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MSI P45D3 Platinum review

Alan Lu
24 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
135
inc VAT

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Specifications

LGA775, ATX, Intel P45 chipset, supports: Celeron, Pentium Dual-core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme Edition

MSI's P45D3 Platinum is the only LGA775 motherboard here to use DDR3 RAM. Fitted with 2GB of PC3-8500 memory, it sped through our benchmarks, although the fastest DDR2 motherboards weren't far behind.

Some of the included extras may make building your PC a little easier. An included wall chart features a labelled diagram of the motherboard to help you identify its parts. Buttons on the board allow you to turn on or reboot your computer and clear the CMOS without fiddling with jumpers or connecting your case's front panel. These can be useful when you're troubleshooting a partially assembled PC. An adaptor similar to Asus's Q Connector allows you to connect your case's numerous front-panel cables to the various headers in a single step.

The P45D3 Platinum is one of five Intel motherboards on test to have two PCI Express x16 graphics card slots, so you can fit a pair of ATI cards in CrossFire mode. A single powerful, dual-processor graphics card is better value and is likely to be faster, though.

There are two PCI and two PCI Express x1 slots for connecting internal peripherals such as TV tuners and WiFi adaptors. You needn't worry about cooling your PC, either: the P45D3 Platinum has five headers for connecting fans - the most of any Intel motherboard here.

MSI's P45D3 Platinum is an impressive motherboard, but it's also expensive. Unless you can find it cheaper elsewhere or you really want to use DDR3 memory, Foxconn's P43A is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Processor socketLGA775
Form factorATX
Size244x305mm
Processor supportCeleron, Pentium Dual-core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme Edition
Processor external bus400MHz (1,600MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridgeIntel P45
Chipset south bridgeIntel ICH10R
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 800/1066/1333
Maximum memory speedPC3-10600
Memory slots4
Maximum memory8GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£135
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.msicomputer.co.uk

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots2
PCI slots2
Fan headers5
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports8
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel ICH10R (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC888T (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers6/3
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2, serial header
Other portseSATA
Cables included2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy, 2x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included1x USB2, 1x FireWire
Software includedMSI HDD Backup

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment800MHz

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