Manufacturer Model K9N Diamond Price (Street) Availability Now Acoustic originality In many ways, the K9N Diamond is a perfect representation of what we've seen from many of MSI's latest enthusiast boards. On the surface, the board doesn't look particularly flashy or unique. To the untrained eye, the K9N Diamond might even look a little dull—something that wouldn't be unexpected given the board's surprisingly affordable $150 price tag. However, dull isn't necessarily a bad thing if the K9N Diamond does all the little things right, especially at that price. Under its rather pedestrian appearance, the K9N Diamond is also hiding a unique surprise: a Creative Audigy SE audio chip.
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MSI P7N SLI Platinum, LGA775 Socket, Intel (MS-7380-010) Motherboard The nForce chip is p7n sli platinum slightly further from the SPP, giving the snaking heat-pipe and expansion slots some space apart. MSI designs and creates top-tier gaming gear for gamers.
You wouldn't know it looking at the board, though. In fact, were its name not silk-screened onto the PCB, you might have a hard time picking the K9N Diamond out in a crowd. Next to the expansion slots lurks the K9N's piece de resistance, a Creative audio chip that presents itself as an Audigy SE. Don't get too excited about the name, though. The chip itself is little more than a SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit, so you don't get the hardware-accelerated 3D audio associated with the Audigy name.
SE might stand for Special Edition, but in this case, it's the special of the short-bus variety. Even if the K9N's Audigy SE doesn't support hardware acceleration for 3D audio, it's nice to see MSI making an attempt to provide better onboard audio. At the very least, the Creative chip and its drivers should ensure more complete support for EAX positional audio than we've seen from some Realtek-based integrated audio implementations.