Micro-Star International (MSI) shows off its new gem, the P6N Diamond. It's the first of many to include Creative's X-Fi audio chip onboard.
|Early model of the P6N Diamond: Play spot the X-Fi.
In more audio-related news, motherboard manufacturer, Micro-Star International (MSI), is set to launch its new gem, the P6N Diamond, which will be its first of reportedly many boards to include a rendition of Creative's X-Fi audio chip.
According to DigiTimes
and its occassionally unavailable website
, MSI paraded its X-Fi-equipped mobo at the recent CeBIT in Hannover.
The mobo's X-Fi audio chip will be based around Creative's budget X-Fi Xtreme Audio sound card, which, interestingly enough, doesn't seem to feature EAX support, so the benefits are questionable over other integrated sound systems. Neither its features
page nor its specifications
page mention Creative's proprietary DSP audio presets.
MSI also suggested that future mobos will feature the same X-Fi audio processor, including Intel's upcoming DDR3 Bearlake chipset.
Aside from including a cut down edition of a Creative audio chip, the P6N Diamond is based on nVIDIA's nForce 680i SLI northbridge chipset and sports two x16 and two x8 PCI-Express expansion slots, among the usual gamut of excessive mobo ports and crannies.
MSI hints the PCI-E expansion ports can be used for the upcoming SLI physics and quad-SLI graphics solutions. Of course, the usefulness of such a setup is dubious -- one physics chip is a tad moot at the moment -- but since when were enthusiasts utilitarian?
|Well, not quite yet
MSI says the X-Fi chip provides "the best hardware 7.1 surround audio for all motherboards," even though Creative has yet to produce WHQL drivers for Vista.
Its hopes are high, though: it 'expects' audio drivers will be available when the board launches in the second quarter of this year. This might be handy for a 'Vista Premium Ready