MSI X58 Platinum Motherboard
As we have seen from the previous review of the P6T Deluxe, X58 has brought with it performance enhancements that while not on the scale of Pentium IV to Core2 are worthwhile nonetheless - especially where memory bandwidth is concerned. SLI support on some X58 boards is another major plus and this is where the Platinum falls down by not supporting SLI. While this may not be an issue for lovers of ATI or indeed users who do not intend to use a dual-card format the price should be such that it reflects this omission.
Sadly, the MSI Platinum is no cheaper than the standard P6T Deluxe which supports both Crossfire and SLI. Not only that but the Asus also supports SAS should you require this feature, whereas the MSI makes do with an extra pair of SATA ports. With the Asus motherboard also overclocking better than the MSI it becomes clear which board offers the best bang per buck.
At stock, both motherboards performed pretty much equally across the range of benchmarks that we ran today but the difference being that the Asus motherboard ran perfectly straight out of the box. This review was due to be our first review on X58 but sadly the shipping BIOS had issues with the memory divider and hence the review was delayed. MSI did however, quickly release a BIOS that sorted the issue which is a plus for the support MSI have to offer. Hopefully future BIOS revisions will also enhance the overclocking ability of the motherboard, but for now it's nudged into second place by the Asus P6T Deluxe.
If you don't mind the non-SLI support and are not looking for extreme overclocking then there can be no doubting the MSI is a solid, feature packed performer that will serve any enthusiast well. If you desire SLI then MSI do provide an SLI Edition motherboard as well as the range topping Eclipse, but at a premium in price. Credit should also be given to MSI for finally listening to consumers regarding the pink ram slots, but the SATA and IDE ports still look to have been stolen from the LGA775's parts bin which cheapens the overall look of the product.
I can't help feeling that at £235 MSI are asking consumers to make one too many compromises which may be off-putting for some and potentially limit the sales of the motherboard. Giving credit where credit is due, the MSI X58 Platinum is a very good board in its own right and is perfect for the user who is not looking for SLI or extreme overclocks. If these issues concern you then the P6T deluxe is perhaps the better buy, if not, then the MSI Platinum X58 is certainly worthy of consideration.
- No more Pink DDR slots!
- On board switches
- Overclocking could be better
- BIOS recovery (3 boots)
- No SLI
Thanks to MSI for providing the motherboard used in todays review. Please discuss in our forums.