MSI X58 Platinum review

£220
Price when reviewed

The X58 Platinum comes in at around the same price as the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5, and in many areas it matches our recommended board, feature for feature.

MSI X58 Platinum review

That means plenty of connections, with eight USB ports, plus FireWire, eSATA and dual Gigabit Ethernet. Inside, you’ll find eight SATA channels and support for up to 24GB of RAM in six slots, plus surface-mounted power, reset and CMOS buttons.

Overclocking is a breeze too, thanks to an onboard switch that boosts the base clock by 25% or 50%. For more control, the BIOS gives you plenty of scope to tweak, although the voltage controls aren’t particularly fine.

As with the Biostar, however, once you start to look closely you’ll spot a few compromises. The X58 Platinum has only two PCI Express x16 slots, and multi-GPU gaming works with ATI cards only – although SLI can reportedly be added with an unsupported BIOS hack.

Storage options are more limited too, with RAID5 notably missing from the mix, and no floppy controller – small omissions, but a big deal to those who need them.

As a final disappointment, the MSI lacks an onboard numeric display (there’s a header, but nothing to attach to it), and the board’s numerous coloured LEDs mostly show power mode information – less useful than the Gigabyte’s speed and voltage indicators.

Although the X58 Platinum suffers slightly next to the GA-EX58-UD5, it’s still a high-quality board, and its idle power consumption of 109W is low for a Core i7 system. But with the Gigabyte coming in at the same price, the MSI is pushed into second place.

Details

Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsno

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)Intel
Processor socketLGA 1366
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR3
Multi-GPU supportyes

Controllers

Motherboard chipsetIntel X58
South bridgeIntel ICH10R
Number of Ethernet adapters2
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Audio chipsetRealtek ALC888

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type8-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total6
Internal SATA connectors8
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors0
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total3

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors2
USB ports (downstream)8
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?yes
Motherboard onboard reset switch?yes
Software overclocking?yes

Accessories

SATA cables supplied1
Molex to SATA adaters supplied1
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied0

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