MSI 975X Platinum V.2 PowerUp Ed. - Up Close and Board Features

Article Index
MSI 975X Platinum V.2 PowerUp Ed.
Up Close and Board Features
975X Platinum BIOS Screenshots
Test Setup and Initial Testing
Overclocking and Software Applications
Synthetic Benchmarks - SiSoft and More
Real-World Apps and More
Game Tests and Conclusion

Up Close:

MSI certainly puts a lot more effort into the appearance of their Platinum series motherboards than their Neo series.  This board looks good, has decent cooling and a good layout.  Click on any of the image below for full-sized pictures.

MSI 975X Platinum - Back I/O
 MSI 975X Platinum - Back I/O

MSI 975X Platinum - Chipset Cooling
 MSI 975X Platinum - Chipset Cooling

RAM, Power & IDE
 RAM, Power & IDE

     

Auxilary 8-pin Power
 Auxiliary 8-pin Power

MSI 975X Platinum - Crossfire!
 MSI 975X Platinum - Crossfire!

MSI 975X Platinum - 5x SATA
 MSI 975X Platinum - 5x SATA

As you can see, the layout is pretty good.  There is enough room around the CPU socket to fit larger aftermarket coolers.  The main power connector is kept out of the way beside the IDE connectors but the 8-pin auxiliary power connector is located between the Northbridge and the Rear I/O.  Not the handiest place, but not too bad.

A couple of features that make this board succeed are the Dual Core Cell feature as well as the JMicron controller that adds extra SATA and IDE to the mix.  Below are a couple pictures of the chips that bring us the goodness.

Dual Core Cell
 Dual Core Cell

JMicron SATA & IDE Controller
 JMicron SATA & IDE Controller

Before we jump into the BIOS, we'll take a look at the specs and features from MSI.


 

Features & Specs:

  • Based on Intel® 975X Express Chipset
  • Support LGA775 Intel Core™ 2 Processors
  • Support 1066/800/533 MHz FSB
  • Support DDR2-1066/800/667/533
  • 2 PCI Express x16& 2 PCI Express x1 slots
  • Support ATi CrossFire Technology
  • 4+1 SATA2 3Gb/s Support RAID
  • Support 7.1 Channel Dolby MS HD Audio
  • Support Intel® PRO Gigabit LAN
  • Communication Slot
  • Dual CoreCell on Board

Specifications 

  • CPU - Supports Socket 775 for Intel Core2 Extreme, Core2 Duo, Pentium 4 (Prescott, P4EE), Pentium D, Pentium XE/Celeron D processors in LGA 775 package
  • Supports FSB 533/800/1066 MHz
  • Supports Intel 05B/05A and 04B/04A processors
  • Supports EIST Technology
  • Supports Intel Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology
  • Supports Intel Dual Core Technology to 1066MHz and up
  • Support FSB 533 MHz, 800MHz & 1066MHz

  • Chipset - Intel® 975X Chipset
  • Supports FSB 533MHz, 800MHz & 1066MHz
  • Support Dual channel DDR2 533/667/800 memory interface up to 8GB
  • Support Dual PCI Express 16X interface with either 1x16 or 2x8 operation.

  • Intel® ICH7DH Chipset
  • Integrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0 controller, 480Mb/sec, 8 ports
  • 4 Serial ATAII ports w/ transfer rate up to 3Gb/s and support RAID (0,1, 0+1)
  • 1 channel Ultra ATA 100 bus Master IDE controller
  • PCI Master v 2.3, I/O ACPI 2.0 Compliant
  • Integrated AHCI controller

  • Main Memory
  • Supports 4 unbuffered DIMM of 1.8 Volt DDR2 SDRAM
  • Supports up to 8GB memory size
  • Support Dual Channel DDR2 533/677/800MHz and up
    Due to the High Performance Memory design, motherboards or system configurations may or may not operate smoothly at the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standard settings (BIOS Default on the motherboard) such as DDR2 voltage, memory speeds and memory timing. Please confirm and adjust your memory setting in the BIOS accordingly for better system stability.
    Example: Kingston HyperX DDR2-800 PC6400 operates at 2.0V, 4-4-4-12.
    For more information about specification of high performance memory modules, please check with your Memory Manufactures for more details.

  • Slots - Two PCI Express 16X slots (PCI Express Bus SPEC V1.0a compliant)(When running Cross-Fire technology, dual 16X slots run at dual 8X speed)
  • Two PCI Express 1X slot
  • Two PCI 2.3 32-bit Master PCI Bus slots. (support 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface)

  • On-Board IDE - One Ultra DMA 66/100 IDE controller integrated in ICH7DH and JMicron JMB361
  • Supports PIO, Bus Master operation modes
  • Can connect up to 2 Ultra ATA 100 drives on IDE1 & 2 Ultra ATA133 drives on IDE2 (powered by JMicron JMB361 controller)

  • Serial ATAII controller integrated in ICH7DH
  • Up to 300MB/s transfer speed
  • Can connect up to 4 Serial ATA II drives
  • Supports ACHI controller with SATAII RAID 0, 1, and 0+1
  • Supports SATAII hot plug

  • JMicron JMB361 chipset - Supports RAID 0, 1 and JBOD (onboard SATA5 & IDE2 connector)
  • Can connect up to 2 Ultra ATA 133 drives on IDE2 & 2 SATA drives on SATA5

  • On-Board Peripherals - 1 floppy port supports 1 FDD with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
  • 1 Serial port (COM A)
  • 1 parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
  • 8 USB 2.0 ports (Rear x 4/** Front x 4)(** Front USB ports are supported by pin-out)
  • 1 6-in-1 audio jack (S/SPDIF out)
  • 2 PS/2 connectors
  • 2 IEEE 1394 (Rear x 1/ **Front x 1) (** Front 1394 port supported by pin-out)
  • 1 LAN RJ45 connector

  • Audio - High Definition link controller integrated in Intel ICH7DH chip
  • Audio codec Realtek 882M
  • Compliance with Azalia 1.0 spec
  • Support Universal Audio Jack (only Front Audio Jack)

  • LAN - Intel PC82573 PCI-Express Gb LAN Controller

  • IEEE 1394 - VIA 6308P chipset
  • Supports up to two 1394 ports (Rear panel x1, front x1)
  • Transfer rate is up to 400Mbps

On the next page we'll take a look at the BIOS before we jump into testing.