ASUS P5N32-SLI SE
Basic Features


ASUS P5N32-SLI SE
Market Segment: High-End/Enthusiast
CPU Interface: Socket T (Socket 775)
CPU Support: LGA775-based Pentium 4, Pentium XE, Celeron D, Pentium D, Core 2 Duo
Chipset: nForce4 Intel SLI Intel Edition (C19 revC1)
nForce4 Intel SLI Edition (CK-804)
Thermal Design: 8-phase power
Fan-less Heatpipe Cooling
ASUS Stack Cool 2 for OC
Bus Speed Support: 1066/800/533MHz
Bus Speeds: 533 to 1600 in 1MHz Increments
Memory Speeds: 400 to 1600 in 1MHz Increments
PCIe Speeds: 100 to 148.4375 in 1.5625MHz Increments
PCI: Fixed at 33
AI Tuning: Manual, Auto, Overclock Profile, AI N.O.S.
Core Voltage: Auto, 1.2250V to 1.7000V in 0.0625V increments
PEG Link Mode: Auto, Disabled, Normal, Fast, Faster
CPU Clock Multiplier: Auto, 6x-20x in 1X increments if CPU is unlocked
DRAM Voltage: 1.8V to 2.4V in .05V or .10V increments
1T/2T Memory: Auto, 1T, 2T
DRAM Timing Control: Auto, 6 Options
NB HT: Auto, 200MHz, 400MHz, 600MHz, 800MHz, 1000MHZ
SB HT: Auto, 200MHz, 400MHz, 600MHz, 800MHz, 1000MHZ
NB Voltage: Auto,1.4V, 1.5V, 1.6V
SB Voltage: Auto,1.5V, 1.6V
Memory Slots: Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration
Regular Unbuffered Memory to 16GB Total
Expansion Slots: 2 - PCIe X16
1 - PCIe X4
2 - PCIe X1
2 - PCI Slots 2.2
Onboard SATA/RAID: 4 SATA 3Gbps Ports - NVIDIA
2 SATA 3Gbps Ports - SI3132
(RAID 0,1,0+1,JBOD) -NVIDIA
(RAID 0,1) - Silicon Image 3132
Onboard IDE: 2 Standard ATA133/100/66/33 Ports (4 drives)
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394: 10 USB 2.0 Ports - 4 I/O Panel, Six via Headers
2 Firewire 400 Ports by TI TSB43AB22A
Onboard LAN: Dual Gigabit Ethernet
Marvell 88E1115 PHY, Marvell 88E8053
Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC850 8-channel Codec
Power Connectors: ATX 24-pin, 8-pin EATX 12V
I/O Panel: 1 x Parallel
1 x S/PDIF Out (Coaxial + Optical)
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
2 x RJ45
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x External SATA
8-Channel Audio I/O
BIOS Revision: AMI 0121

We reviewed the ASUS P5N32-SLI back in October 2005 in its initial release to the market. At that time the board revision and BIOS we tested with offered excellent performance, stability, and compatibility across the board. It was also the first Intel board to offer dual X16 support for NVIDIA SLI and with the right Pentium 4 or Pentium D processor the P5N32-SLI offered very good gaming performance.

Since that time the original board has either been loved or hated by its owners. Over the course of time the board was revised with changes to the resistors to improve VRM performance along with numerous BIOS revisions that just never lived up to the results of our pre-release 0047. Issues ranged from poorer than normally accepted FSB overclocking results with premium components, memory incompatibilities with 4GB installations, RAID issues with various BIOS releases, and other items that generally tarnished the reputation of the board.

ASUS did listen to the user complaints and additional component changes were made on the board to improve stability - but the most significant changes occurred in the BIOS. While the options generally remain the same, the overall performance of the board (along with stability) has improved over the previous 1.02 version of the board with the 0310 BIOS.

Click to enlarge

We are still testing the board with a wide array of components but we are glad - actually relieved - to report that the majority of user issues reported to us have been solved. The differences between the two boards are of course compatibility for the Core 2 Duo series, a couple of minor layout changes with the 4-pin 12V Molex connector being removed, and additional capacitors being added to the board for improved stability. The SATA ports are still in the same location which means SLI users will want to plug in their drives before installing the second video card. The basic features and layout of the ASUS P5N32-SLI SE remain nearly the same as the original board.

Basic Performance

Overall, the performance of the P5N32-SLI was excellent. It is also the only board in our Buyers Guide to officially support NVIDIA SLI. It not only supports SLI but offers full dual X16 capability to each PCIe graphics slot. The board was very stable with our X6800, E6700, and E6600 Core 2 Duo processors while providing asynchronous operation between the front side bus and memory controllers. This ability allowed us to dial in extremely low memory latencies at specific speeds in order to maximize the bandwidth of our Corsair DDR2 modules. Like the 975X boards, the nForce4 Intel Edition chipset allows the user to adjust the X6800 CPU ratios up or down.

This ASUS board had a tendency to get very warm during testing and requires a case with good air circulation to operate at normally accepted temperatures. Although the board never failed during overclocking or extended testing, our fingers on more than one occasion wanted to be iced down after touching the passive heatsinks on either the MCP or SPP.

We anxiously await the production release of the nForce 500 Intel Edition chipsets in a few weeks that will mainly bring benefits to the MCP such as additional SATA ports, improved networking features, HD Audio, and some general refinement. Users need to realize that the nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition will still use the C19A SPP will be used that is on this board. Although the chipset is now at a revision C1 and has undergone several months of fine tuning, do not expect the performance or overclocking results to be improved greatly with the nForce 590 SLI boards. In our internal testing we have noticed some minor but measurable improvements, but nothing revolutionary.

Overclocking

ASUS P5N32-SLI SE
Overclocking Testbed
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
Dual Core, 2.67GHz, 4MB Unified Cache
1066FSB, 10x Multiplier
CPU Voltage: 1.525V (default 1.2V)
Cooling: Tuniq Tower 120 Air Cooling
Power Supply: OCZ GameXStream 700W
Memory: Corsair Twin2X2048-PC2-8500C5 (2x1GB)
(Micron Memory Chips)
Hard Drive Hitachi 250GB 7200RPM SATA2 16MB Cache
Maximum OC:
(Standard Ratio)
318x10 (4x HT, 3-3-3-9 1T)
3180MHz (+19%)

This is not the board to own if you expect or require high FSB overclocks with fixed multiplier Intel CPUs. While the FSB results are in alignment with other NVIDIA chipset boards they do not match overclocking results with Intel chipset boards at this time. We expect to see this change when NVIDIA releases their revised chipsets in several months. However, the board did match the overclock ranges of the Intel 975X board when increasing the multiplier on the X6800, and that allowed far greater control/tuning of the memory speeds due to the asynchronous operation of the controllers.

Although we wish the board provided additional memory voltage settings, we were able to run our memory timings at higher speeds with lower latencies than on the Intel chipset boards. That resulted in improved performance of the board when overclocked. Our only issue with the memory controller at this time is that the BIOS does not fully support memory timings over DDR2-1000 - although this should change before release. We will provide overclocked performance results in an upcoming article along with a comparison to the AM2 SLI boards. This board should sell in the $190 range, significantly lower than the first available Intel 975X boards with stock performance that matches or exceeds those boards. If dual X16 SLI is important to you and high FSB overclocks are not, then this is currently the board to have.

ASUS P5B Deluxe Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe
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  • WynX - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Great article!!!

    Really waiting for the nforce 5 series (to be mature too).
    Reply
  • wheelconnector - Saturday, August 19, 2006 - link

    Hey
    on the review here it says that the 975xbx can support ddr2 800MHz memory speeds, but anywhere else that I've checked, claims that the board only supports speeds upto 667MHz. Can the board take 800MHz out of the box? or will I have to mess around with it to accept the RAM?
    thanks a lot
    Reply
  • LeeKay - Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - link

    I hope u still have your mushkin XP2-8000 (redline) and never sent it back.

    Here is my hardware.
    --------------------
    P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe / P5B Deluxe.
    Asus Silent tower CPU cooler.
    E6600 Processor.
    2x1GB Mushkin Redline DDR2 1000Mhz / 2x1GB OCZ Platnium 800MHZ
    2x 150GB Raptors,
    1x Seagate 300GB Drive,
    Powerstream 600Watt PSU
    2x EVGA 7950GX2
    Coolermaster Stacker.
    Plexter SATA 755 Drive
    Liteon IDE drive
    Mitsumi Floppy Drive
    Creative Labs X-Fi Extreme gamer.


