MSI K9A2 Platinum AMD 790FX Motherboard

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Upon first inspection, the K9A2 Platinum grabs your attention with its custom "Circu-Pipe" heat pipe cooler, which straddles the Northbridge, Southbridge and power circuitry.  The next items to stand out are the four PCI-E X16 graphics slots.  Nestled between the first two PCI-E X16 slots is a PCI-E X1 slot while two standard PCI slots are situated adjacent to the third and fourth PCI-E X16 slot. 
Naturally, the board has an AM2+ socket to support the new Phenoms, but it's also backward compatible with all AM2 based Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX processors as well.  The board supports up to 8GB of memory across four DIMM slots, officially supporting DDR2 800 and 1066 speeds.


For storage needs, the K9A2 Platinum features an ATI SB600 Southbridge that drives one IDE UDMA 133 port for up to two devices and four SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1 and 0+1.  Additionally, a Promise T3 chips drives two additional SATA II ports and two external eSATA ports, with RAID 0, 1 and 0+1 available across all four ports.  A floppy port is also included for those still working with floppy drives.
  For integrated audio, the K9A2 Platinum is equipped with a Realtek ALC888 audio codec for 8 channel audio.  The rear I/I panel also includes one Gigabit LAN connector driven by a Realtek 8111B chip.  A VIA VT6308P chip powers two FireWire ports, one on the rear and one through a header and included bracket mentioned on page one.  The system also supports 10 USB 2.0 ports, four on the rear and the remainder through headers.  Lastly, a serial port is available through a header, but no bracket is included to take advantage of the feature.


From an overall layout and design perspective, there is much to like about the K9A2 Platinum.  The ATX power connectors are placed optimally, the board comes with three chassis fan headers on top of the CPU fan header, and component placement was well balanced.  However, there was one minor issue that we didn't care for.  Note with the first graphics slot how the copper tubing wraps around the rear of the slot before terminating at the Southbridge.  With our test bed, this tubing was high enough that our video card hit the tubing before being fully seated in the slot.  While pressing firmly on the card seemed to seat it properly, we are concerned that over time a card may slowly rise out of the slot and cause potential video issues.  The slot itself doesn't have a definitive locking mechanism, so there is the potential for issues, however, we did not encounter any problems while testing the board.  Like we said, we feel this is a minor issue, but were a little surprised by this design oversight and wanted to make you aware of it.
Tags:  AMD, MSI, ATI, Motherboard, MS, 790FX, fx, board, platinum, PLA, AR, AM, K

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WardancerX2 6 years ago

I own this board . you said it was a see saw battle. i beg to differ. i bought this board almost 3 months ago. This board has better overclocking . you wouldnt know that because you tested two crapy cpus at 2.6 ghz. with this board overclocked 100 more mhz then my last board which was only 3 months old. i was able to hit a perfect 3.5 ghz on my athlon 6400 and my other 6000 cpu. in fact. i put the cpu multy to 14 and raised to FSB. my other mobo hit 3.4 ghz and 970 mhz on ram. while this new mobo hit 3.5 and a 1000 mhz even on ddr2 ram* Zalman 9700 led air cooler*. prob higher but i think my cheap gskill was maxed at 1000. this board his a higher peak then the other board. great review just though id add what i found while using this board.( sorryfor the typos. im tring to get this done fastas my internet is out till monday , im outsiding borrowing a signal. even in FL is cold as amofo in Feb.) This is a great Mobo and the spacing of the 4 pciE 2.0 slots are perfect. u can use 4 double slot cards on this mobo . most mobo put the other 2 pcie slots close together making it where u can only use 3 pcie slots becuase the 4th is block by the 3rd. gota go. Great review. over clock this a bit using high end cpus not crap and see what happens. youll think more of this mobo. good day. oh and one more thing. im using apowercolor 3850 512 . using the new overclocked settings on this mobo i am able to play COD4 with everything maxed without a single hitch. at 3.4 ghz and 970 ram itgs stil a slight bit choppy.  to me that made all the differnce


jeykey2008 6 years ago

I've bought this Mobo right nowand thinking about chipset pipe cooling and basic physics. Do you thing it is important how the board is mounted, horizontally or vertically. My understanding is the hottest part (SB ?) of piping should be lower than coolest part (cooler close to CPU?).

I didn!t find any comments till now, is there anybody who knows physics better than me?

JHightower 2 years ago

I have this mobo with a phenom quad core, and just use a 2 GN video card and a big HDD. And an soundblaster FX card, I can only use 2 RAM slots with 2 GB Patriot chips, But I want to use my other 2 for 8 gb ram. So now I have a 2 TB HDD, and a full win 7 64 bit. The driver cds only came with xp and vista, so I hope the vista drivers will work. I am having a hard time installing the 2 TB HDD and the win 7 64 bit. I am trying using only 2 of the 2 gb ram ships but when I boot the new hdd to the win 7 64 bit dvd, it just keeps saying insert the boot program and hit a button, over and over. I went to the biod and loaded the default settings, and set it to pick up the dvd or and other device to boot from. I dont get it. When I build the pc, it was simple..I installed xp, the vista upgrade, and the win 7 32 bit upgrade. Then the mobo drivers, vid and sound drivers. it was simple. Why is it not simple putting in a new hdd and a full fersion of win 7 64? It should act the same as when I first built it. I want to finally use 8 gb RAM.. I have 4 nice 2 GB patriot RAM chips that have heat fins on them. I dont seem to know how to do it anymore, Oh, and the heatsink I ised that fit in the tight spot was the butterfly one, with a red led light on it. I have a nice glass side, untra case... and It of course wouldnt fir the tube for fresh aur frim the glass side, but a nice little led lit fan screwed right is. The power supply is even clear and can be chanced to 3 different colors. But anyway, I need to know how to install this new 2 terabite hard drive, and win 7 64 bit on it. Then I will add the other 2 two GB RAM cards.I need the order to do it. I even have bothe hard drives hooked up now but cannot access the new hdd, Is there any step by step instructions to put in a new hard drive, with a new version on win 7 64 bit? I really need to know from setting the bios, down to the drivers. and if I need to put a jumper on the hdd. The 6 sata poers are confusing because 4 are purple and 2 are red. why the different color sata ports? which ones for the hdd and which for the dvd? I am totally confused right now. If you have a link or can copy and past step by step for replacing the hddd and a new instalatio of win 7 64 bit full version, You are a genious and it would reall help me. Thanks in advance.

JHightower 2 years ago

also, I would like to learn how tho overclock it, but not so much that it is in danger. I have 2 fans on the power supply, the buf fan on the heat sink that id sideways to fit.. it;s a huge butterfly heatsink, the one on the glass side, and there is a filtered fan in the front bottom.Tye video card even has a fan in it.Then I have a large output fan on the back. so it is plenty cool. The Patriot RAM cards even have heat sink fans on them.

JHightower 2 years ago

I just need step by step on installind the new 2 TB HDD and the new win 7 64 bit op system, and what order to do things like the drivers for the video and sound... but mostly the mobo driverss.

JHightower 2 years ago

I think if I can get the hdd in and the win 7 64 installed, I can get the 64 bit drivers off the net...I hope. But I love this motherboard. I used to have 2 1 gb video cards on it in spider mode... but when I upgraded to win 7 from vista, they didnt work so I had to ger a new vid card, and it was so fat it takes 2 soaces. AMD radeon 4850.I did have 2 HD 3870's. I am so confused right now.

cowboyspace 2 years ago

JHightower why don't you  edit your posts intead of double / multi posting O_o

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