If you’ve been dreaming of new hardware for the New Year MSI announced today the debut of it K8N Diamond motherboard. Based on the nVidia nForce 4 SLI chipset, not only does the board provide two PCI Express x16 slots for all the 3D graphics power you could wish for, but it has also been designed with the hardcore overclocker in mind.
The secret to this is the six-layer PCB used in its construction providing greater tolerances for overclocking. The lack of SoundStorm MSI has also exclusively equipped the motherboard with Creative 7.1 Channel High-Definition Audio with Dolby Digital EX certification through Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit onboard audio featuring EAX advanced HD. It also supports both 802.11b/g Wireless LAN and Bluetooth thanks to MSI’s Dual-Net card. This enables the PC to function as a Wi-Fi access point, saving users the cost of purchasing one.
In addition there’s a proprietary Communication Slot. This is an optimized and extended version of the basic PCI specification to provide the ultimate interface for PCI network cards. For the Communication Slot, MSI has developed a new user interface called DigiCell which helps users’ start-up the access point and gateway with just two clicks.
While most motherboard manufacturers have selected SATA1 controller to accompany the nForce4 SATA2 RAID, MSI K8N Diamond has chosen a Silicon Image SATA2 RAID controller. The SATA2 interface supports data transfer rates up to 3GB/sec, twice the speed of SATA1. Additionally, if you have a mixture of SATA and IDE hard drives the NVRAID 2.0 utility can configure the disk array across to single RAID. The K8N Diamond provides dual-gigabit Ethernet connectivity. One of them is PCI Express LAN supporting 2.5GB/s bandwidth, while the other features nVidia Active Armor technology, a hardware network firewall engine designed to protect against intrusion from the Internet.
Another feature is ActiveMOS2. Based on the same cooling principles found in a laptop computer, the heatpipe and Nickel coated copper heatsink efficiently dissipate heat from the PWM. If you want even more cooling, the additional fan on the heatsink helps remove heat caused by overclocking but can also be removed should you want to minimize unwanted noise.