    Here is my problem..

    P5N32 SLI SE DELUXE

    I put 2 sticks of ram in the system with the video card will not post. I have to remove one stick of ram and leave one stick in B1 or B2. It will not boot from a cleared bios with a stick in A1 or A2. I then have to go in the bios and set the memory below or at 800Mhz for it to post with 2 sticks of ram in it. Even then when I put the two sticks in and go to the bios it shows only 1024MB or system ram. But the post screen clearly shows 2048. There is nothing wrong with this memory. It ran fine with the P5B motherboard.

    When using the OCZ it posts no problem but again shows 2048MB at post and in bios and the OS only shows 1024MB Avalible.

    Asus Tech support is the worst in the world. They instantly tell you its a faulty board this and that. But its not its the bios I am 100% sure it is.

    Could you Anandtech please setup a test bed with the 0121 bios and try it. If it has no issue could you please try 0204 revision and then tell me. I have the same motherboard revision as you show in the picture.

    Thanks in advance.
    Reply
  • Bugs66 - Wednesday, August 2, 2006 - link

    I see more and more older boards with Core 2 Duo support. Such as the Asus P5PE-VM which is 865G, AGP, and DDR400. I am very curious how performance is hit using the older chipset. These boards are great for folks who do not want to toss their RAM, video card, etc unless there is a huge difference.

    Thanks for the great writeup.
    Reply
  • trajan - Saturday, July 29, 2006 - link

    The article mentions these will be coming out soon for socket 775/Conroe. Anyone know when? I've been surfing around for hours trying to find info on it. I know NVidia has made the NForce 500s for Intel but none of the board manufacturers lists any info at all.

    Just trying to decide if I should go ahead and get the ASUS P5N32-SLI Deluxe (I want to run SLI) or if it's only a short wait for something better.. !

    Thanks
    Reply
  • rallyhard - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the great review.
    I was going back and referencing some information from it today and noticed that in the P5W-DH Deluxe Basic Features table, you have the number of IDE ports listed incorrectly as one. There are actually two ports, one provided by the JMicron JMB363, and the other from the ICH7R southbridge. I got that info from the Asus website.

    Is that the other IDE port over below the last PCI port?! If so, that's rediculous.
    But this is one of very few Core 2 Duo supporting motherboards that I've seen that have 2 IDE ports, so I might just have to get it.

    Gary, I look forward to the upcoming review you mentioned earlier in these comments of the Biostar motherboard with the VIA VT6410 controller. IDE performance continues to be important to me, and will for quite some time with the investment I've already made in hard drives. NEVER AGAIN will I get burned by an under-reviewed, underperfoming chip like the IT8212F!

    Thanks again for your quality reviews.
    Reply
  • thedjvan - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    I am very impressed with this guide, looks like a lot of hard work went into it!

    I have a question though. I am using the release of Conroe as an excuse to build a whole new system. After reading your guide in addition to others, I've decided on the E6700 and the DFI board (as I don't plan on OCing much, if at all).

    However, the video card I had chosen is a X1900XTX, as I have read many bad reviews on the 7900 series having assorted problems with heat and other issues.

    Now, having read this, I see that Conroe isn't playing nice with my chosen vid card, possibly due to driver issues. My question: Have you guys received any word from ATI, or has a new driver been pushed out yet that brings its performance up to par where it should be? There's absolutely no reason the Nvidia card should be blowing it away, especially on HL2 and other typically ATI friendly games.

    If not, should I forget the ATI card and take a chance on one of the Nvidia cards, or simply go with the ATI card and hope they push out new drivers soon? The AMD/ATI aquisition further complicates the situation... I somehow doubt they'd do any favors for intel based systems.
    Reply
  • thedjvan - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    No edit button :(

    I meant a X1900XT, not the XTX version. I'll keep my $100, thanks :)
    Reply
  • thedjvan - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    Sorry, one more quick question. Is the Zalman CNPS9500 compatible with the Conroe? Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Sorry, one more quick question. Is the Zalman CNPS9500 compatible with the Conroe?


    Yes...works very well by the way. ;-)
    Reply

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