MSI P7N SLI Platinum 750i based motherboard

Board layout and features

Board layout and features
 
MSI have done a decent job with the design of the P7N. The board's PCB is an enthusiast's favourite: black. There seems to be more of an abundance of colours than you would normally like to see on a board which gives it somewhat of a "Fisher Price" look, but at least it means that everything makes sense as far as matching board to components.
 
Everything is lined up at the edge of the board and there's nothing in the way of components that gets you annoyed. Notice also that there's a sensible amount of space between CPU and memory modules.
 
board 1  board layout 2
 
The cooler is a rather spangly affair on the board with several loops of heatpipes on the board and a chunk of copper-looking aluminium covering the PCI-e 2.0 chip that is installed on the board.  At first I thought this array of heatpipes was a little OTT, but after some use I can say that it does the job pretty well.
 
cpu area  cooler
  
As you can see, the CPU area does have a few caps around it, but these are low profile so most cooling solutions will be good to go around the socket. Certainly our test-bed Noctua NH-U12P was fine.
 
PCI area
 
The PCI area is generally well laid out, although the PCI-e 2.0 chip that MSI have used seems to use up a space that could have been used for a PCI or PCI-e x1 slot.
 
general io area 1  general io area 2
 
Here we see that MSI have thoughtfully provided 2 x fullsize IDE slots and an FDD IDE slot. Not a bad decision and one that will be welcomed by those wanting to use a couple of older drives, along with some IDE opticals.
 
RAM area  cpas and sata 90°
 
The RAM area is fairly far from the PCU as I stated earlier and the SATA ports are twisted 90°, something we are seeing more and more and certainly a welcome addition.
 
Another thing you may have noticed about this board is that every single capacitor is a high-quality Japanese solid state capacitor - this is a total plus for stability and longevity, props to MSI.
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Most Recent Comments

18-02-2008, 06:21:30

FarFarAway
Check out MSI's P7N, will it live up to expectations?

Link

18-02-2008, 06:28:41

JN
Nice review mate and a decent board to boot!

Now all that MSI need to do is remove Zippy, Bungle and George from the "board colour scheme" team, and they'll have a perfect board

Seriously tho...surprisingly decent OC results from an Nvidia chipset.

18-02-2008, 06:40:32

Luigi
Yes, i mean thats better than the 780i boards which are a 'better' chipset..

18-02-2008, 08:58:56

Bungral
That is some serious overclocking results.. I mean it beat the others by quite a chunk! Also the 0% CPU utilization was quite impressive.

18-02-2008, 09:16:08

Rastalovich
Great review.

I`m still feeling these 780 boards are `good` without being great.

Some excel with something in 1 area and lose something in another, all very minimally. But appear solid.

Like to see an SLI vS CF of the `best` of the 780i`s vS the `best` 35/38. From a gaming pov, be pretty interesting. All the same stuff cept the gfxcards, that perhaps are close as single cards maybe.

With the prices tho, I don`t think u can turn ur nose up at them.

18-02-2008, 09:19:01

ionicle
if they combined that boards performance and features with the DFi black and green colour scheme, you'd be onto a winner

performs sweet though

18-02-2008, 09:36:39

Ham
Dam good looking (oc wise...) board tbh. May invest in one for the bench rig.

18-02-2008, 09:39:54

Mullet
Very nice review Matt....bargain!!

18-02-2008, 09:43:05

Luigi
Absolutely...

Why not test 35/38 against 780i with the same gfx card (single) to keep things simple... i think i know which ill put my money on.

18-02-2008, 09:57:59

Ham
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
Absolutely...

Why not test 35/38 against 780i with the same gfx card (single) to keep things simple... i think i know which ill put my money on.
You mean exactly like what he's done on page 9?

Edit: And 10...

18-02-2008, 10:08:25

FarFarAway
Aye that's what I did

It's a great board with awesome overclocking, muchas surprising!

