With an expected
launch next week, Nvidia's upcoming 780i chipset doesn't seem to have caused too much excitement as yet, mostly because it's the same as the 680i chipset with the addition of PCIe 2.0 support, thanks to the N200 chipset.
Hexus has snagged a couple of pictures of MSI's upcoming boards, the P7N Diamond and Platinum. Both boards have the N200 chipset located between two of the x16 slots, a design shared with Gigabyte, although MSI has routed the heatpipe from the N200 to the Southbridge instead of the Northbridge.
The P7N Diamond features four x16 slots, although we're not quite sure how the design works, and the bottom two are only for single slot cards. The board also has two x1 PCIe slots and a single PCI slot. Other features includes eSATA, six SATA ports, six rear USB ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel HD audio with optical S/PDIF out, FireWire and rather unusual today, two IDE connectors.
The P7N Platinum doesn't really seem to deserve the Platinum badge, as it looks fairly average, although it has three x16 PCIe slot, two PCI slots and a single PCIe x1 slot. MSI has removed the optical S/PDIF and dropped a couple of the USB 2.0 ports and one of the Ethernet ports, as well as two of the internal SATA connectors, but kept the two IDE connectors.
According to Hexus, the P7N Diamond is expected to retail for around £160 or €223, with the Platinum version going for £125 or €175.
You can check out some pictures of the boards here