MSI K9N Platinum nForce 570 Ultra - Board Layout - Up Close

Article Index
MSI K9N Platinum nForce 570 Ultra
Board Layout - Up Close
A Pretty Standard BIOS
Test Setup, Network Performance and More
Applications Benchmarks
Application Benchmarks - Continued...
Game Performance and Benchmarking

Layout - Up Close:

MSI has done a pretty decent job with this board layout.  MSI has used passive cooling on the nForce 570 Ultra chipset.  This is a great little chipset that supports a multitude of features and runs much cooler than previous nForce 4 chipsets.  Click any of the thumbnails below for a closer look at this board's layout.

CPU, RAM & Power Layout
 CPU, RAM & Power Layout

Expansion Slots
 Expansion Slots

   

BIOS, SATA & More
 BIOS, SATA & More

Mosfet Cooling
Mosfet Cooling

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the board layout.  There is enough room around the CPU socket for many, if not any aftermarket coolers, and the mosfet area is cooled by a stout looking passive HSF.  The DIMM slots are located high enough that memory installation is possible with a long PCIe graphics card in the top slot.  I applaud the double space between the two long PCIe slots.  I said two long - not two 16x or two 8x slots.  In fact the top PCIe is 16x and the yellow one is only a 1x slot.  They both support 16x graphics, but only one of them will run at 16x and SLI is obviously not supported.

The six SATA ports are located high enough off the bottom of the board that they remain accessible once this board is installed in a case.  They are positioned to the outside edge and between the graphics slots so that even if a couple of large cards are installed, you still will be able to plug in another drive without removing a card.

A couple of issues I have with the layout are the scattered position of the power connectors.  Most power supplies have the main 24-pin and auxiliary 4-pin connector strapped together and it makes sense to put both of these power connectors together on the motherboard.  MSI has chosen to position the 24-pin connector so it gets in the way of your sole IDE cable.  The 4 pin connector is located right next to the CPU socket and could be difficult to plug in when a large heatsink is mounted on your processor.  Also the floppy connector is located toward the top right of the PCB and generally you plug in a floppy drive just below your optical drives.  Reversing the position of the IDE and the Floppy connector would be a decent choice.

Input / Output on Back
Input / Output on Back

The backplane of the MSI K9N Platinum is fairly loaded are should please most people.  MSI has kept this board quite legacy oriented with PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports as well as printer and serial ports.  They have dropped in an IEEE1394 port, RCA Digital Out, four USB2.0 ports, two 10/100/1000 GB Ethernet connectors as well as a full set of 8 channel auto-sensing audio jacks.  To sweeten the pot they also throw in an optical output.  The only thing different I'd personally like to see is that they drop the serial port in favor of a couple more USB2.0 ports.  You can never have enough USB.

Below we posted up a couple of pictures of the Dual GB Ethernet chips as well as the Realtek HD Audio chip.

Dual Vitesse GB
 Dual Vitesse GB

Realtek HD Audio
 Realtek HD Audio

On the next page we'll fire things up and take a look at the BIOS.