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MSI P45D3 Platinum review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £135
inc VAT


LGA775, ATX, Intel P45 chipset, supports: Celeron, Pentium Dual-core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme Edition

MSI’s P45D3 Platinum is the only LGA775 motherboard here to use DDR3 RAM. Fitted with 2GB of PC3-8500 memory, it sped through our benchmarks, although the fastest DDR2 motherboards weren’t far behind.

Some of the included extras may make building your PC a little easier. An included wall chart features a labelled diagram of the motherboard to help you identify its parts. Buttons on the board allow you to turn on or reboot your computer and clear the CMOS without fiddling with jumpers or connecting your case’s front panel. These can be useful when you’re troubleshooting a partially assembled PC. An adaptor similar to Asus’s Q Connector allows you to connect your case’s numerous front-panel cables to the various headers in a single step.

The P45D3 Platinum is one of five Intel motherboards on test to have two PCI Express x16 graphics card slots, so you can fit a pair of ATI cards in CrossFire mode. A single powerful, dual-processor graphics card is better value and is likely to be faster, though.

There are two PCI and two PCI Express x1 slots for connecting internal peripherals such as TV tuners and WiFi adaptors. You needn’t worry about cooling your PC, either: the P45D3 Platinum has five headers for connecting fans – the most of any Intel motherboard here.

MSI’s P45D3 Platinum is an impressive motherboard, but it’s also expensive. Unless you can find it cheaper elsewhere or you really want to use DDR3 memory, Foxconn’s P43A is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor socket LGA775
Form factor ATX
Size 244x305mm
Processor support Celeron, Pentium Dual-core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme Edition
Processor external bus 400MHz (1,600MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge Intel P45
Chipset south bridge Intel ICH10R
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 800/1066/1333
Maximum memory speed PC3-10600
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 8GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £135

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 2
Dual graphics architecture CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 2
PCI slots 2
Fan headers 5
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 8
RAID chipset (max disks) Intel ICH10R (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)


Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC888T (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers 6/3
Firewire ports / headers 1/1
Legacy ports 2x PS/2, serial header
Other ports eSATA
Cables included 2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy, 2x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included 1x USB2, 1x FireWire
Software included MSI HDD Backup

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 800MHz

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