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Faster and Faster, nForce2: The Latest Boards Put to the Test

MSI K7N2 Delta

Board Revision: ?

BIOS Version: 7.1 B2 (April 14, 2003)

The layout of the K7N2 Delta corresponds to that of the earlier nForce2 board from the Taiwanese manufacturer MSI. Although the nForce2 Ultra 400 performs its duties well on the new board named "Delta," it does not always get the upper hand over the original K7N2. The reason for this is probably due to the relatively high degree of optimization of the K7N2, which means that the new chipset can only give the user very little additional power.

In terms of the equipment, there are few new features. As in the past, MSI does not go all out. A serial ATA controller from Promise (PDC20376) provides two serial ATA ports and an additional ATA/ 133 port.

The blue slot in the picture corresponds to the ACR slot, which is not so important in the retail sector. In the OEM sector, however, there are still a number applications for the Audio and Communications Riser, such that MSI feels that it is worthwhile integrating this slot.

Although MSI only provides one IDE cable, this is not of the flat but of the round type, so as not to impede the air flow. With this board, MSI also supplies power adapters for the on-board serial ATA controller. Coinciding with the launch of the first S-ATA drives, interested users can also use these immediately, without having to first go out and buy the necessary power adapters themselves.

The K7N2 Delta performs well, even if it does not dominate in all the benchmarks. In view of the impressive and indeed useful features, plus the improved stability compared with the Epox 8RDA3+, the K7N2 Delta fares considerably better.