Basic Features: Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe

Specification Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe
CPU Interface LGA775-based Pentium 4, Pentium XE, Celeron D, and Pentium D processors.
Chipset North bridge- NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition (Crush C19)
South bridge- NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Edition (Athlon CK804)
Pentium D Support (Dual-Core) Full Support
Front Side Bus 1066 / 800 / 533 MHz
Front Side Bus Speeds 533-1600 MHz (in 1 MHz increments)
Memory Speeds Auto- 400-1200 MHz (in 1 MHz increments)
System Clock Mode Optimal, Linked, Expert
PCI Express 100 MHz to 150 MHz in 1 MHz increments
Dynamic Overclocking AI NOSTM (Non-delay Overclocking System)
AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
ASUS PEG Link (Automatically performance tuning for single/dual graphics cards)
ASUS CPU Lock Free
ASUS Ai Booster Utility Precision Tweaker for Windows
Core Voltage Auto, 1.1V - 1.70V in 0.0125V increments
DRAM Voltage Auto, 1.85 - 2.4V in 0.05V to 0.10V increments
Other Voltage North Bridge - Auto, 1.4V, 1.5V, 1.6V
South Bridge - Auto, 1.5V, 1.6V
FSB - Auto, 1.215, 1.315, 1.415
LDT (Hyper Transport) Ratios 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000
Memory Command Rate Auto, 1T, 2T (current BIOS defaults to 2T)
Memory Slots Four 240-pin DDR2 Slots
Dual-Channel Unbuffered Memory to 16GB
Expansion Slots (2) x16 PCIe Slots
(1) x4 PCIe Slot
(2) x1 PCIe Slots
(2) PCI Slots version 2.2
SLI (2) x16 Fully Supported
Onboard SATA (4)-Drive SATA 2 by nForce 4
Onboard IDE (2) ATA 133/100/66/33 ports, (4) drive support by nForce 4
SATA/IDE RAID NVIDIA® nForce4 SLI supports NVRAID
- 2 x Ultra DMA 133/100/66/33
- 4 x Serial ATA 3 Gb/s
- NVRAID: RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5, and JBOD
Silicon Image® 3132 SATA controller supports
- 1 x Internal Serial ATA 3 Gb/s hard disk
- 1 x External Serial ATA hard disk (SATA On-the-Go)
- RAID 0, 1
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 (9) USB 2.0 ports supported by NVIDIA nForce 4
(2) 1394 FireWire ports supported by TI 1394a
Onboard LAN Dual Gigabit Ethernet
PCIe Gigabit LAN Support
Marvell 88E1111 PHY, Marvell 88E8053
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC850 8-channel CODEC
Universal Audio Jack
Audio Sensing and Enumeration Technology
Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF out ports on back I/O
Power Connectors ATX 24-pin, 8-pin EATX 12V, 4-pin 12V EZ plug (required for SLI operation)
Internal I/O Connectors 2 x USB connectors supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
2 x IEEE1394a connector
1 x COM connector
1 x GAME/MIDI connector
CPU Fan / 2x Chassis Fan/ Power Fan / 2x chipset fan connectors
Front panel audio connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD / AUX audio in
Other Features Fanless Design
AI NET2 network diagnosis
CrashFree BIOS 2
Q-Fan2
MyLogo2
EZ Flash
BIOS AMI 0047

The Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe is a member of the ALife product family and, as such, is a fully-featured flagship board targeted towards the PC gamer. The board ships with an extensive accessory package along with several dynamic overclocking features such as AI NOSTM (Non-delay dynamic Overclocking System), AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner with preset profiles), ASUS PEG Link (automatic performance tuning for single/dual graphics cards), ASUS CPU Lock Free (BIOS setting to unlock select multiplier locked CPUs), and the ASUS Ai Booster Utility Precision Tweaker software that allows control over certain system settings within Windows. The board also features the exclusive 8-Phase power design, Copper Heat Pipe technology for cooling the chipsets, Stack Cool 2 design to dissipate heat to the opposite side of the motherboard, and an external SATA II port on the back I/O panel.

The BIOS options are extensive on the P5N32-SLI Deluxe, with memory voltage to 2.4V, and an extensive range of chipset, bus, and vCore voltage adjustments. Memory ratios are handled like other nForce4 SLI Intel Edition boards in that the number of memory dividers is so numerous that you can simply enter a target memory clock and the BIOS will select the appropriate memory divider to produce a setting as near as possible to the requested value. The board fully supports manual memory timing adjustments or allows for an Auto setting that will set the memory to the SPD settings. This Auto setting will adjust the memory timing settings automatically when the system is overclocked. You have the ability to set the system clock mode to Auto (sync the fsb and memory to their rated standard), Linked (sync the fsb and memory proportionally as you increase the front side bus), or Manual (allows independent adjustment of the fsb and memory).

