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About a month ago, we took a good look at the Gigabyte GA-GI975X motherboard, boasting an elaborate cooling solution. More importantly, it was one of the first motherboards out in volume to feature Intel's 975X Express chipset. Although the chipset was more or less clandestinely launched, it marked Intel's official foray into the world of dual graphics technology and awarded Intel fans who have waited long and hard for such chipset support. For those requiring a little recap, the Intel 975X Express is a minor refresh of the enthusiast-level 955X Express chipset that enables configurable PCI Express lanes so that it can properly work in dual PCI Express x8 mode. However, since NVIDIA refuses to allow SLI operation on all but their own chipsets, this is good news for ATI fans as they now more or less have an exclusive chipset for the CrossFire platform with system performance that can be banked on.
Today, we'll have the opportunity to review another 975X Express based motherboard, this time around, it is MSI's 975X Platinum. Unlike Gigabyte's fancy approach, the 975X Platinum is a more down to earth motherboard. While you may not notice much of a difference up from its predecessor (MSI 955X Platinum), there is enough cause to get excited about. Before we begin though, note that the board we received from MSI looked like a retail PCB. However, it was still running on a beta BIOS revision. The board also arrived in a bare box without any packaging, so the peripheral bundle listed below is based on information gleamed from MSI's website and may change in the retail box packaging.
MSI 975X Platinum bundled accessories:-
- 2 x SATA data cables
- 1 x SATA power converter cable (dual plugs)
- 1 x rounded 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
- 1 x rounded floppy drive data cable
- IEEE 1394a (2 ports) bracket
- USB 2.0 (2 ports) and MSI D-Bracket 2
- I/O shield
- Driver CD
- Quick user's guide
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