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  • mike6099 - Thursday, September 21, 2006 - link

    The review does not list the ASUS M2N32-SLI as having raid 5. however, at newegg it lists that it does. does the ASUS M2N32-SLI indeed have raid 5 capability? Reply
  • dougcook - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Be careful with the MSI K9A. If you get one, you'll probably want to get a better chipset cooler for it.

    I bought an MSI K9A board (after reading this review). The 570 chipset seemed about right for me. Everything seemed ok (some things seemed a bit cheap, but nothing really unusual). There were reports about it being incompatible with some memory, so I was careful there and got the good stuff. I got it all installed and it looked like it was running fine...

    For one day (until I actually tried to use it).

    The first real thing I did was burn a few CDs. In the middle of the 3rd CD, the Northbridge overheated and the machine turned itself off. This happened 2 more times, and then the machine failed to boot at all (even after giving it time to cool off). I wasn't overclocking, and the box had decent ventilation. The CPU's temperature was fine, the GPU's temperature was fine, the case temperature was fine, but the chipset temperature was through the roof. I had to return the motherboard.

    This may not happen for everybody, but looking on NewEgg, it seems that this has happened to many other people. The MSI northbridge does not have an adequate heatsink and is likely to burn up. Save the time and get something better. I got the equivalent ABit 570 SLI motherboard, and I've been very happy so far. I hear good things about the ASUS 570 as well.
    Reply
  • Stele - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    Great article! If only there were more Xpress 3200 boards on the market now... perhaps Anandtech would do a further roundup when that is the case?

    Good to see that most motherboard manufacturers are keeping that 24-pin ATX connector well at the edge. So far the only outstanding exception to this practice seems to be EpoX...

    As for the 4-pin 12V connector, well, it may not be the best place to be for airflow and cable routing reasons, but that location is actually part of the ATX form factor specifications, which clearly states that the 12V connector should be "next to Voltage Regulator" (ATX Specification v2.2, pg 8). Motherboard designers likely just followed that to make life easier. Specifications aside, it also makes much engineering sense as it keeps traces short - crucial to maintain the quality of power supplied to something as important as the CPU VRM. Besides, airflow considerations are less of an issue with respect to four strands of wire.

    IMHO perhaps the one improvement the designers could do while keeping with the spirit of the specifications would be to put the connector on the other side of the VRM, nearer the motherboard edge, though still at the I/O side of the motherboard instead of at the edges nearer the 24-pin ATX connector.
    Reply
  • lopri - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    Boy, do I love this article! Thanks to Wesley for this great review. Usually in previous AT motherboard reviews, many difficulties/bugs that end-users experience were often overlooked. (Warm-boot, Cold-boot, Vdroop(?), etc.) I sort of understood it as a result of working with motherboard manufacturers (It's been mentioned that they get BIOS updates on a daily basis), but I used to think AT's motherboard reviews were somewhat different from end-users' experience of retail products.

    This review feels much realer and it sounded almost like what I went through with a couple of the boards that I bought after reading AT reviews. I'm very glad and grateful, and hope AT keeps this critical viewpoints for future reviews, especially for motherboards.

    lop
    Reply
  • Le Québécois - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    When you are talking about the SB600 features
    quote:

    # Supports the following AMD processors: Desktop: Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 FX X2, Sempron, Opteron, dual-core- Opteron


