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  • scottyfree111 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Gary, I got one of the first production runs of this board and I smelled something burning on the first post. I got it to work, but mobo temps were 46-48C. my friend got the same board a few weeks later in an almost identical setup (P43.46EE, dual Quadro FX-3400's, PC P&C 850 PSU) and got 28C mobo, and 29C (idle on the CPUw/Zalman 9500 cooler). So I RMA'd it, and am hoping for similar results. It should be back any day now and I'm hoping they replaced it. Asus forums list many unhappy campers having all sorts of Bios issues. Which Bios are you using now(212 maybe?) Also, I was disappointed that there are only 5 internal sata ports since I use 9 hard drives. I've been looking into using a Sil Image 5X1 port multiplier with a 4 bay esata enclosure from either Addonics or Cool Drives to get a RAID 0X4 on the Sil 3132 with my 4 WD740 Raptors for video capture/editing. Do you know anything about setting up an esata RAID? Thanks Reply
  • MadAd - Friday, November 04, 2005 - link

    Thanks for the reply Gary, dont bust a gut though, 1920x1440 is really good enough :)

    Im just welcoming the recognition that people do use high res to do normal things like play games on (shock horror).

    Ive always found it strange that Anandtech reports on so much cutting edge hardware in the cpu, mobo and video areas, the bread and butter of a good review site, but seemed to ignore people with high end monitors in test results - at least you are putting that right now, thank you again.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    Hooray! a reviewer that benchmarks games up to high end video resolutions! Thank you thank you!!

    My own resolution of 1920x1200 wasnt mentioned but I got the picture from what you did cover, thank you again- The other Anand reviewers seem to think theres no life after 1600x1200. (but there is :¬) )

    Nice one
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    Hi,

    The review results will depend upon the monitor's capability during testing (several of my monitor's only go to 1600x1200 or 1280x1024). Also, please realize that a large majority of readers have 19" LCDs that only support up to 1280x1024. This is why we standardized on this resolution recently. However, we will start providing higher resolution benchmarks depending upon the hardware being reviewed (performance oriented boards) and time allowances. This is based upon the fact that the next step up for most buyers will be the 1600x1200 ~ 1920x1200 capable monitors.

    The higher end monitor's I have for testing do not support the 1920x1200 format. They support the 1920x1440 and up resolutions. However, that should change in the next month or so hopefully. ;-)

    I appreciate the comments and hopefully we can get you and others some 1920x1200 benchmarks in the near future.

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • H0witzer - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    As the owner of a P5ND2-SLI-Deluxe I have to say the C19 chipset gets WAY too hot. Not to mention the horrible stability of the BIOS. There has been Many complaints from ASUS owners about these issues. Another issue as of late has been power supplies blowing. I personally experience a 3 day old 500W Aspire power supply blowing, and after flashing the BIOS the entire system dying.

    I wonder about the stability of the NVIDIA chipset and how it will hold up in the long run. I would have liked to see a comparison against the P5WD2-Premium.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    I have read some of the horror stories about the P5ND2-SLI-Deluxe and agree about the thermal issues among others with the A2 stepping of the C19. The A3 and up steppings are better in this regard and the new board layout is significantly more robust than the P5ND2 series. I believe Asus realized their errors from several product releases lately (I went to Intel boards after an earlier issue with Asus) and are in the process of correcting them. This board has restored my faith in their new product lineup. This bios we tested with (0047) has been wonderful from both a stability and performance viewpoint. I personally use OCZ or PC Power and Cooling power supplies and have never had an issue with any board, good or bad. I did not have the P5WD2 to test against but I do have the P5LD2 now. :-> Reply
  • H0witzer - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    Hey Gary,

    Thanks for taking the time to write back. Based on your article and statements here I am going to contact my online retailer who is processing my RMA and tell them to just issue a credit and I will purchase the P5N32-SLI instead. Don't worry i won't hold you responsible for my decision :-)

    I just figured it couldn't be any worse than the last board. Hopefully they fixed the things that were issues with the P5ND2-SLI Deluxe.

    One last question, when will this be available, have you heard anything yet? All the online retailers are saying Pre-Order.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    Good Day,

    I bought a couple of boards from NewEgg last week but I noticed this morning they are out of them. I will send them a message and see when their next batch is in. When you receive the board please email me and we can discuss specifics on the board and bios. I really think you will be pleased with this board. If not, please post your issues. I would appreciate another viewpoint or opinion on the board.
    Reply
  • H0witzer - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    Hi Gary,

    Any word on why the boards all disapeared? Seems that No one has them anymore.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    Good Day,

    We spoke with Asus tonight. The second production run of boards was slightly delayed due to a couple of minor hardware changes on the board that should not affect performance. They changed resistors in a couple of areas apparently. However, Asus will provide us a new board for testing to ensure results are indicative of the review board results. The next production run of boards should arrive within 7 business days according to our sources. I will post an update to the article if there are any changes with this new release.

    Thanks....
    Reply
  • Kensei - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    I just wanted to say that I REALLY appreciate the wonderful combination of a person who is a very, very good writer and technologist. This extremely rare combination makes him one of the best technical writers I've come across in the past 20 years.

    It's not too hard to find people who are technically competent but very hard to find someone who can communicate well and knows what the hell they're talking about (ask anyone who has been to college). Quite frankly, he sets a standard that I think all AnandTech writers (ok... all technical writers) should strive to eventually achieve. This level of expertise typically takes years of practice to acquire even among the talented. Can't wait for his next article.

    To quote the first post..."Mixing philosophy, classical literature and computer hardware reviews? Gotta love it."

    Kensei
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    I greatly appreciate the comments. This was my third article and hopefully I improve with each one although you have now placed a great deal of pressure on me. ;->
    The next article series will be a multiple board review. I am learning how to convey several different messages in a very condensed form. It will be different than this last article so I would appreciate comments, good or bad. I try my best to listen to the readers and follow up on suggestions.
    I have two very good editors in Wes and Karen so it really is a team effort at AnandTech. I still have a great deal to learn and in fact will be taking a composition course this winter to improve my skills.
    Reply
  • Kensei - Thursday, November 03, 2005 - link

    You are welcome. I don't think you need a composition course so I'd be interested in hearing how much you learned once it's over. Hopefully I'm wrong, but you may be disappointed by the course. If this is a college course, you may find that people in English departments don't quite get technical writing. It's different (although not totally different) than writing good short stories.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to your future articles.

    Kensei


    Reply
  • screwtech02 - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    So let me get this straight... In "theory" i can run my 820 at a 250fsb or 4.0, with a ddr700 rating?? And the board will recognize both the cores?? I'm tempted to get this board, but after having the previous one from ASUS, i'm scared to death, it was a HORRIBLE overclocker, max i could get was 230fsb, and lousey mem performance.... But if you say this board is different, i may try one.... Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    Email me please and I can forward some testing results to you along with additional information. Reply
  • NegativeEntropy - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    Please check your USB/Firewire/Ethernet throughput graphs for their use of MB (MegaByte) vs Mb (Megabit).

    Nice board :)
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    I have corrected the charts. Thank you for noticing the issue. Sometimes you view something so much that you miss the obvious. :) Reply
  • noac - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    I read that you thought most would fit - "an excellent amount of room for alternative cooling solutions". Im wondering more specifically if the Scythe Ninja will fit with/without the optional fans. BTW did you test them, the fans? Wondering how much noise they make and if they work well. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, October 28, 2005 - link

    I do not have the Ninja although I know where to get one for a test. :) I received the optional fans a couple of days ago from Asus (tried to get them before publishing but it did not work out). I will try them this weekend and respond to your questions. They are designed to be used with watercooling or phase change setups. The stock Intel 840EE cooler (upgraded from other Pentium D units) provided enough air flow in the area to keep the MOFSETs cool. The aftermarket coolers I used provided more than enough air flow and fit great within the CPU area. Let me know if you need a listing of these heatsinks. Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    That's a freakin' awesome (if expensive) board!

    Btw THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for finally showing just how greatly sound enabled impacts the framerates on boards with on-board audio. Amazing that 17-19% of your CPU's power can be sapped by a stupid audio chip, especially when that turns into ~15fps drop in some games. Ugh.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    It is an awesome board.

    Thank you for the comments about the sound tests. We will be expanding this test suite greatly in the coming weeks. If you think BF2 has a hit, wait until you see the F.E.A.R. scores with sound effects at maximum. ;->
    However, in order to be consistent we will be testing the latest driver sets for each audio implementation along with adding an X-FI into the mix. The audio drivers within the latest NVIDIA 6.82 platform set are more game friendly than the RealTek versions but you give up some functionality and features for it.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    Gary - don't know if you will see this or not, but it would be interesting to see how the X-Fi series Creative card compares to the BlueGears X-Mystique, which is a highly rated ~$90 audio card available from NewEgg among other sites that has an excellent featureset (of course it lacks the latest EAX that Creative keeps for themselves so they have a reason to sell their wares to gamers, but it has more Dolby-related 5.1 features than the X-Fi series).

    Would be neat to see those two cards compared in "% usage" of CPU during gaming.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    Good Day,

    I have bought several cards the past few weeks including this one and the Chaintech AV-710. I intend to greatly expand the scope of audio testing on the board reviews due to the advances in on-board quality/drivers or the lack of in the nF4 area. I have a hard time understanding why most board manufacturers are shying away from C-Media as their on-board solutions always worked/sounded better than the RealTek AC97 counterparts. In the HD audio area it is a toss up in my opinion but I prefer the SigmaTel codec's on the Intel boards at this time including Intel's software packages. Hopefully I will be able to have the full audio section available in a couple of weeks. The next article series will have a little more information but is not representative of where we will be going in the future.

    I appreciate the comments and suggestions. I welcome anyone to email me if you have concerns or suggestions about our information. Obviously we have a format to adhere to and cannot test every possible hardware/software solution but I am always open to suggestions. :-)
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Oh and dual true-16x PCI-E slots and the passive cooling are both incredibly desireable features. When the AMD version of the board comes out I'll be all over it provided it reviews as well as this one did. Reply
  • Leper Messiah - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    If the AMD version works as well as this one does for intel's, I've got my new mobo picked out. Heat pipe cooling+ 8 phase power= The win! 840EE's at 4.2 might actually give an overclocked X2 a run for its money! :gasp; Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    quote:

    840EE's at 4.2
    Except that EE's will run MUCH hotter than X2's. This isn't a big deal if you have your own nuclear reactor.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Except that EE's will run MUCH hotter than X2's. This isn't a big deal if you have your own nuclear reactor.


    It was not that bad on this board (a very good description from you), idle temps at 37c, 4.1GHz at 46c according to the bios readings. I believe they were very close as I had a duplicate setup with the MSI P4N in it and you could feel the difference with your hands near the case. We will have thermal tests in the near future.
    Reply
  • Karaktu - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    One thing I would REALLY like to see added to review articles is the total power consumption of the test setup, both at stock and overclocked settings. There are a couple of power supplies (Coolermaster, Thermaltake) that include attached wattage displays for convenience.

    This would be useful for a number of reasons, not the least of which would be an idea of how much it's going to cost you to run such a rig. ;)

    Joe
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Hi Joe,

    We have discussed this and it is nice to see a request for it. :-) Hopefully, once I have the test equipment setup then we can include these results in selected articles. You will find this information in the some of the CPU reviews already. We will also start checking thermal readings when a manufacturer introduces new technology onto the board. Asus did this with the eight-phase design and it certainly helped the thermal conditions on the board and with the CPU. This was based on a more subjective review of numbers generated from the bios and monitoring programs (along with overclocking results) which is okay for a high level discussion but is not detailed enough for absolute objective statements.

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • breetai72 - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    I find it very hard to believe that this is an 8 phase vreg. Simply counting the inductors indicates that it's only a 5 phase. Can you post the VR controller part number so I can see the datasheet?

    Reply
  • 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
  • Beenthere - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Why would ANYONE spend the coin to buy an Intel based SLI system when you can buy an AMD system for the same price that will out-perform the Intel system and be upgradable for years???

    The only reason I can see for anyone buying any Intel product at this time is if they are stuck with an Intel system already and they desire to upgrade to a faster chip if they can find one to fit whatever socket Mobo they have. Otherwise I see no logical reason whatsoever for even considering an obsolete, under-performing Intel product.
    Reply
  • Shintai - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    You ask the wrong question. Why would anyone buy a SLI/CrossFire system at all. Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    quote:

    You ask the wrong question.
    He can ask any question he wants. There are no wrong questions.
    quote:

    Why would anyone buy a SLI/CrossFire system at all.
    Because one can. :)
    Reply
  • Ricky Ling - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    I only afraid on the future upgradeability on this board because according to ASUS Support FAQ (as this news has not been revealed on the Internet), this board does not support future Pentium 4 that based on 65nm technology, namely Cedar Mill (Single core replacing Prescott) and Presler (Dual core replacing Smithfield)

    So how is testing done the Presler sample processor cause I thought Anand got holding of 1 Presler sample...Pls double check at the following :
    http://support.asus.com/faq/faq_right_second_detai...">http://support.asus.com/faq/faq_right_s...P5N32-SL...

    As Presler start hitting OEM already....we need more info on this issue???

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    quote:

    As Presler start hitting OEM already....we need more info on this issue???


    The initial information I have from Asus this weekend is the board will support the 65nm CPU range with a bios update and the CPU steppings must be B1 or above.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Hello,

    I had already asked for public clarification about this issue from Asus after visiting the website last week. I believe the entire FAQ has not been properly updated as it still states the Pentium 820 will only work in single core mode which is no longer the case with this chipset revision. We have not had an issue testing the Presler or Cedar Mill CPUs with current board designs from different suppliers.

    I will respond once I have further information.

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • Chuckles - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    How's the clearance on the right-most PCIe x1 slot? It looks like a card put in there would be perilously close to the northbridge heatsink. Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Hi,

    The D-Link DGE-560T PCIe network adaptor card fit fine and it is the longest card I tried in the x1 slot. I would agree if a card had several logic chips placed in the right area on the back of the board then clearance could be an issue with the heatsink. However, the few peripheral PCIe cards that I have fit fine.
    Reply
  • erwos - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    I wouldn't have minded seeing the difference between bridged SLI and bridgeless SLI on both SLI Dual x16 and SLI Dual x8 motherboards.

    My gut feeling is that nVidia is going to be phasing out the bridge in the near future, if they can get the same performance without it using the PCIe bus.

    -Erwos
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    "ASUS CPU Lock Free (BIOS setting to unlock multiplier locked CPUs)"

    Does this mean that all multipliers (up and down) are available again?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Does this mean that all multipliers (up and down) are available again?


    Asus will be clarifying the supported range of CPUs with the Lock Free setting. I noticed a difference this weekend on the retail board and bios with a CPU stepping range I thought was fully supported. I know the EE series all work properly, the balance I am not sure of at this time.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    It will allow you to go down to 14x only in my testing. I did not have an issue with the dual core cpus down to 14x or raising the 820D to 16x. However, I have a single core cpu coming and will verify the settings with it. Please email me so I can repsond to you directly. Reply
  • Spacecomber - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    I think a more to the point intro would have been to ask whether a $250 motherboard can make up for the shortcomings in the current line of Intel desktop processors and make them more attractive to the computer enthusiast.

    Then again, maybe people who are sticking with their Prescotts really are dreamers.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Good point and one that Intel finally understands but we will have to wait until next summer to see the results. :) However, this board does make up for some of the current Intel CPU shortcomings and is truly an enthusiast board for Intel customers. Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Asus were leader once and i think are going to take the leader crown again: )

    They have been getting good success with:
    Dual GPU 7800GTX
    Now This motherboard
    Also they are working on 7300 go

    Good work and keep it up
    Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    reads like an ad for asus
    who the hell would use a current Intel cpu?
    not the 80% of the people who come to AT
    I'll take the upcoming (delayed again) DFI NF4 Expert mobo, thank you
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    quote:

    reads like an ad for asus


    If it means anything, I purchased a pair of these boards after I completed the initial testing to replace a couple of systems in our household. I am that confident in the board and its ability.

    quote:

    who the hell would use a current Intel cpu?

    About 80%+ of the buying public currently although the numbers are greatly skewed in their favor by large OEM and Retail sales. Actually, the newer Intel products are decent performers at a good price point. However, I completly agree that AMD owns the performance market and should receive wider credit for their efforts over the past couple of years.

    quote:

    not the 80% of the people who come to AT

    Agreed, but sometimes it is good to visit the other side of the fence. A few short years ago your statements would have held true for people with AMD systems. ;-)

    quote:

    I'll take the upcoming (delayed again) DFI NF4 Expert mobo, thank you

    An excellent choice but while you are waiting you could purchase this board now. :-)



    Reply
  • karioskasra - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Dreams are made on an Intel platform? Did I miss something here... Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    If you have an Intel CPU, then no, you did not miss anything. ;->
    I fully understand the performance and cost advantages the current AMD64 platform has over Intel. However, this should not dismiss the fact that the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI platform along with the implementation of it by Asus is an excellent solution regardless of CPU choice.
    I personally own several AMD64 platforms but in reality you would be hard pressed at this time to tell the difference in performance between the two without benchmarks. I realize there will be a small population that can but overall an current Intel based system is fine for gaming and applications.
    Reply
  • ksherman - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    I REALLY like the fan less northbridge cooling setup... Wish my DFI had one like it. Esp. since my Zalman 7700 will keep those heasinks nice and cool... Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Those accustomed to looking at AMD Athlon64 Performance Scores are used to seeing numbers almost the same across motherboards because the memory controller is on the CPU. The Intel Memory Controller is in the chipset and performance varies much more depending on the chipset and the quality of the motherboard design.

    That is one reason we often test Latency in Intel MB tests. If you look at the Latency test results in this review you will see a fairly wide variation across the tested chipsets and motherboards for the Intel CPU. Athlon64 Latency tests would all be virtually the same with the memory controller a part of the processor.
    Reply
  • toyota - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    how can motherboards make that much difference in gaming?? in the Doom3 benchmarks they range from 63 to 95 fps! i dont understand benchmarks like that and nobody else ever makes a comment. am i missing something? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Good Day.....

    I revised the article statement about the Doom3 scores. I left it out on the final copy by mistake. We are still investigating the differences as an upcoming article from Randi on another nF4 Intel SLI board has scores higher than the numbers I have reported by a fair margin again. In fact, I will be testing the Abit board once it arrives with an disk image from my previous tests.

    Due to the memory controller not being on the CPU (current Athlon64 family design) the Intel based motherboard design makes a great deal of difference not only from a chipset choice but also from how well a board manufacturer designs and implements the supporting components and bios.

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • xsilver - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    the 63fps is on another chipset, the chipset affects memory, hdd performance directly and everything else indirectly..
    the 95fps actually looks like an anomaly -- and AT member will have to confirm that (SLI setup in the NI8?)

    so in fact the numbers are actually 75.3-79.4fps which is an acceptable range for the same chipset
    many people forget the mobo is the heart of the system, it pays to get a good one :)
    Reply
  • TransientBen - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Mixing philosophy, classical literature and computer hardware reviews? Gotta love it. Though it's difficult to not get caught up in the philosophy and then question, "Is it worth $200 for a motherboard or a plane ticket to a new place?"

    There is so little time, afterall.

    Always been a big Asus fan. Have one of the first (original slot a) Athlon boards still up and running after all these years - rock solid - and, more recently, a Z33A laptop that's blown me away with it's quality. I look forward to the inclusion of many of these features on future AMD boards.
    Reply
  • noac - Saturday, November 12, 2005 - link

    Hi, Im reading my manual and it says:

    DIMM_A1 (yellow), DIMM_A2 (black), DIMM_B1 (yellow), DIMM_B2 (black).

    Channel A = DIMM_A1 and DIMM_A2
    Channel B = DIMM_B1 and DIMM_B2

    For dual-channel configuration, the total size of memory module(s) intalled per channel must be the same (DIMM_A1 + DIMM_A2, DIMM_B1 + DIMM_B2).

    Anandtech:
    Asus did an excellent job with the color coordination of the various peripheral slots and connectors. The DIMM module slots' color coordination is correct for dual channel setup.

    My question which way is it? Im I getting the manual wrong? How to I palce my two mems for dualchannel?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Email me if you have any issues or further questions please. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Sorry about the late reply...

    You place the memory in the two yellow DIMM slots for dual channel.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Mixing philosophy, classical literature and computer hardware reviews? Gotta love it. Though it's difficult to not get caught up in the philosophy and then question, "Is it worth $200 for a motherboard or a plane ticket to a new place?"


    Depends on the time and place in my book. :-> However, considering where I could go for $200 at this point in time I will take the board. I also believe Dickens is queued up for the next article.

    I had been concerned about Asus the past couple of releases as I honestly thought Intel had passed them on the high end side (useable features, stability, throw in Abit for performance) with their 925x and 955x boards until this gem landed on my doorstep.

    I think the AMD version of this board should be equally adept and we should find out shortly. ;->
    Reply
  • xsilver - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    I can see asus and the other mobo companies making this refresh right after/before christmas and then obviously another refresh for M2 socket Reply

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