ASUS P5NSLI: Core 2 Duo and SLI on a Budget

by Gary Key on 8/22/2006 5:30 AM EST
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  • techkn0w - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    I just got back my mobo from Asus RMA (I sent it in due to memory errors) and it's still giving memory errors. This just sucks and I read some websites that many users are getting errors too. Just thought I should put it out here so you guys know. Ok, back to checking the Asus forums. Reply
  • redpriest_ - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    You mention the 590 SLI chipset, can we get a comparison versus that too? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    quote:

    You mention the 590 SLI chipset, can we get a comparison versus that too?

    The 590SLI Intel is under NDA currently. The 590SLI production boards will be different than the reference board we previewed earlier.
    Reply
  • Napyan - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    Sorry, kind of an idiot question but I've read the article 3 times now trying to figure it out. If the board doesn't support DDR2-800 how was it tested on it? Overclocking? Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Sorry, kind of an idiot question but I've read the article 3 times now trying to figure it out. If the board doesn't support DDR2-800 how was it tested on it? Overclocking?


    The chipset officially supports DDR2-533/667 although it will "unofficially" support DDR2-800 if bios support is provided by the supplier. Anything about DDR2-800 is overclocking and to a certain extent so is DDR2-800 although it is a very gray area. I apologize as this statement was in my original text and I removed it during the edit process. I will update the article.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    Where is the edit button? Anything above DDR2-800...... Reply
  • Napyan - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    Thank you for clearing that up for me. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    It does support DDR2-800. The problem is that it becomes wonderfully unstable if you push things too hard, i.e. 3-3-3 timings. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    Soon - as soon as we get it. Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    Funny how your original look at NForce5 (as linked on page 2 of this article) showed 570 was supposed to also include DualNet, yet this board does not. :[ Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Funny how your original look at NForce5 (as linked on page 2 of this article) showed 570 was supposed to also include DualNet, yet this board does not. :[


    That is due to the fact they are using a different chipset than the AM2 family although the marketing language is the same.
    Reply
  • scott967 - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    I'm trying to understand the chart on memory which compares different chipsets. The Via PT580 falls apart on Sandra standard going from 533 to 667 memory. Is this correct?

    scott s.
    .
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I'm trying to understand the chart on memory which compares different chipsets. The Via PT580 falls apart on Sandra standard going from 533 to 667 memory. Is this correct?


    That is correct. ASRock and VIA have figured out the issue, just waiting on a fix that hopefully is bios related and nothing else.
    Reply
  • Spacecomber - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    This came up before with another article, but perhaps it needs to be said again, I wish that Anandtech would stop using charts showing comparitive FPS that don't show a full FPS axis that starts with zero.

    I understand that you are trying to highlight the small differences that are being measured and that if you have a chart that uses a proper axis, starting at zero, these differenes are harder to see. However a chart with an axis starting with zero is still a better representation of the results than using a distorted graph to draw out the differences.

    Essentially, all you have graphed are the differences between the different results, and if this is what you want to do that is fine. Just relabel the graph and change the axis to show this. Call it something like "Increase in FPS with Memory Speeds Faster than DDR2-663" and then have an axis that runs from 0 to 5 FPS, since that should about cover all your results.

    Obviously, such a graph would not be very appealing or interesting, but it would be in better keeping with your data. And, the fact that it doesn't seem to be a very informative graph is precisely my point. Trying to dress these charts up, which really are only charts of the small differences between your results, as if they also provide a relative comparison of the different FPS with different motherboards and different memory timings, simply confounds things. You would do better to pick one or the other to represent, but not mash both together as you are doing now.

    It is bad enough that these statistics are posted in such a manner that pays little heed to the kinds of variations that are involved. Magnifying tiny differences in order to make them seen more significant only compounds the problem. Without these distorted graphs a reader might more correctly conclude that the differences in the frame rates, comparing these two different motherboards while using memory running at different speeds, are essentially insignificant. And, drawing out speculative conclusions, based on the perception of any differences, is most likely just much ado about nothing.
    Reply
  • hibachirat - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    I don't mind those. But the red and green lines are to close for my red-green color blindness. I can almost tell them apart...but would be nice it the green was brightened and/or the red darkened just a bit. Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    quote:

    This came up before with another article, but perhaps it needs to be said again, I wish that Anandtech would stop using charts showing comparitive FPS that don't show a full FPS axis that starts with zero.
    Zero based graphs are available by clicking on the orginal image. :)
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    quote:

    This came up before with another article, but perhaps it needs to be said again, I wish that Anandtech would stop using charts showing comparitive FPS that don't show a full FPS axis that starts with zero.


