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MSI K9N SLI Platinum nForce 570 Review - Page 4 of 7

INITIAL USAGE REPORT

While installation was a snap, the board was NOT problem free from the start. To begin with, upon first powering up the system, it refused to post. I had to reset the CMOS and thankfully that fixed the problem (and thanks to that handy button this was an almost painless process). Then, the RAM was recognized at 533MHz with 5-5-5-15 timings at a 2T command rate, instead of the advertised 800MHz 4-4-3-8 1T timings. Thankfully again, adjusting the RAM was rather painless, but it was here that I discovered the board is crippled in terms of overclocking the RAM. The only options are from a list of 400MHz, 533MHz 667MHz and 800MHz. There is nowhere to increment beyond those settings. So if you've bought 800MHz RAM in the hopes of trying to break 1GHz, this is not the board to try it out on.

That being said, sticks of 400MHz, 533MHz and 667MHz RAM would be fantastic candidates for overclocking. If you are on a tight budget and can't afford DDR2/800 RAM, get some cheaper stuff and crank it up to 800MHz.

Super Talent T800UX2GC4 DDR2/800 (Front and Back)
Front and back of T800UX2GC4

Heat. That was one of the things that kept coming up in the NewEgg reviews. As menionted previously, the board has a passively cooled Northbridge just like ASUS and other board manufacturers; but, unlike ASUS and other board manufacturers that used the large copper heat pipe to manage the insane temperatures put off by the Northbridge, MSI opted to use a smaller seemingly aluminum-based heatsink.

And it does get hot. I left the machine on for a few hours to make sure it was nice and warm. After turning it off, unplugging the power and grounding myself to discharge any built up static, I touched the Northbridge. It was hot. Luckily though, I was able to run Prime95 for almost 26 hours with no problems whatsoever. The RAM passed just fine at its rated speeds and there were no issues due to the extreme heat of the Northbridge, as so many of the NewEgg reviews claimed there would be.

Prime95
prime95

Next Page: BIOS and Overclocking

 

Last Updated on September 17, 2006


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