even dare to say there might be too much stuff. It shows off the main features with those famous charts saying it will double the performance and cut temperature by half. All of this is basically a cover to the white box housing the motherboard and its accessories. Finally, just in case you'd want to travel with your motherboard's box, there is a nifty handle that will make your life easier.
Opening that box reveals a rather generous amount of accessories, on par with what we have come to expect from a motherboard in this price range. All of it is packed up to fit tight so there isn't more room for anything to move. Under this thick layer of various cables and manuals is hidden the board itself. It comes in an anti static bag and a layer of foam at the bottom of the box to keep it safe from damage.
Let's take a closer look at what exactly is included with the MSI X58 Platinum.