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NVIDIA's Double Graphics Whopper: SLI Comes to Market

MSI K8N Diamond

At first sight the MSI K8N Diamond is set up similarly to the ASUS board. MSI places the two x16 slots closer together though. Between the two slots sits a small board that is stuck at an angle into the holder for configuring the motherboard for single or dual-slot operation. MSI does not provide any additional PCI Express slots. No additional power supply is provided by MSI for the second x16 slot. To be on the safe side during dual operation, the board should powered by a modern power source with a 24-pin main power connector. According to information provided by MSI, using a 20-pin ATX power cable is possible however as long as at least 18A are provided along with the 12V power supply. These reveals are in opposite of what we heard from ASUS, which claim that a SLI system needs much more power than that. We'll have a closer look at that and report our findings.

The Northbridge fan sits right next to the second x16 slot and is covered up by the card when it is inserted. It is flat enough though so that it does not come in contact with an inserted graphics card.

Overview of the K8N Diamond (click to enlarge).

This small card is used to configure the motherboard for single or dual-slot operation.

MSI offers no additional x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots.

MSI asks for a 450W power supply for SLI operation. When using a 20-pin ATX power cable the 12V supply should deliver at least 18A.

The lack of additional power supply can result in power problems with ATX power cables with 20-pin main power connectors.