Intel P45: The New Chipset Lacks Progress

MSI P45 Diamond

This motherboard comes with the same features mentioned for the P45D3 Platinum, but with even more goodies. The Diamond version supports DDR2 instead of DDR3, which makes sense at this time. The board, however, doesn’t come with the Circu Pipe 2 design, though it is ready for liquid cooling (Xpress Cool). A little utility called the Green Power Geenie is used to monitor the actual power requirement of the system plus all components at the power supply connector, which means that the efficiency of the power supply is left out of the equation. We received a beta sample, but the final version is expected to get a nice cover.

The back panel provides eight USB 2.0 ports and two Gigabit network ports, as well as two eSATA ports and a hardware reset button for overclocking enthusiasts. Firewire is present, and a JMicron controller provides more eSATA ports. The P45 Diamond also comes with a more sophisticated audio solution based on a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme, which helped to make room for the massive number of interfaces on the back panel. Finally, all the equipment for setting up a liquid cooling solution is also included, with the exception of the pump, of course.