MSI X58 Platinum Motherboard

Board Layout & Appearence

Board layout & Appearance

MSI motherboard's of old have been a kaleidoscope of colours with pink ram slots being the bugbear of fashion freaks everywhere. This time around, although there is a splash of colour here and there the theme is a lot more co-ordinated, with blue, black and white slots now dominating the black PCB. The rear of the board has a holding backplate for the CPU socket area which may prove troublesome for those wishing to use a CPU cooler backplate.

Mainboard Front Mainboard Back
 
The CPU socket area itself is relatively uncluttered with the Mosfets situated to the left of the socket. Notable by their absence are the uppermost Mosfets. This is due to the ingenious DrMOS which is an integrated Driver-Mosfet allowing a 30% reduction in power and increasing efficiency to a reported 93.1%. Impressive figures which we will be keen to see if it actually makes a difference in the power consumption test later in the review.

CPU Socket Area Mosfet Area
 
The 2-Phase, Triple channel DDR3 slots utilise APS technology, again to improve power efficiency and raise the voltage adjustment table levels up to 128 levels. The slots however only officially support ram up to 1333mhz and 24GB in total so it will be interesting if this can be pushed higher as our test rig ram kit is 1600mhz. Thankfully MSI have finally done away with the wretched pink ram slots and replaced them with royal blue. While this wont affect performance it is easier on the eye and ties in much better with the overall theme of the board.

The PCI area is well laid out from top to bottom: PCIe x1, PCIe x16, PCIe x1 (x2), PCIe x16 and PCI (x2). With plenty of space between the two PCIe x16 slots Crossfire should not present a problem even with dual slot cards. SLI however would be a problem on this board, as at the time of writing, this version of the Platinum does not support SLI. Unfortunately, you will need to spend a little more cash to get the SLI version if you favour the NVidia camp.

DDR3 PCI area
 
The bottom of the motherboard is where most of the goodies are. To the right of the board are the quick 'M connectors' allowing easy connectiion of those pesky motherboard headers. Further along we see two USB headers and a Firewire header. Nestled between are the tools we're most interested in. The Power and Reset buttons are straightforward enough and while very welcome are now commonplace among high-end motherboards. The traditional dip-switches though are a throwback to yesteryear when the only way of overclocking a motherboard was by said switches. If they perform as well as they did on the recent AMD board we tested then I will be impressed.
 
Quick connectors Switches
 
To the right of the motherboard we see the 6 SATA ports which are conveniently positioned at 90 degrees so they will not interfere with the uppermost PCIe slot they are inline with. For whatever reason MSI have seen fit to stick with purple sockets and it gets worse - a yellow IDE slot sits just below them. This clash of colour is puke-worthy and needs addressing as it destroys the overall look of the motherboard. To the left of the IDE slot we see an extra two SATA slots.

The I/O area thankfully is much cleaner in appearance and with 8x USB ports, 2x LAN ports, 1x Firewire, 6x 3.5mm jacks and 1x S/PDIF optical port even the most discerning enthusiast will be satisfied. But thats not all, also situated conveniently on the I/O backplate is a CMOS clear switch which will be a godsend for those who intend on pushing this board beyond the boundaries it was designed for.

Storage I/O Area
 
Both the Northbridge and Southbridge heatsinks are modest in appearance thanks to the Northbridge no longer having to deal with the memory controller. With copper used throughout and both heatsinks being connected via dual heatpipes, cooling should not be an issue. Incidentally, MSI claim an average temperature of around the 45 degree centigrade mark.
 
Northbridge Southbridge
 
Removing the chipset coolers was a little tiresome due to the 'cement like' thermal interface material MSI insist on using. If you intend on removing the heatsink yourself I would advise on loosening the TIMs grip by heating the sinks up a little beforehand.

Metal Naked Dr
 
Here we see the X58 core and ICH10r controller in all their nakedness. The mounts, despite the push pin design on the heatsinks were quite good and while I am not a fan of push-pin designs they do seem to have done the job right this time around.
 
NB ICH10R


Enough of the pretty pictures, let's fire this baby up and head straight for the BIOS...
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Most Recent Comments

22-12-2008, 06:03:44

PV5150
X58; Crossfire; Core i7; triple channel DDR3 and overclocking dip switches... Drooling yet? You should be as we sample MSI's X58 Platinum in our first, in depth X58 review. (Review by webbo)



Read the review here

22-12-2008, 14:03:06

monkey7
Very good review, was a good read

1.44V for 3.85gHz Now I'm even more proud of my UD5 doing 3.7@1.35 Did you adjust the VTT voltage too? It's just as important as vCore.

22-12-2008, 15:28:53

Rastalovich
Great review. Think they're still crazy priced tho.

Hopefully they see some sense l8r in the 09.