18-02-2008, 11:17:34

NickS
Wow, very surprising indeed. MSI loves to boast their boards on paper and break them on the bench table up until lately. Very pleased with them. Plus, a great review, Kempez

I take it I'm the only one who LIKES the boards looks & color scheme? Maybe because I'm used to my P35 Neo2-Fr's and it's the same scheme.

18-02-2008, 11:39:17

Luigi
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Great review.

I`m still feeling these 780 boards are `good` without being great.

Some excel with something in 1 area and lose something in another, all very minimally. But appear solid.

Like to see an SLI vS CF of the `best` of the 780i`s vS the `best` 35/38. From a gaming pov, be pretty interesting. All the same stuff cept the gfxcards, that perhaps are close as single cards maybe.

With the prices tho, I don`t think u can turn ur nose up at them.
I was refering to this...

18-02-2008, 11:54:59

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='NickS'
Wow, very surprising indeed. MSI loves to boast their boards on paper and break them on the bench table up until lately. Very pleased with them. Plus, a great review, Kempez
Yep I was impressed, especially at that cracking price!

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='NickS'
I take it I'm the only one who LIKES the boards looks & color scheme? Maybe because I'm used to my P35 Neo2-Fr's and it's the same scheme.
Pretty much lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
I was refering to this...
I would love to have time to set up a Crossfire VS SLI review but I am snowed in with more reviews than time to do them at the moment....and more pretty interesting and exciting ones waiting to be done.

CF vs SLI would be interesting although I don't have a lot of faith in either solution due to ongoing software and hardware quality/issues

25-02-2008, 15:45:07

Linson
http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/3766/testmc6.jpg

Specs:

MSI P7N SLI PLAT

Intel Q6600

8800GT

PSU

2x2GB 800

Problem is , it only detects 2cores... bios doesnt even have any option..... Any users got this problem?

Freshly installed XP and Vista.... both same

I think it this board is compatible but wont work with Q6600.....

25-02-2008, 19:44:19

NickS
Hey Kempez, when testing a quad, how much vDroop did you encounter?

26-02-2008, 04:37:22

FarFarAway
From what I recall it droops about 0.02v, but that's from memory

27-02-2008, 08:57:27

NickS
Dang that's not bad, at ALL.

28-02-2008, 15:48:46

mehdi19
Hi guys a have a few question about the board where you able to achieve that oce with 4gb of ram? does the thermalright ultra extreme fit on the board?

and does it support tri sli?

28-02-2008, 16:22:11

FarFarAway
No it was 2GB of RAM but that wouldn't matter as you can unlink it

I would expect the Thermalright to fit, yes

I do not believe it supports Tri SLI

28-02-2008, 17:19:12

mehdi19
Thank you for the response Kempez and nice review seems like a great board I

might get one with two 8800gt the second slot not being 16x wont hamper performance too much right? and was the oce you achieved stable for gaming?

28-02-2008, 17:56:11

FarFarAway
I'm not too sure about the second x16 slot as the 8 series have got to the point where I think they saturate 8x bandwidth

The OC was stable for 1 hour Prime95 on all four cores

06-03-2008, 20:49:15

Nebulous
Anyone tried to OC this with a 1333MHz FSB CPU yet? I'll be trying it with an E8400 next week.

07-03-2008, 09:07:40

Darksector88
Just ordered the board and a q6600 and will receive today. BUT there is a problem of which many have encountered. One is the fact that many people with q6600 can only see two cores with this board, will a bio's update fix that? Also I have read that this board has a mean "FSB HOLE" anything around 1333Mhz to 1400Mhz from what I know of, which will keep me from getting my overclock I want to achieve (3.6Ghz maybe a little higher if doable) . If anyone has encountered this hole or have had any q6600 problem's with this board please inform me because right now I am thinking of an RMA and I haven't even recieved it yet. After I get it and test it anything I learn I will try to inform any who are wandering.

By the way nice review, did each core check out at 3.8Ghz in CPU-z, because many ppl haven't been able to pass 1333MHz FSB. If so, how did you get it to work?

