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MSI K9N SLI Diamond Motherboard MSI K9N Diamond Motherboard: We spend some time with MSI's flagship nForce 590 SLI based motherboard. Armed to the grill with features, does the board bring it where it counts most?
Date: November 15, 2006
Written By:

Test Setup

Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
Memory: 2048MB RAM
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT
Driver Version: 6.14.0010.9131

Comparison Motherboards: Foxconn 590 SLI, MSI 570 SLI


Going up against the MSI K9N Diamond Motherboard will be two nForce based motherboards in the form of the Foxconn 590 SLI and the MSI K9N SLI Platinum. The setups all share similar peripheral components, using the latest BIOS and drivers at the time of testing.

Test Software is as follows:

- Our standard synthetic suite gets an upgrade. We like to use Sandra (System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) to collect some numbers as a base. The numbers collected are consistent and are easily comparable between systems during tests.

- A good indicator of CPU/Motherboard performance is version 4.2, by Xavier Gourdon. We used a computation of 10000000 digits of Pi, Chudnovsky method, 1024 K FFT, and no disk memory. Note that lower scores are better, and times are in seconds.

- CDex v170b2 was used to convert a 440.5MB Wav file to a 320kbs MP3. Times are in minutes:seconds, and lower is better.

- We used an Animatrix file, titled , and a WAV created from VirtualDub. The movie was then converted it into a DVD compliant MPEG-2 file with a bitrate of 5000. Times are in minutes:seconds, and lower is better.

DVD Shrink - We ripped the War of the Worlds bonus feature off the disk at 100% and compressed the file from the hard drive to 70%. Times are in minutes:seconds, and lower is better.

- Photoshop is perhaps the defacto standard when it comes to photo editing tools. Given that it is so popular, we incorporated DriverHeaven's latest test into our review process. Lower scores are better, and times are in seconds.

- We run the full suite of tests offered by 3DMark06 at 640x480 and collect the total 3DMark score and CPU score.

Doom 3, Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 2004 @ 640x480, HQ Settings - While higher resolutions tax the video card, lower resolutions rely on CPU and subsystem speed. Higher scores are better.

All benchmarks will be run a total of three times with the average scores being displayed. Any system tweaks and ram timings were configured to the best possible for each platform.

SiSoft Sandra 2007 CPU

SiSoft Sandra 2007 MMX

SiSoft Sandra 2007 Memory

All three boards are within percentage points of one another, with none holding a clear and distinct edge.


Both MSI boards are over 2 seconds faster than the Foxconn. Despite the "mainstream" chipset, the K9N Platinum does very well against the K9N Diamond.


The K9N Diamond is the fastest board in this test, beating Foxconn by one second and the MSI 570 SLI by 3 seconds.


Another close race between the two MSI boards. The Diamond leads the way by one second over the second place Platinum.


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