MSI's K8N Diamond Plus motherboard

X16 gets an Audigy

SEEMINGLY CONTENT TO MAKE DO with the original nForce4 SLI, motherboard manufacturers have been slow to adopt NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI X16 chipset. For months, Asus' A8N32-SLI was the only Socket 939 motherboard capable of feeding 16 lanes of PCI Express to each of a pair of graphics cards in SLI, giving enthusiasts seeking gobs of graphics bandwidth few options. Fortunately, that's starting to change. Mobo makers appear to be warming to the X16 chipset, and MSI is the latest to take the plunge with the K8N Diamond Plus.

Like most enthusiast boards, the K8N Diamond Plus comes loaded with features, including dual Gigabit Ethernet options, two flavors of Serial ATA RAID, and a BIOS filled with tweaking, overclocking, and even fan speed controls. MSI has also fitted the board with a Sound Blaster Audigy chip that promises support for EAX Advanced HD and better audio quality than typical motherboard audio implementations.

Is the K8N Diamond Plus' integrated Audigy audio really all that, and more importantly, can the board keep up with the latest nForce4 SLI, X16, and even CrossFire boards on the market? Let's find out.

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