Don't have much exerience with MSI mobos, but I am surprized there's no SLI.

22-12-2008, 17:28:48

Bungral
Quality review as always Rich. Bit miffed at lack of SLI seeing as it's such a massive selling point. Puts it at an instant disadvantage. Ah well.

23-12-2008, 05:56:36

fruityness
Couple of features I picked up on which I thought were great; the first being the right angled sata plugs.. Such a simple thing! But would make tidy cabling easy - it's just impossible to make the sata cableslook neat if they are sicking up out of the mobo.The other was the bios save feature, thats pretty cool! And a great feature, being able to swop from "warp speed overclock" to "mr easy going day to day" at the press of a button.. 10/10 for that one.

240 though? Too much I think.. Needs to come with the kitchen sink at that price, and it doesnt.

A fine review.

23-12-2008, 07:46:32

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='monkey7'
Very good review, was a good read

1.44V for 3.85gHz Now I'm even more proud of my UD5 doing 3.7@1.35 Did you adjust the VTT voltage too? It's just as important as vCore.
I got 4.2ghz on the UD5 I'm currently testing. The MSI was a different beast all together .

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Great review. Think they're still crazy priced tho.

Hopefully they see some sense l8r in the 09.

Don't have much exerience with MSI mobos, but I am surprized there's no SLI.
Yeah, me too. The boards have to go to Nvidia for 'approval' after which SLI can be endorsed. I believe Nvidia are charging a fortune for this endorsement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
Quality review as always Rich. Bit miffed at lack of SLI seeing as it's such a massive selling point. Puts it at an instant disadvantage. Ah well.
Yup, I agree totally m8. It wouldn't be so much of an issue if the board were priced much lower to compensate but at present it is not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='fruityness'
Couple of features I picked up on which I thought were great; the first being the right angled sata plugs.. Such a simple thing! But would make tidy cabling easy - it's just impossible to make the sata cableslook neat if they are sicking up out of the mobo.The other was the bios save feature, thats pretty cool! And a great feature, being able to swop from "warp speed overclock" to "mr easy going day to day" at the press of a button.. 10/10 for that one.

240 though? Too much I think.. Needs to come with the kitchen sink at that price, and it doesnt.

A fine review.
Thanks for the feedback and I agree on all points.

23-12-2008, 07:53:53

WC Annihilus
There are actually two versions listed on MSI's website: one with SLI, one without. The SLI version still seems to be unavailable at the moment, and from what I recall it's still not known whether the current version could be converted with a BIOS flash or not

23-12-2008, 10:59:18

w3bbo
Iirc someone tried flashing a beta bios to the non sli version and got nothing but BSOD .

It will be nice if they do make it SLI capable tho.

23-12-2008, 11:13:46

WC Annihilus
I'm curious as to whether there's a difference built-in somewhere that did that. The two boards certainly look the same, though obviously that doesn't mean they are. Wouldn't hurt to perhaps ask them about that.

24-12-2008, 04:38:19

s3rv3r
The Mediocre

- Overclocking could be better


Sorry guys, but i disagree. I have this motheboard and i got these results:

My Maximum Bclk for enter in O.S. Windows Vista X64:

valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=469171 ( Thanks WC Annihilus, now is correct )

My usual clock for 24/7:

valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=469143

Same processor, motherboard and memory of the review.

Sorry for my bad english.

24-12-2008, 04:57:35

w3bbo
What voltages? Is it prime stable?

Nice clocks regardless.

24-12-2008, 05:01:01

s3rv3r
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='webbo'
What voltages? Is it prime stable?

Nice clocks regardless.
No no, ehehhee the maximum Bclk, I just set and turn on. hehehee

And the 4GHz I didn`t test with prime95, i used the OCCT for 1 hour and got stable. But i think is stable enough for me play my games.

24-12-2008, 05:03:15

s3rv3r
Ow sorry the voltages:

Well for 4GHz I`m using:

CPU VOLTAGE +0.190 ( 1.39 )

QPI +0.180

MEMORY VOLTAGE 1.65

That's all

24-12-2008, 05:03:39

WC Annihilus
You posted 2 links to the same validation

24-12-2008, 05:07:13

s3rv3r
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='WC Annihilus'
You posted 2 links to the same validation
hahahahaa is true. let me see

valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=469171

See now. I think is correct. :sleep:

24-12-2008, 05:13:05

w3bbo
Is this using the latest BIOS? I might have to give that a go as there has been a new BIOS released since writing the review.

24-12-2008, 05:17:50

s3rv3r
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='webbo'
Is this using the latest BIOS? I might have to give that a go as there has been a new BIOS released since writing the review.
Well, I`m using the version 1.1V.

IOS Type AMI BIOS File Size 816KB

Version 1.1 Update Date 2008-11-12

But have the 1.2B ( beta )
Reply
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