MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review :: Layout and Xpress 3200 Features

08-31-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

One of the things that bother me about most modern motherboard layouts is the placement of the 4-pin power connector, which presides over the CPU Socket area. This means that the 4-pin power cable has to reach over the CPU cooling fan or around it making for a nasty fit in some cases and impeding airflow in others. The use of an after-market cooling solution can be an iffy business with this positioning. The 24-pin ATX power connector is in the same area.


MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review 4-pin power

4-pin power

MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review CPU area

CPU area

MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review USB headers

USB headers


MSI decided to outfit the K9A Platinum with 3 USB headers. When combined with the four ports on the rear of the board, this brings the total supported by the K9A to 10. Firewire support is brought by a single header. The front panel I/O is color-coded with printed labels for each. The Front Panel I/O headers are clearly marked and color coded, so it's impossible to get wrong.


MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review MOSFETS

MOSFETS

MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review North Bridge

North Bridge

MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review Dual CoreCell

Dual CoreCell

MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review South Bridge

South Bridge

MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard Review SysFan

SysFan


MSI decided to cool the North and South Bridges with a small heat sink on each. The South Bridge gets quite warm during operation. The North Bridge also gets pretty warm. The motherboard ran smoothly without crashing even under the most stressful testing that our burn-in period is set to. The MOSFETs have heatsinks to keep them cool.