We tested the X58 Platinum with a Core i7 965 Extreme processor, 3GB of Crucial DDR3-1066, and a GeForce GTX 280 running 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. We ran 3DMark06 and PCMark05 to test the system.
There seems to be a quirk in the figures as the graphics elements of PCMark05 was 14,500 when we manually overclocked the X58 Platinum. When we used the Overclock CPU clock switch the graphics score leapt past 20,000 marks which is odd but we got the same high score when we retested the Intel DX58SO as a comparison.
Overclocking manually in the BIOS by raising the base clock figure from 133MHz to 166MHz or 170MHz was quick and simple however we achieved better performance in the benchmarks by using the Overclock CPU clock switch. This was surprising as at first it didn't seem that the hardware switches did anything different to our manual overclocking process. However MSI tells us that this is not the case. Although the BIOS reports the CPU core voltage it doesn't dynamically report the other voltage changes that are programmed into the hardware settings. In other words, there's more going on than meets the eye.
Although the X58 Platinum was able to overclock our i7 965 Extreme to 4.08GHz we found that performance was no better than the Intel DX58SO running at a mere 3.6GHz. We'll keep an open mind about that as the BIOS installed on our review motherboard was a Beta of v1.2 so there may be room for improvement.
MSI has positioned the X58 Platinum as a budget Core i7 motherboard that still packs a number of features that help the overclocker. Unfortunately, whether due to an early BIOS or an inherent problem, it's performance just didn't stack up, which at the moment makes it nothing but a budget board.