Intel P45: The New Chipset Lacks Progress

MSI P45D3 Platinum

The P45D3 Platinum is MSI’s top model, and the only P45 board that actually runs on DDR3 memory at up to DDR3-1600 speeds—hence, it can use Intel’s Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) feature with compatible memory. The 1600 MHz FSB speed is officially supported by MSI, as well as all the enthusiast overclocking features and a power saving mechanism for its six-phase voltage regulator (which we’ve heard is pretty similar to the one Gigabyte uses with its DES technology). The Circu Pipe 2 heat pipe has been modified and isn’t really circular anymore, but it’s also not as razor sharp anymore either. The heat pipe solution is the largest of the six P45 motherboards we received—the heat sink exits the board right at the back panel.

While MSI has trailed the innovations of its arch rivals Asus and Gigabyte in the last few years, the company’s recent products are actually pulling it closer to the top. Like the others, its memory and the northbridge are supplied by twin phase voltage regulators and solid capacitors are used. The online BIOS update feature works, and a quick look at overclocking features reveals at least good potential for this product.