MSI K8N Diamond
- Built-in Creative SoundBlaster Live!, wide array of connectivity options, good performance, good board monitor software
- SLI functionality must be manually installed
All things considered, this board impressed us with its features, especially its on-board Creative audio, but we did have to fiddle with different drivers in order to get the RAID array detected properly by Windows.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
One of the distinguishing features on this nForce4 SLI-based board is its built in Creative SoundBlaster Live! audio chip, which provides audio capabilities that easily outstrip the majority of motherboards. It supports up to 7.1 speakers and has analog as well as digital ports on its rear port cluster.
Two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a FireWire port along with USB 2.0, Serial, PS/2 and parallel ports also adorn the rear port cluster. MSI supplies expansion brackets for further USB 2.0 and FireWire ports, as well one for an external SATA port.
The board has RAID support through its four integrated SATA ports and MSI also adds a further two ports using a Silicon Image controller. We had a bit of difficulty locating the correct RAID drivers for our Windows XP installation, as the package we received for this review did not include retail driver discs, and the drivers that worked were the ones directly off Nvidia's Web site.
The board performed similarly to others nForce4 boards, with no anomalies. It's worth pointing out that MSI uses a VIA-based FireWire controller, whereas the other vendors rely on Texas Instrument controllers.
MSI provides some great utilities to allow you to monitor your system. DigiCell software allows you to view information, such as fan speeds and chip temperatures through Windows.
Physically, the board has all its ports and slots located in a logical manner, although there was one capacitor near the release lever of the first graphics slot. To enable SLI, the board requires that a selector board be physically manipulated.
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A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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