On top of the integrated Gigabit Ethernet controller provided by the nVidia chipset MSI has added a second PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet adapter. Add to this the integrated SATA RAID on the chipset and a Silicon Image controller with a further two SATA connectors for a total of six along with two IDE connectors, and you’d have a hard time finding a case that can handle all those drives. FireWire and USB 2.0 are of course both present and correct.
As the nVidia nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition chipset is made up of two parts unlike the AMD boards, there are some design differences. The northbridge has a fairly tall heatsink fitted with a fan while the southbridge has a low profile aluminium heatsink with a copper core. A further change is the inclusion of a Molex connector just above the x1 PCI Express slot. This supplies extra power to the x16 PCI Express slots when the board is in SLI mode.
The fan connectors are located were you expect to find them, although the rear one has been occupied by the chipset cooler, so if you have a rear case fan you’d have to hook it up via a Molex connector. The other three fan headers are towards the front of the board, one four-pin for the CPU cooler and two standard three-pin ones. One other clever feature, as long as you can keep your fingers away from it, is the clear CMOS button. Rather than having a traditional jumper, MSI has fitted a small push button which makes it far less fiddly when clearing the CMOS.
MSI is not known for being stingy when it comes to bundled accessories with its retail boards and the P4N Diamond is no different. You get two rounded IDE cables and a round floppy cable, four SATA cables and two SATA power adapters with two connectors on each. On top of this you get MSI’s D-Bracket which consists of two USB 2.0 ports and four LED lights for fault diagnosis.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.