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MSI K8N Diamond (NVIDIA nForce4 SLI)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Saturday, 8th January, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Innovative Product Award)


Highlights Of The NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP

Just recently we published the MSI GeForce 6600 GT PCIe SLI Performance Review utilizing MSI's own NVIDIA nForce4 SLI motherboard to conduct all testing. We promised you readers that we would cover the motherboard in complete detail in a forthcoming article and that brings us to today’s review of the MSI K8N Diamond.

The MSI K8N Diamond box packaging hints of its exclusiveness.

It is one of two motherboard variants from MSI that is based on the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Media Communications Processor (MCP), which gives owners a unique performance upgrade path and the chance to experience tomorrow’s graphics card performance today. The nForce4 SLI MCP supports a host of other advanced features which are summarized as follows:-


  • First motherboard chipset to natively support 10 USB 2.0 ports.
  • The only consumer chipset to support cross-controller RAID (i.e. a RAID array can consist of both PATA and SATA hard drives).
  • First motherboard chipset to natively support SATA II with a dual controller architecture providing 3Gb/s bandwidth to each drive.
  • Built-in Gigabit Ethernet MAC with advanced networking features to offload CPU utilization.
  • NVIDIA Firewall technology - True hardware-based firewall.
  • NVIDIA ActiveArmor – A dedicated hardware engine that offloads the CPU from intensive firewall and network processing. Works hand-in-hand with NVIDIA Firewall technology.
  • Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology.


    One glance at these features and it should be apparent that the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP is no ordinary motherboard chipset, but one that is squarely aimed at the elite enthusiasts who would stop at nothing to own the best technology there is in the market. Considering that the title for the highest performing CPU in gaming is currently held by the AMD Athlon 64 series, the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP is a perfect compliment to it. For those who have no plans to invest on an expensive SLI setup, motherboards based on the NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra MCP are your ideal choice while maintaining the other above features.

    Back to the MSI K8N Diamond, it has a few nice touches of its own to give it a unique appeal, which we will be sharing with you over the next few pages.

    The plan view of the MSI K8N Diamond motherboard.

    This motherboard package ships with the following contents:-

  • MSI K8N Diamond motherboard
  • SLI high-speed digital link interface bridge connector
  • Dual Net PCI card with WLAN and Bluetooth
  • 4x SATA data cables
  • 2x SATA Y-power cables
  • MSI D-Bracket
  • IEEE1394 (Firewire) bracket
  • 1x Rounded IDE cable
  • 1x Standard IDE cable
  • 1x Standard Floppy cable
  • MSI K8N Diamond Motherboard Manual
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