Upon opening the packaging, I was greeted by the visually predominate copper heatsink/heatpipe of the nForce 650i chipset. Nothing really new though as MSI uses near identical cooling mechanisms on several of their motherboards. It was just a welcome surprise based on my experience in cooling my present nForce 650i chipset.
A single copper heatpipe runs from the first heatsink on the MOSFETs, down to the Northbridge (C55 SPP), and then on to the Southbridge (C51 MCP). This cooling solution should definitely be a plus considering the Northbridge heat issues I experienced with the ASUS P5N-E SLI motherboard.
MSI P6N SLI Platinum Motherboard
On the ASUS P5N-E, I ended up replacing the aluminum heatsink on the Northbridge with a Thermalright HR-05-SLI heatpipe to remedy the problem. In addition, a 70x10mm fan was mounted on the HR-05-SLI and a small aluminum heatsink to cover up the bare MCP chip on the Southbridge was installed. Only after this was I able to achieve a stable 387MHz FSB, which is close to 3.5GHz with a "9x" multiplier on the E6600 processor.
Others have attained higher FSB settings with the nForce 650i chipset, but overclocking is not an exact science and has many variables. So, on my first glance at the P6N SLI Platinum I was impressed and hopeful that this cooling solution would be as effective right out of the box.
The CPU socket area provides sufficient room for large third-party HSF (heatsink/fan) cooling solutions with nearby capacitors being of the short variety. With the ASUS P5N-E I had to slightly modify the AC Freezer 7 Pro HSF due to interference with the stock Northbridge heatsink until it was replaced with HR-05-SLI.
The heatsink on the P6N SLI Platinum had sufficient clearance for use with the excellent Freezer 7 Pro. Also, MSIís use of the reference positioning and arrangement of the DIMM slots would allow for sufficient clearance between the RAM modules and the Freezer 7 Pro.
The uncluttered design of the P6N SLI Platinum provides easier access to the various buttons, connections, and headers on the motherboard. The downside is that some features that are present on the the nForce 680i chipset are missing such as two SATA and a second LAN connection. However, two IDE connections are provided and a floppy drive port is neatly tucked away at the bottom of the motherboard.
The following accessories are included with the MSI P6N SLI Platinum motherboard: