There is also a FireWire bracket with single six-pin and four-pin connectors. As this is an SLI board there is of course an SLI bracket in the box, while MSI also supplies a handy bracket tailored to hold the SLI bridge in place during transit. Finally there’s the MSI CPU Clip which makes it easier to install the LGA processors – it drops the CPU into the socket in the correct way, making things far simpler for those with larger fingers.
The P4N Diamond does have one shortcoming; it’s not as fast as the other two Pentium 4 SLI boards I have tested. To be fair, it’s not a lot slower, but the Asus P5ND2-SLI beats it in the 3D tests, although the scores are similar in SYSMark 2004. A BIOS upgrade would most likely solve this and as this is still a very new motherboard, there’s hope that with a mature BIOS the performance will increase.
Still with a SYSMark 2004 score of 227 this is not a slow board by any means in terms of application performance and the overall PCMark 2004 score of 5381 backs this up. As we’ve changed our FarCry and Half Life 2 benchmarks slightly these numbers aren’t comparable with the other two Pentium 4 SLI boards.
As with the K8N Diamond the P4N Diamond doesn’t come cheap, but then again, neither does any Pentium 4 SLI board at the moment. At £150.34 the P4N Diamond offers pretty good value for money considering the features you get. If you want to combine a Pentium 4 processor and SLI graphics, the MSI P4N Diamond is the best nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition based motherboard to date in terms of features and stability. However its performance could do with a boost.
After some initial problems MSI came through with a replacement board that proved to be rock solid. The P4N Diamond is definitely the Pentium 4 SLI board to go for as long as you’re not worried about cost.
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