MSI P35 Platinum
- Unique cooling system, Two eSATA ports with onboard power
- Dual and Single channel RAM performance anomalies
If you can ignore the anomalies we came across in our testing, the MSI P35 Platinum is a fair performer, but not the top of the class. It has some interesting design features and managed to overclock by a reasonable percentage with good stability. Unfortunately some odd inconsistencies make us worry whether this is the right choice.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
As well as offering Intel's latest P35 and ICH9R chipsets, and a pair of eSATA ports, the MSI P35 Platinum boasts one of the more inventive-looking cooling systems available on the market. Built to handle DDR2 memory modules, despite the P35 chipset's capability to also use DDR3, the MSI P35 platinum offers reasonable speeds, and some good overclocking options among its features. However, it doesn't quite perform as well as some other boards we've tested recently, such as the Gigabyte P35 DS4, and its BIOS features are fairly minimal.
The P35 chipset is Intel's latest, and offers support for the upcoming CPUs, codenamed Penryn, which will be built using a 45nm fabrication process and will use the faster 1333MHz front side bus (FSB). The P35 Platinum supports CPUs with a 1333MHz FSB, but it also supports CPUs and dual-channel RAM running at 1066MHz, 800MHz and 667MHz. Although buying a DDR2-based P35 board may seem like a waste of potential, it does offer the option to upgrade your CPU, without having to buy new RAM.
The board itself is reasonably manageable, but there isn't much space around the CPU heatsink and we found it a little tricky to mount the fan (if you don't correctly seat the heatsink on the CPU, the heat will invariably rise and the motherboard will clock down the CPU to maintain a safe idle temperature). We do have a niggle about the colour coded memory slots on this board, which aren't an indicator of dual-channel operation, like they are on current ASUS and Gigabyte boards we've seen. We were caught out by this and installed both modules in the same coloured slots, which turned out to be single-channel mode, according to the POST message. Funnily enough, the board performed faster in single-channel mode.
In our benchmark tests, the MSI P35 Platinum wasn't outstanding when compared to other P35 motherboards we've tested, but it still did well. Running with 1GB of Corsair 800MHz DDR2 RAM and a QX6700 2.6GHz Core 2 Extreme CPU, the board scored 95 in WorldBench 6. In our MP3 encoding tests, where we encode 53 minutes of WAV files to MP3 files using Cdex, the P35 Platinum took 102sec.
We tried overclocking the CPU to 3.3GHz, while leaving the RAM at its default speed of 800MHz. At this speed, the system became unstable, so we dropped the speed down to 3.2GHz while again maintaining the RAM at 800MHz. This remained stable, and we were able to complete a batch of tests without issues. In WorldBench 6, at the overclocked speed of 3.2GHz, the MSI P35 Platinum scored an impressive 108. The Cdex test completed in 88sec, a clear improvement.
As for cooling, the MSI Circu-Pipe copper heat-pipe array is something to marvel at. Not satisfied with a conventional design, MSI's heat-pipes manoeuvre from spot to spot in a rollercoaster-style loop-the-loop fashion. Specifically, two prominent loops on the north bridge extend noticeably above the RAM height. The loops create a longer pipe in the same space, forcing heat to travel further, while a series of tiny fins jut from the loops with the intent to dissipate heat.
The board's BIOS offers basic FSB speed and multiplier controls for unlocked CPUs, as well as automatic overclocking system that determines the systems clock speed according to load (called D.O.T).
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
- Intel's 8th-gen 'Coffee Lake' chips reuse 14nm process as other Core CPUs ease into new tech
- Intel researches tech to prepare for a future beyond today's PCs
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- CCDesktop SupportNSW
- CCUser ResearcherNSW
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCSharepoint Business AnalystACT
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior .Net Developer with Silverlight proficiencyVIC
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- TPIT Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)ACT
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)QLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional ConsultantQLD
- CCData Analyst - AutoHaulWA
- CCScrum MasterQLD
- TPOracle Consultant - CC&BQLD
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2QLD
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT