The Asus A8R-MVP created quite a stir when Asus introduced the $100 AMD Socket 939 motherboard based on the ATI RD480 chipset. This was a mainstream motherboard that featured the ULi M1575 Southbridge for full SATA2 3GB/sec drive support and uncompromised USB performance. In addition, the A8R-MVP turned out to be an outstanding overclocker. We were very pleased with the value of the A8R-MVP and praised the board in our A8R-MVP launch review.

However, some realities set in as the A8R-MVP made its way to market in volume. Many complained that a 2T Command Rate was required for overclocks above 260/265 clock speed - something that we initially missed due to 2T being the Auto default on reset of the A8R-MVP. The A8R-MVP was very fast at 2T, but everyone expected that it would be even faster at 1T. In addition, the high overclocks required a slow progression to the overclock speed in 5 to 10 MHz increments, as we had reported in our initial review. We had seen this on other boards, but this overclocking requirement is often a real time-waster with serious overclockers.

The great news with the A8R-MVP was that it had no difficulty whatsoever with ATI Dual x8 Crossfire. The simple paddle design seemed to succeed where more complicated designs often failed with 2 ATI video cards in Crossfire mode. The A8R-MVP, therefore, became the board of choice for ATI Crossfire video.

Fast forward to today's launch of the ATI RD580 chipset. Asus is now shipping the updated Asus A8R32-MVP, which is widely available for purchase at the launch of the ATI RD580 chipset. Asus has certainly updated their ATI chipset board with the RD580 chipset and Dual x16 capabilities to compete with the best AMD chipsets available, but they have done more than merely update the A8R-MVP with a new chipset. Asus has listened to buyers and answered the concerns, complaints, and suggestions of A8R-MVP buyers. The result is an Asus A8R32-MVP that is definitely worth your attention.

We said in our A8R-MVP review that we really hoped that Asus would deliver a super high-end board, much like the Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe, which is an 8-phase Asus design. The A8R32-MVP is still not that top-end design, but Asus has added enough to the A8R32-MVP to move it to the Deluxe name. When we talked to Asus about the positioning of the A8R32-MVP, they were clear that the board performance had been improved and the board is a superb overclocker. However, we will likely not see the full-blown treatment until the AM2 version of the A8R32.

In checking with other major motherboard manufacturers, DFI and Abit will be launching top-end RD580 motherboards, but many vendors like MSI and ECS will not have an RD580 offering until the AM2 launch. This makes some sense, since RD580 fully supports AM2 and AM2 is now expected within 3 months of this official RD580 launch. However, we are grateful that Asus, DFI and Abit decided to go ahead with a Socket 939 version of RD580, since it is looking as if RD580 will be an outstanding chipset for the AMD processor.

Two things stand out about the Radeon Xpress 3200 chipset:
  • RD580 is a true Dual x16 PCIe design with both x16 PCIe slots off the north bridge.


  • The RD580 was designed from the ground up for high-speed overclocking. In fact, most RD580 boards will be able to run at around 300 clock frequency at the base 5X (1000) HTT frequency instead of having to drop to 3X (600) as on other chipsets.
This a review of the shipping A8R32-MVP Deluxe. This is an important and much talked about update to the popular Asus A8R-MVP. As a result, we wanted buyers who are trying to make an AMD buying decision to know what will is now in the market. The RD580 was broadly covered in our ATI RD580: Dual x16 Crossfire Preview last November.

Asus A8R32-MVP: Board Layout
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  • SuperStrokey - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    i assume that was not the gtx512 was it? If so wow Reply
  • DeathBooger - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?Web...">http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?Web...

    If you do a currency conversion it's $217USD. Some lucky guy actually got to buy it before they were supposed to sell it. http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=...">http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=...
    Reply
  • Egglick - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    Why would you use two different videocards when benchmarking a motherboard?? This really tells us nothing about the motherboards performance in relation to the others, because you have another huge variable. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    As we stated in the test setup we ran BOTH the 7800GTX and the X1900XT video card on the Asus A8R32-MVP. We reported both results so you could compare 7800GTX performance to the previous boards also tested with the 7800GTX. Since the X1900XT is the latest and fastest video card the results were included for Reference only - many would have asked for X199XT results if they were excluded.

    As someone else pointed out, when testing Dual X16 Video you have to run SLI on nVidia and Crossfire on ATI (or Intel).
    Reply
  • andrewln - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    because you can not run SLI in Crossfire motherboards Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    Why didn't Asus include the cool feel as they did with the ASUS A8N 32-SLI. Like the 8-Phase Power and the cool looking Fanless Motherboard cooling system. Reply
  • mino - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    Just wondering. maybe 8-phase is a waste for ~60 watt Athlon64s. Also why do a fancy(an expensive) "cool looking Fanless Motherboard cooling system" when chipset is cool and doesn not need one at all???

    I.m glad someone has a sense and doesn't produce third central heater in the system(after CPU & GPU).

    Hoping SB600 will be a good one.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    The RD580 chipset also ran very cool on this board, so there may not be the need for the more exotic passive heatpipe cooling used on the A8N32-SLI. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    The A8R32-MVP was designed to sell for a lower price - probably around $130 to $150, where the A8N32-SLI was designed to sell for $200+. While the A8R32-MVP isn't 8-phase, it actually overclocked ba bit better and gave up nothing to the more expensive and excellent A8N32-SLI in performance. This board can also run dual X1900XT cards in Crossfire mode. Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    I wonder how much will it sell for and if it goes arround same price as Asus A8N 32-SLI (220ish). if it cost that much then i will end up buying DFI RD580 motherboard if its got no issue bugs like the 1st rev of DFI RD480 CRossfire. Reply

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