MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum won Enthusiast's Choice award from

Latest Update: Fri, 24 Sep 2004

When someone mentions NVIDIA, you instantly think
"technology gold medalist." They started with only one event, video cards, and held the gold for era after era.

This time, MSI K8N Neo2 supports the Socket 939. September's VIA version of the 939 performed beautifully.
Although aesthetics shouldn't be a big scoring factor, we do give it some weight. K8N Neo2 Platinum has an exquisite black, standing out more than ASUS's traditional somber yellow.

Putting aside the colors makes you pay more attention to the nForce3's unorthodox placement of the CPU. This practice isn't new to just the 250 versions, but has been a common signature of the nForce3 chipset. Most online enthusiasts adore the CPU and memory in this layout because it prevents the memory from interfering with large AGP video cards.

While the rest of the layout proves to be good. K8N places all of its power connections around the edges of the board; that way, power cables don't need to run near the CPU heatsink.

Already impressed with VIA's K8T800 Pro chipset, we didn't expect much performance gain from the nForce3, but we were wrong. The nForce3 beat out VIA's chipset in all aspects of performance and overclocking. Benchmarks like
PCMark04 and Sandra's CPU benchmarks showed higher scores across the board. The K8N even demonstrated that overclocking was possible and quite beneficial.

Before kicking this board into overdrive, I noticed that the CPU ran a little bit warmer on the nForce3 than the VIA.
However, this may not be a deciding factor. Remember, some people are willing to sacrifice some speed for a quieter
system. If you're one of these people, you can't ignore the VIA chipset. Like the Decathlon in the Olympics, motherboards must be proficient in many areas to win the overall event. K8N Neo2 proved it possesses the qualities of a gold medalist: laden with features, overclock-friendly, and a solid performer. It's no wonder this board came out with the gold.


Hits: Fastest 939 we've tested; overclockable; looks great


































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