    Our full review will not utilize these charts. Instead of separating the information and showing pages and pages of the data we felt like this was the best way to collectively show it all at once. We end up with either a graph that has the majority of data points stacked into a single line path or the other evil of not having a zero based graph. We are still working on an updated engine so hopefully this issue disappears quickly or we go back to the bar charts.

    Personally, it really bothers me not to have a zero base graph. I will work on another alternative today and update the article if it works. Thanks for the comments and we do agree with you.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    We have added a zero-based graphs as pop-ups if you want to see those results. The number tables at the bottom of the charts are intended to help you see that the scores really aren't that far apart, but now you can see the true relative difference. Reply
  • shecknoscopy - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    Well, I've never been that discouraged with their axis labeling, but I could see how someone unfamiliar with the world of statistics could be misled by purported performance differences that are actually within the measurement error.

    Personally, if I were the one reporting these data, I'd use <b>both</b> methods. Plot the data as you currently do - so as to highlight subtle differences, and <b>also</b> place them on a full graph (where y ranges between 0 and the maximum observed value) in an inset. That way you get a nice zoom-in on the "interesting stuff," and a smaller zoom-out to illustrate that the differences are typically minor, compared to the absolute values.

    I'll also point out that, if you <i>really</i> want to get persnippity about their stats reporting, you should demand that they repeat their tests several times, and report each datum with an error bar. :)

    Of course, most of my suggestions for improvement involve the word "bar."

    -sheq
    Reply
  • Renoir - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    I feel it's important to put a lot of these results in perspective with regards to their level of significance. For me personally when looking at results I find the thing that I find most useful is percentages. Lately it seems that a lot of system variables (memory timings/frequency, cpu cache etc) often result in differences of less than 10% in most cases which to me isn't that significant when just getting 1 higher speed bin on your cpu would get you that and probably for less money than say buying the very best ram. I guess I'm saying that when I see graphs that are zoomed in to highlight minor differences I find myself thinking "ok I see why they've done that but it would be nice to be given a percentage so that I can make a quick and dirty evaluation of whether the difference is significant or not". Just some random thoughts :-) Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    I wonder if the FSB wall (the 320-321 MHz) the mainboard run into is real or an engineering trick... Conspiracy theory, but I think that the top-end chipset might reach a much higher FSB, luring overclockers to pay a handfull of dollars for the premium chipset Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    quote:

    wonder if the FSB wall (the 320-321 MHz) the mainboard run into is real or an engineering trick... Conspiracy theory, but I think that the top-end chipset might reach a much higher FSB, luring overclockers to pay a handfull of dollars for the premium chipset


    On the previous C19A boards we hit 268FSB with a Pentium 4. We were starting at a 200FSB level. We are now starting at a 266FSB and hitting around the 320FSB level which is actually lower from the base. The Intel NVIDIA chipsets have never been good overclockers and our sample will not even post past 325FSB. We are expecting our final NF590SLI sample this week so it will be interesting if there is a cap although I doubt it.
    Reply
  • shabby - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    321 max fsb? Who in their right mind would buy this mobo when the gigabyte ds3 hits speeds over 500fsb? Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    Because this board costs $120 or lower and has more features (SLI). Not everyone OC's their motherboard. Besides, the DS3 has questionable stability. Why would I or other non-OCers would want to pay $140+ for a board (DS3) that has less features and less stability? Also, DS3's are NOT hitting 500 fsb regularly. A fortunate few are getting 500 fsb but not everyone. Reply
  • DigitalDivine - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    i thought asus would have phased out their signiture gold puke color by now. that board is probably the ugliest i've seen come out of asus, it's not subtle, but bright!!!! black is a very nice color... stick with black... or go platinum silver (i miss my soyo dragon)...

    the sad part in all of this is that their low cost subsidiary "asrock" offers a very tasteful blue color for their boards.

    ---------------------------------

    This board will be excellent for when i buy a conroe though, maybe i'll wait to see what other manufacturers will be able to put out.
    Reply
  • R3MF - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    why does the Intel version of the 570SLI have only 20 PCIe lanes when the AMD version of the 570SLI has 28 PCIe lanes? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - link

    They are not utilizing the same chipset. The 570SLI for Intel Edition is just updated marketing language for the existing C19A+/MCP51(nForce 430). Reply

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