    Shouldn't it be: Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon FX, Sempron... To my knowledge Amd have Athlon 64 X2 ;) and even if the FX-60 (939) and the FX-62(AM2) have 2 core AMD still call them simply by FX and not FX X2.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Edited. Basically, SB600+RD580 supports all current 939/AM2 AMD CPUs. Not sure about SB460, as Wes specifically didn't list dual core and Opteron parts there. I would guess it does, but I will leave that edit to him just to be safe. Reply
  • Furen - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    =)
    He just meant that FX X2 doesn't exist. There are A64s X2s and A64 FXes but even the dual-core parts are plain FXes.
    Reply
  • mendocinosummit - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    So, awards were handed out despite the fact that ASUS and other top mobo manus don't have ATI boards yet? Am I to assume that this is the end of the mobo lineup? I would really like to see at least two more boards featuring a ATI chipset; especially since the ECS board will basically be a flop at launch. Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Am I to assume that this is the end of the mobo lineup?
    We also have a few mATX AM2 boards along with a couple of value solutions that we will be reviewing shortly. There is still the upcoming DFI 590SLI AM2 board to review also. :)
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Will you guys be testing any of the ABIT boards ? For me personaly, so far, my choice is the ABIT AN9 32x (non fata1ity). I like this board because it offers the SIL 3132 controller, and has an eSATA socket in the I/O section. This is, I'm hoping to use this board with a SATA port multiplier, for some external RAID 5 goodness :) Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    We plan to test the Abit, but we have not yet received the board. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Good to hear :) Reply
  • mendocinosummit - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Sweet. I was hoping that was the case. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    It's not the end of the AM2 board testing. We fully expect great RD580 boards from DFI and Asus. However, after testing 9 AM2 boards in-depth it was time to assess where we were.

    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Finally a review that does not have Conroe plastered all over it. I have the ECS RD480 board based upon an earlier review of it here. The board has performed well and is stable as a rock. Do you think you maybe have a bad board or is it really as bad as it was described? I was looking forward to going to AM2 with a cheap X3800x2 but did not want a nvidia solution since I already have crossfire. Will there be other RD580 boards from Asus or DFI or maybe someone like Abit?
    I was excited about this board after reading the review at HardOcp where it received an editors award. Your comment "we have to wonder how ECS could manage to produce such a mediocre motherboard." is completely opposite of the other review. But after reading both reviews again I noticed your test results were very consistent when compared to the other boards that were not reviewed in that article. Looking at the results I have to wonder what board they tested.

    Just a few questions if you have time. What would cause the cold boot issue? Does the board have the SB600 or SB460 as listed in the chart. How is the performance of the jmicron chipset? I can not find any test results with it and it seems like everyone is using it now. Thanks for providing some very useful AMD information as they still exist even after Conroe.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    The ECS has the SB600. ECS included literature that stated the soutn bridge was SB460, but we took off the heatsink and looked. It is definitely an SB600. We will change the ECS spec chart.

    The cold boot issues can be poor power regulation, the board's boot sequence, or even just a poor BIOS. It IS possible it might be corrected in the furure with a BIOS update, but there are plenty of other AM2 boards that work well today and cost about the same or less.

    We noticed in the other website review you reference that they made a passing mention of the missing CAS adjustment, but they still gave it an Editors choice. They also noted the very poor overclocking, but still gave the ECS an Editors Choice. I'm sorry, but we don't give Editors Choice awards to the worse overclocker of 9 competing AM2 boards that does not even offer CAS adjustments.
    Reply
  • allnighter - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    ...work comp, win2k+explorer Reply
  • Patrese - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Great review, I only missed Oblivion results. I'd like to see more Anantech reviews about motherboards directed to other audiences, like HTPCs, for instance. There are a lot of motherboards directed to that segment, like the Asus M2NPV-VM, and I think it would be great to see a review as detailed as you generally do for the entusiast boards. A MicroATX roundup would be perfect... :) Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    A few HTPC motherboard reviews are already in process. You will be seeing these from Gary Key in the near future. Reply
  • jackylman - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    I'd really love to see some hardcore Sempron undervolting on those reviews. (hint,hint) Reply
  • Patrese - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Great! :) Reply
  • classy - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Whats with the smarttargeting pop-up? Reply
  • Fenixgoon - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    no popups for me - win XP w/ firefox Reply
  • mendocinosummit - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    I got it twice on every new page for the review. I also have Firefox and XP SP2. I wonder if they are being attacked. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Nice review, shame that I kept on getting pop-ups asking me to log into www.smarttargetting.net when I went to the next page (Safari / Mac OS X, not it's no IE Windows issue). Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    There are also pop-ups with IE. We have notified our IE support of the issue. They will fix the issue as soon as possible. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    IE has fixed the pop-up error. Let us know if there are any further issues. Reply
  • Bonesdad - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    me too... Reply

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