Thank You

07-03-2008, 13:23:02

FarFarAway
Yep I got all Core's there in CPU-Z Didn't find an FSB hole either.

I did tend to use the VTT voltage a fair bit as Quad's thrive on those volts

08-03-2008, 13:28:32

Darksector88
thank you, got my board it was DOA I believe, no post, checked all hardware and it all checks out (played with the q6600 for a while on a MSI P35 board 3.6ghz overclock was nice 5310 on 3dmark06 cpu score).

All I could go by was that the board would display a red led on the bottom and blue led right above it. Don't know what that means but no video display on the screen, video card checked out though. Any ideas

08-03-2008, 13:30:15

Luigi
Sorry, cant help you there

12-03-2008, 19:53:55

Icerider
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='mehdi19'
Hi guys a have a few question about the board where you able to achieve that oce with 4gb of ram? does the thermalright ultra extreme fit on the board?

and does it support tri sli?
Just got the board in from the egg. You will have to VERY carefully bend that curving top heatpipe about 1 or 2 cm toward the first pci slot to fit, it's not even enough that you notice but it does work with my TRUE with about 1 cm clearance after the bend. I do advise you pull the heatsink/heatpipe array off and replace the dope with some AC Ceramic. My southbridge wasn't making ANY contact (seems to be a very common problem on every manufacturers boards now days, not exactly a tough QC problem so go figure). On that note the heatsink seems pretty cheap so I may look at replacing the array with some other sinks. Couple of the Thermalright HR-05 SLI's on the north and south bridges, they're HR-09 type 3 on the mosfets, and a Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II on the 200 chip between the PCI-E's for some color But only if I can get it to clock better than my xfx 680i LT (I sure hope it does because right now the best I can get is 3.3g stable with a G0 stepped chip 1.25vid).

will let everyone know my results in a few days when I have time to play with it.

25-03-2008, 17:22:44

Rezzie
How did you manage to get the FSB to 470?

I have tried OCing my E8400, but the best I've managed is 3.6GHz stable using:

400MHz FSB (1600MHz in BIOS)

9x Multiplier

CPU @ 1.24V (+0.0350V in BIOS)

NB @ 1.32V (+ 2 steps in BIOS)

I'm getting CPU temp of 23-25 idle, 33 under load. Cores are between 33-39 under load.

I managed to raise FSB to 1667, giving 3.75GHz, which booted into Windows, but kept locking up fairly regularly. Temps were one degree higher.

Any advice? I have almost no experience overclocking, sorry - but I've heard the processor is capable of 4.4GHz+ :-)

25-03-2008, 17:41:15

FarFarAway
Try using the VTT voltage, upping that a bit helps

Can't remember the whole BIOS

25-03-2008, 17:45:43

Rezzie
Yeah, I wondered about that. It's default at the minute (1.2 I think?). What do you recommend I up it by, one or two steps in the BIOS? Or to a specific amount, say +0.1V etc?

Thanks for the quick reply (and fantastic review, big factor in me choosing the board)!

26-03-2008, 07:48:45

FarFarAway
Keep it on topic guys, those posts have been moved to a new thread in the overclocking section

26-03-2008, 07:52:34

mbinzu
Kempez could u tell me ur bios settings to get past 1333fsb, because my windows wont boot over that number, so i think maybe something needs being disabled or enabled in bios (p7n platinum q6600)

07-09-2008, 17:33:02

alexbebe
hi guys i have a question for u....

i bought this mobo and i wanted to buy an Cooler Master Sphere cooler ...but i do not know if will fit beacause of the zalman cooler onto the chipset ....

should i'll try another cooler like Cooler Master GeminII s?or the Sphere

i like a lot the Sphere but i do not know if will fit...thx

ps:sorry for my bad english

-------------------------------------------------------------

config:

case:antec nine hundred

power_s:780w sli ready

mobo:msi P7N SLI Platinum

cpu:intel q9450

mem:Mushkin quad pack 4x 2GB

gpu:leadtek 9800gtx+

hdd:2x500 seagate sata2
Reply
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