MSI K9A2 Platinum

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Jims45wow

Ola.  I happily use a k9a2 Platinum. Thanks.

Prob. 1:  Been virtually impossible to find for some time.

Prob. 2:  New chipsets are out.

Prob. 3.  No indepth analysis of what's really good with new chipsets, and which combo of features pays off.

Prob. 4.  No update of 'Best of the Best' for this and a several other categories.

Prob. 5.  When you finally do update, prices will increase and items will be harder to get! Ha.

 Thanks.

Jim

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jhtalisman

Maybe you could do a bit more knowledgable search in regards to flashing the bios on this board, it's no sweat either via floppy or USB drive. The instructions for flashing via floppy are on their website, or did you not bother reading them?

One of the MSI forum moderators even created a noob level tool for flashing using a USB drive. If the editors and reviewers can't find and/or figure it out then you shouldn't wonder why I don't bother buying your magazine.

And I own and love this board, had minimal problems with it, only with a few mediocre BIOS updates that made things worse instead of better.  The 1.6 and the beta 1.74 work flawlessly however.

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cfmwarren

 

I have a Asus M2N-SLI mobo which is crap for overclocking and is a barebones board. Can anyone recommend a good SLI ready AM2 board? between 100-200$ if possible.

 

Thanks

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Caboose

 Looks like I made the right choice in my purchase. It was a tossup for me between the Asus and the MSI, and from your benchmarks, it looks like I picked right! One of the nice features, is the extra heatpipes and fins for RAM cooling. It's an optinal add-in, and so far I can't really tell a temperature difference, but it is nice to have and should help in the long run

 The only thing with the RAM heatpipes are that they need to be installed BEFORE you install the CPU, it only helps cool 2 out of 4 sticks of RAM, and I've found that so far, the sides that are supposed to attach to the RAM don't fit snugly and more pressure is applied to the top. It'd be nicer if the screws to tighten the paddles (that's what I'm gonna call'em from now on) were in the middle to apply more even pressure to the RAM. Another thing that'd be nice, is if it was somehow possible to cool all 4 sticks, but with the limited space between sticks of RAM, that doesn't look to be possible.

Once the RAM heatpipes are installed, you can easily install the CPU and Heatsink/FAN, but with the size of the heat-fins (what else could they be called) surrounding the CPU, it makes aftermarket CPU coolers difficult to use (I've wanted to use the Zalman CNPS9700 NT Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler, or the Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler) as a lot of them are much larger than a stock heatsink/fan so they'll hit the heat-fins. But that's something that I can forgive Asus for.

 

 There are plenty of Fan power headers on the motherboard for a system that has a lot of fans, however the CPU heatsink fan power header is somewhat poorly placed. Having it sit right next to the RAM slots makes it difficult to get access to once the RAM cooling accessory is installed, but not impossible.

Lack of PCI-E 1x isn't a big deal as not many expansion cards support PCI-E 1x. Thankfully I have a Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Gamer soundcard, and it's a PCI interface (Thanks Maximum PC. It's a freaking amazing soundcard).

One thing that some may notice, is the 8-pin 12v header located in the top left corner of the board. When you take the board out of the box, 4-pins are covered, indicating that the motherboard CAN run with a 4-pin 12v power cable, or 8-pin. And the inclusion of WiFi (802.11g) is a nice touch, means that you now have the option of wireless networking while keeping all your expansion slots open.

A single eSATA connection, along with 6 USB 2.0 ports, a single Gigabit ethernet port, 1 Keyboard PS/2 connection, no serial or parallel ports, as well as 7.1 onboard audio with a fiber optic and a coax SPDI/F connection and a singlefirewire port are al available on the back pannel leave users with plenty of connections. The 6 USB 2.0 connections, are nice.

 All in all, I'm really pleased with this motherboard. I can't wait till I can get a nice 1200w PSU (yes, I am insane) and get 2 or 3 ATI Radeon 4870 PCI-E video cards! Then I'll have a smokin' rig! Oh, and I'll need some DDR2-1066 RAM. How much of a performance difference does DDR2-1066 make compared to DDR2-800? Is it going to be THAT noticable? I run Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit and am a gamer, so I'm wondering if I should upgrade to 1066 RAM. Sorry this post turned into a mini-review of the Asus M3A-32 MVP Delux Wifi motherboard, I'm just THAT happy with it.

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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