The new revision of the nForce4 SLI x16 Intel Edition Chipset fully supports all dual core Pentium D processors. We confirmed that the board worked properly at stock and over clocked settings with an Intel 820 processor and an 840 processor, and there were no problems with the board recognizing the two cores and four logical processors that are created with the Hyperthreading feature on the 840 EE processor.

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  • Gary Key - Thursday, November 03, 2005 - link

    Please email me and I will forward a picture of the remaining inductors without the heatsinks attached. There are eight of them and the picture is high-res so you can make out the various numbers. Reply
  • danidentity - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Does Anandtech plan on reviewing the AMD version of this board? The A8N32-SLI Deluxe? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Yes, Wesley will have it completed shortly. Reply
  • Tanclearas - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    I look forward to that, particularly compared to the A8N-SLI Premium. I find it highly dubious that x16 SLI shows such noticeable improvements over x8 SLI. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I am definitely skeptical. I would guess there is something else going on between those two boards. Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    Please note that I stated in the article-
    quote:

    This allows the option to support two full-bandwidth 16-lane PCI Express links for graphics compared to a single 16-lane PCI Express link or split into two full-bandwidth 8-lane PCI Express links previously. While this doubles the bandwidth of the previous chipset configuration, in reality, the actual performance improvements are dependent upon the CPU, GPU, applications, and driver sets used. We witnessed anywhere from a 3% to 25% improvement in certain applications and were, at times, CPU constrained when utilizing a pair of 7800GTX video cards in SLI configuration at 1600x1200 resolutions and above.
    and -
    quote:

    We benchmarked F.E.A.R. with the newly released NVIDIA 81.85 WHQL driver set, based upon recommendations from NVIDIA about further optimizations for SLI-AA and Dual Core processors that would show marked improvements for the x16 product at higher resolutions over the x8 product line. The Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe indicated an almost 3% gain over the MSI P4N Diamond in the previous 1280x960 benchmark. As the resolutions increased in the standard AT benchmark settings, the ability of the MSI P4N Diamond with its x8 SLI configuration fell behind the Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe by upwards of 11% in this application. Once we changed the standard benchmark settings to include 2x AA and 16X AF, the benchmarks ended up favoring the Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe by 25%. Based upon these results, we can conclude that the additional 8GB/second of bandwidth afforded by the additional 16 PCI Express lanes and the 81.85 driver optimizations allow a great deal of headroom potential at the higher resolutions with today's hardware.


    We found anywhere from a 3% to almost 11% difference between the x8SLi and x16SLI configurations with the first 3% coming from differences between the two respective board suppliers and the additional 7~8% coming from the additional bandwidth/optimizations at the higher resolutions between the two boards. The driver set utilized (81.85), video cards (7800GTX), applications (GPU intensive F.E.A.R.), driver settings (AA/AF on), and cpu combination account for the difference. We will have additional information on this in future articles including different game benchmarks were the differences are not as great but the base improvement still exists. There is a true base difference between the two configurations (could vary by board design) with the 81.85 driver set accounting for the majority of the difference after this initial improvement.
    Reply
  • Tanclearas - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    No need to get defensive. I just think that a single comparison of two boards (from two different manufacturers) does not make a conclusive argument for those improvements being from x16 vs x8 SLI configurations. If the tests show the same pattern for the A8N-SLI Premium and A8N32-SLI, then I will start to believe that the additional PCIe bandwidth is indeed what is behind the increases. Right now, we have a sample of one, which should never be the basis of a conclusion. Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    I am not getting defensive and did not mean for the message to come across that way. I had clearly stated that several factors played into the equation and I agree the additional bandwidth is only part of the equation. However, the same base advantage held true over the MSI P4N with the Gigabyte Quad board with the 78.01 drivers and in SLI operations with the 81.84 and 81.85 beta drivers. I agree about testing x8sli against x16sli from the same manufacturer but in this case the x8sli board would have been the P5ND2-SLI Deluxe which had severe issues in several areas. In this example the argument would have made that testing any another x8sli board would have been more beneficial for results. ;-> Reply
  • breetai72 - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    Are the benchmarks used for comparison from old reviews or did you rerun the tests again for this review? If so, the results aren't worth comparing to given what you said about difference in drivers, etc.

    I find it very hard to believe that any graphics setup is exceeding the bandwidth of a x8 slot. The private pixel bus handles most of the traffic anyway.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    I reran all of the benchmarks for this article and also standardized on DDR2-667 at 3-2-2-8-1T as stated on the Test Setup page. There was no difference in numbers between the beta 81.85 and whql 81.85 drivers we used for the article. The 7800GTX SLI setup has the ability to exceed the x8 slot capacity and this is shown in the base benchmarks. I am sure the next article to be published will further show the differences between x8sli and x16sli. ;-) However, I will state once again that the main increases will come from the 81.85 drivers, certain GPU intensive games, 7800GTX SLI setup, additional AA/AF settings, and higher resolutions. Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    quote:

    different game benchmarks were the differences
    Should be- "different game benchmarks where the differences". I hit the enter button accidently before checking my spelling.
    Reply

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