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Morry's Thoughts:

From first glance, I would’ve said that the board had some real potential. MSI did a great job with the board’s overall design and layout, with overall component placement very well done. The board presented no problems on initial setup either, furthering my good opinions on the board.

However, I did run in to problems when I started messing with the JMicron SATA 2 ports. It took me several attempts of unplugging and replugging in the SATA cables, as well as switching out several cables that worked with other boards, to get the BIOS to recognize the drives on the JMicron controller. On top of that, getting the board to cooperate with me for overclocking testing left a further bad taste in my mouth. I was able to finally dial it in, but only after almost throwing in the towel on the whole affair.

All in all, an OK board but sub-par for my overall expectations from an MSI product. This board was definitely one of the hardest Core i7 boards to dial in for overclocking, and the JMicron drive fiasco was none too smooth. Hopefully, this is something MSI can sort out with a BIOS update, or maybe a board rev. For now, you may want to keep a wary eye on this one…

Kyle's Thoughts:

My overall experience with this board was not exactly grand. But before we beat on it, let’s come out and say that this is one of the most affordable Core i7 motherboards on the market. At $230 from Newegg it is hard to balk at. For what it is worth, MSI also sells what is the least expensive LGA 1366 motherboard we have seen as well in the MSI X58 Pro. At the time we purchased the MSI X58 Platinum from Newegg for review, it was the cheapest board listed, hence the reason for reviewing it.

Overall the MSI X58 Platinum delivered about what I expected for a motherboard of its price. Our overclocking experience was not up to par when compared with $330 motherboards, but we did not expect it to be either. In the realm of OCing, we have seen some folks get better results than ours on air, but it seems to be a tossup. I have not seen any one posting in our forums get lesser results so you should be able to expect to reproduce our results at the very least using a retail Core i7 920. Considering we were getting near 1GHz overclocks with it, maybe we are a little jaded considering this is a value segment motherboard.

First off I have to suggest that you do NOT use MSI’s built in MFlash program to flash your BIOS. We have killed two boards recently using this "feature." MSI tells us that all problems have been solved with it, but from an enthusiast end user stand point, you are better off booting Dos/Win98 off a USB stick, which works fine with this board, and manually flashing the BIOS. Better safe than sorry till we see a solid track record out of MSI’s MFlash.

I did also have some issues booting a Vista DVD on this system. Even though the drive was recognized in the BIOS, it did not want to boot off two of the SATA headers that we used. Moving it to another header solved this problem. We are using a rather common LG Blu-ray drive. No problems though after we found a header that the motherboard liked.

We are finishing up testing on this boards big brother, the MSI Eclipse currently. We showed you a preview of this board some time ago. We did not move forward with our review due to the product not being able to pass our Torture Testing. Out of the box the MSI X58 Platinum fared better than the much more expensive Eclipse did, but all was not perfect. The MSI X58 Platinum would run our CPU and RAM torture test with 6GB of RAM at 1600MHz for about 45 minutes. While this is far from perfect, it also is far from emulating a real load on this board unless you are using something like CS4 Premier Pro and rendering video edits. We could run HiperPi across 8 threads without issue, but adding another stress to the mix in the form of OCCT we would see instances of HiperPi crash. Running HiperPi and WPrime while paging into 3.5GB of RAM would give us decent 1 hour stability results. We did not seem to have heat issues, but rather I feel as though the issues were related to memory.

The Bottom Line

The MSI is far from the perfect bleeding edge computer hardware enthusiast motherboard. For those of you looking to save some bucks though while pulling off good overclocks, the MSI X58 Platinum seems to offer up a decent value. In fact, those looking to push Core i7 920 to 3.4GHz or so, the system will do it fairly easily just leaving things on AUTO. But do watch what the system automatically pushes your voltages to. If you are looking to really beat on the system though and push it to limit, this is not the choice for you.
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