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Usually, when new or highly anticipated core logic chipsets are announced, motherboard manufacturers jump at the chance to release new feature products and ride the hype. However, the take up for NVIDIA's highly touted nForce 680i SLI hasn't seen the same level on enthusiasm. Mostly, this is due to its exorbitant pricing and we've noticed that the top end manufacturers have all taken their time in order to release a truly unique flagship product instead of cookie cutter reference designs.
ASUS played to the hearts of gamers with the Striker Extreme and Gigabyte went all out with the over-engineered GA-N680SLI-DQ6, which remains to date as the only motherboard to feature a quad Gigabit LAN solution. MSI announced that their top end P6N Diamond would be the first board to feature a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi audio solution onboard, which generated quite a buzz among the gaming community. This was back in November 2006. With release dates pushed back time and again, most people only saw the first glimpse of the board at CeBIT this year.
The MSI P6N Diamond is finally here today, but with Intel's launch of their 3-Series chipset and their push towards DDR3 memory, MSI is seriously late to market their nForce 680i SLI solution. However, after getting to play with a production P6N Diamond, we have to say that it is still well worth the wait.
The MSI P6N Diamond comes with the following peripheral bundle:-
- 6 x SATA data cables
- 3 x SATA power converter cable
- 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
- 1 x floppy drive data cable
- MSI D-Bracket 2 (2 x USB 2.0 ports)
- FireWire Bracket (1 x FireWire port)
- SLI bridge
- I/O shield
- Driver CDs
- User's guide
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