Introduction and Specifications

Current LGA 1366 motherboards are going for more than $200 for lower-end, “budget” mobos that support the Intel i7 platform. While most PC users don’t consider paying $200 for any of their PC parts as “budget or low-end”, the realm of X58-based motherboards has made this nightmare a reality.

A mid-range X58 offering from MSI

Current LGA 1366 motherboards are going for more than $200 for lower-end, “budget” mobos that support the Intel i7 platform. While most PC users don’t consider paying $200 for any of their PC parts as “budget or low-end” but in the realm of X58-based motherboards this nightmare has become a reality.

The question many who want to upgrade to the i7 are asking themselves is, “Which features can I skimp on to save a few bucks for other parts I need for my PC?” This is a somewhat difficult decision and makes users weigh the pros and cons of what options they want to use. Is their PC going to be used for gaming? Is it going to be specifically for photo and video editing? Answers these questions will help many folks choose the right LGA 1366 mobo and get the best price too.

On the lower-end of the LGA 1366 spectrum is MSI’s X58 Platinum motherboard. MSI currently has five X58 Express motherboards in its stable, and the X58 Platinum falls right in the middle of the list. This means that while it might not have all the exciting overclocking features available in the Eclipse SLI, it will have most of them for enthusiasts to tweak their PCs until they are blue in the face. Users also won’t be getting a lot of the accessories that are available with the higher-end mobos.

But, some of the features users will enjoy with X58 Platinum are its support for QPI speeds up to 6.4 GT/s (even with the i7-920!), support for CrossfireX dual video cards, and high-definition audio and other custom utilities for overclocking and monitoring system performance.

MSI board layout

(Courtesy of MSI)

MSI X58 Platinum Specifications (from MSI)


  • Supports Intel® i7 based processors in LGA1366 package.
  • Please refer to CPU Support for compatible CPU; the above description is for reference only.


  • Intel® X58 Chipset
  • Supports QPI up to 6.4GT/s 
  • Intel® ICH10R Chipset
  • Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0) controller, 480Mb/sec, up to 12 ports.
  • 6 SATAII ports with transfer rate up to 3Gb/s.
  • PCI Master v2.3, I/O APIC.
  • ACPI 2.0 compliant.
  • Serial ATA RAID 0/1/5/10.
  • Integrated AHCI controller.

Main Memory

  • Supports six unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 800/1066/1333 SDRAM, 24GB Max
  • Supports 1Gb/ 2Gb/ 4Gb DRAM size
  • Supports x8 / x16 data lines per DIMM
  • Supports up to 3 channel mode


  • 2 PCI Express gen2 x16 slots supports ATI® Crossfire™
  • 3 PCI Express gen2 x1 slots
  • 2 PCI slot, support 3.3V/ 5V PCI bus Interface

On-Board IDE /SATA

  • One Ultra DMA 66/100/133 IDE controller integrated in JMicron® 363
  • Supports PIO, Bus Master operation modes.
  • Can connect up to two Ultra ATA drives. 
  • SATAII controller integrated in ICH10R/JMicron® 322 / 362 chipest
  • Up to 3Gb/s transfer speed.
  • Supports six SATAII ports by ICH10R
  • Supports two SATAII ports by JMicron 322, support SATA RAID 0/1/JBOD.
  • Supports one eSATA port by JMicron 363.
  • Supports AHCI controller with SATA RAID 0/1/5/10 by ICH10R.


  • Chipset integrated by Realtek® ALC888
  • Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing
  • Compliant with Azalia 1.0 Spec
  • Meet Microsoft Vista Premium spce


  • Supports two PCI Express LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Realtek 8111C.

IEEE 1394 / FireWire

  • JMicron® 381 chipset
  • Supports up to two 1394 ports. (Rear panel x1, pinheader x1)
  • Transfer rate is up to 400Mbps.

Internal I/O Connectors

  • ATX 24-Pin power connector
  • 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • CPU / System x 5 FAN connectors
  • CD-in connector
  • Front panel audio connector
  • Front panel connector
  • 1 x chasis intrusion connector
  • 1 x serial port pinheader
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connectors
  • 8 x Serial ATAII connectors
  • 1 x ATA133 connector
  • 1 x IEEE1394 connector support additional 1 port
  • 1 x GreenPower Genie connector
  • 1 x Reset Button
  • 1 x Power Button
  • 1 x SPDIF-out connector
  • 1 x D-LED2 connector
  • 1 x TPM module connector

Back Panel I/O Ports

  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse
  • 1 x eSATA port 
  • 1 x IEEE1394 port
  • 8 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 x RJ45 LAN Jacks
  • 1 x 6 in 1 audio jack
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF-out 


  • 12.0in.(L) x 9.6in.(W) ATX Form Factor


  • 9 mounting holes

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