Micro-Star International has launched two motherboards based on Intel's X48 chipset. It looks like MSI has decided that it is not yet time for DDR3 memory, so the second X48C Platinum is based on a combo design that supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory.
The X48 Platinum is packed with all the extra features like quad PCI-Express x16 slots, MSI's so called dual-channel PWM GreenPower design, Circu-Pipe heatpipe cooling and solid capacitors made in Japan. The new PWM GreenPower design consists of a dual channel 4-phase PWM, which provides savings of up to 80%, at least according to the MSI's press release.
The Quad PCI-Express solution looks good on paper, but keep in mind that the two yellow slots are working at PCI-Express x4 mode. The X48 Platinum also features six SATA ports, dual Gigabit LAN, on-board LED POST display and much more.
The second board is a cut-down version of the X48 Platinum with support for both DDR2-1333 and DDR3-1600 memory. It lacks the quad PCI-Express slots and comes with "only" two PCI-Express x16 slots. The two PCI-Express x16 slots that can be found on the X48 Platinum have been replaced with two standard PCI slots. It also lacks the LED POST display, two SATA ports and one Gigabit LAN controller. The good thing is that it has the same Circu-pipe cooling, but without an additional heatsink on the PCI-Express bridge chip.
Another good thing is that X48C Platinum should cost less than the quad CrossFire capable X48 Platinum. The X48 Platinum is listed on Geizhals.at and the lowest price that we could find was €181.08, but it is was not yet available.