Motherboard: MSI K7N420 Pro Review :: Performance

12-12-2001 · Category: Motherboards

By Doc Overclock

Test System

  • Motherboard: MSI K7N420
  • CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1800+
  • Cooler: GlobalWin CAK 38
  • Memory: 256 MB Corsair PC2400 CAS2 DDR SDRAM
  • Chipset: Nforce ICP+MCP-D
  • Video: MSI Ge-force 3 Ti200/500 and on-board GF2 MX
  • CD: MSI 48X IDE ATA33
  • Hard Drive: IBM Deskstar 7200 rpm UDMA100 IC35040AVER07
  • Sound: On-board 5.1 Dolby surround via CNR SPDIF
  • Power Supply: Enermax EG365P
  • Monitor: 17" SYS DFP analog connector
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional
  • VGA Driver: Detonator Version 23.11 for XP
  • Desktop Resolution: 1024x768 32 Bit @75 Hz Vsync: on

Specviewperf Scores

Performance on the K7N420 exceeds many other chipset motherboards and ranks among the top of its peer group in the overall test scores. The on-board video will work fine for light gaming and graphic arts and also allows for better overclocking stability than with an inline AGP solution, but you suffer if you want top performance in your video power when using the on-board solution.

The SYSmark 2001 scores are very impressive as were the 3Dmark 2001 results so this is definitely a motherboard that rocks. All the tests ran without problem or error. Even SYSmark, which is usually a pain to get to run right ran excellent the first time I tried it. That in itself signifies a very compatible motherboard is to be had in the K7N420. The most time consuming thing in testing is when you have to fiddle with the SYSmark test settings to get a complete run out of it. A first time run is always a breath of fresh air.

This board ran like an Intel based motherboard and had me speculating if this was a secret weapon from the folks over at Intel. I mean the Sound Max is a pretty exclusive product of the Intel line and what better way to launch a sneak attack on AMD and VIA than releasing a potent chipset that supports the AMD line. There was just something so Intel about this whole board and users will see what I mean once this becomes a mainstream product. Above and beyond speculation though, solid above average performance is what you can expect in any case with the K7N420.

Torture Testing

As we have started to really stress in recent reviews stability is king when it comes to your motherboard. The motherboard after all is the central nervous center of your system and if something is wrong there other things within the system do not function in the proper manner. Prime95 is a well-known test for putting your system through a series of torture tests that look for mathematical equations based on prime numbers, and therefore puts a lot of pressure on the CPU and system.

The system is known to rise in temperature slightly when being tested with Prime and many (Gee I thought it was stable) systems have failed under its test load. Another very known and used test is CheckIt Pro a DOS based program which you boot to off a floppy like a Windows start up disc. CheckIt Pro tests the motherboard, RAM and other system components and is a very helpful test for picking up system problems. The motherboard ran fine through all the torture tests with no additional tweaking having to be done.