MSI DKA790GX Platinum
Packaging and Appearance
The front of the box sleeve is almost a mirror image of its Intel brother, the P45 Platinum, using the same alien figure. This however, is an attractive design if you like that sort of thing and while I am not a big fan of gimmick images, I do realise that the box has to appeal to the larger market so I can forgive MSI for that. The embossed lettering advertises the contents, which stand out on the matte black packaging. If the figure didn't already suggest as much, then the emblem to the bottom right tells us that this motherboard is from MSIs gaming series. Being ATI compatible and having on board HD3300 graphics is yet another hint to the motherboards capabilities along with MSI being keen to point out that the DKA790GX is 140W CPU ready.
The rear of the package goes into greater details regarding the motherboards features which among others include GreenPower, XpressCool, RapidBoost and Hybrd CrossfireX.
MSI never disappoint on the accessory front and the DKA790GX is no different in this respect. The included parts list is very thorough with 2 installation guides, motherboard manual, USB PCI bracket, 2x Crossfire ribbons, SATA power, floppy and IDE cables, driver disks and 4x SATA data cables completing the bundle. Disappointingly there was no HDMI adaptor but that is perhaps the only item you could miss in what is otherwise a complete accessory list.
MSI have never been a manufacturer to utilise discrete colours and the DKA790GX is no different. The black PCB is perhaps the MSIs saving grace in that there doesn't appear to be any specific theme followed with a vivid display of colours utilised throughout. The most striking thing about the board though is the Northbridge heatsink which interconnects to the Southbridge via dual copper heatpipes. The Mosfet cooler is a stand alone affair emblazoned with the DrMOS logo. The rear of the board is as clear as it is dark with nothing extraordinary worth mentioning.
The CPU socket is relatively clear and looks very neat and tidy thanks to the power regulators being situated all along the left hand side of the CPU socket. Solid caps and ferrite core chokes are the order of the day here so longevity shouldn't be a problem. I was a little concerned regarding the proximity of the DIMM slots and this concern had foundation because if you intend to use an over sized cooler along with memory which has heatsinks, you might struggle to get them to fit in the left most slot. Normal sized heatsinks should not be a problem but it will certainly be worthwhile doing a mock installation before screwing everything in place.
The MSI still makes use of the ATX 12v 4-pin plug rather than adapting itself to the newer 8-pin standard. Proof that the AMD boards have yet to require the extra power needed on Intel motherboards.