ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review :: The Board

12-13-2004 · Category: Motherboards

By John Chen
ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberK8N-E Deluxe
ManufacturerASUS
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetNvidia nForce3 250Gb
North BridgeNvidia nForce3 250Gb MCP
SocketSocket 754
Processor TypesAthlon 64
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus800MHz HyperTransport Bus Link
Memory TypeDDR
Memory ChannelsSingle
Maximum Memory3GB
External GraphicsAGP8X
IGP None
South BridgeNvidia nForce3 250Gb MCP
Audio8-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA1.5 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10
LAN10/100/1000
FirewireNone
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x AGP
  • 1 x PCI
BIOSAMI
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

Typically Asus motherboards are always considered to be one of the most expensive motherboards available. The K8N-E Deluxe comes reasonably priced and the non- Deluxe version comes well priced under $100.

The K8N-E utilizes the nForce3 250GB chipset, which handles the functions of the typical Northbridge/Southbridge orientation. The use of a single chipset is wise, but the placement of the chipset is poor. The chipset is located right at the edge of the AGP slot and makes using aftermarket chipset coolers pretty much impossible; a cooler from Thermalright or Swiftech will cause interference with the graphic card.

The single chipset does get quite warm during full load use, but the included heatsink is adequate enough to help keep the system running stably. Speaking of the AGP slot, there is ample space between the DIMM slots and the AGP slot for problem free installation and removal of memory sticks. There is no need to remove the graphic card to install memory.


ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review nForce3

nForce3

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review AGP and DIMM

AGP and DIMM


The nForce3 250GB chipset offers built-in RAID support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, and JBOD. NVIDIA's built-in RAID support is excellent and has good features and functions when installed within Windows. The only dislike of the included SATA is the location. Placing the ports right above the AGP slot requires the SATA cables to be stretched down towards the bottom of the case. It requires extra work to route the cables and make wiring neat and tidy.

This really can't be helped and is a common problem found on all nForce3 250GB motherboards. NVIDIA should definitely look into finding a better location. The on-board Silicon Image 3114 RAID controller offers 4 SATA ports and supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 10, RAID 5, and JBOD. The inclusion of RAID 5 may be extremely attractive to many enthusiasts since this feature usually requires an add-on PCI RAID card. The Silicon RAID controller is a great addition and helps enthusiasts from spending extra cash.


ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review nVidia SATA

nVidia SATA

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review Silicon RAID

Silicon RAID


The CPU socket is located near the top and has a lot of clearing to install all the latest aftermarket heatsinks. The 4pin 12v CPU power connector is located towards the top left corner of the motherboard, next to the rear I/O panel. This is a good location for this power connector because it is clear from the CPU socket area. The last thing you want to have is to have a power cable wrap around your CPU cooler. The CPU fan header is also placed up top and is right next to the CPU socket. The motherboard is designed with a 3 phase power to provide clean stable power throughout the motherboard.


ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review 4-pin Power

4-pin Power

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review Power Phase

Power Phase


Like the rest of the Socket 754 motherboards, there are 3 DIMM slots to provide 3GB of unbuffered non-ECC DDR memory. I encountered no problems with installing memory into all three slots but I did encounter a slight problem when clearing the CMOS. After clearing CMOS, only one stick of memory can be used to make the system POST. If there are two or more sticks installed, the system will fail to POST. The 20pin ATX power connector is located towards the top right corner of the motherboard. This is an excellent position and allows the large cable to be tucked away into unused drive bays. The IDE ports are right below the ATX connector and are also nicely positioned. I've always like the placements of the ATX connector and IDE ports on Asus motherboards.

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review DIMM Slots

DIMM Slots

The K8N-E Deluxe boasts a vast array of features. The I/O panel features the usual PS2 keyboard and mouse ports, parallel port for older printers, 1 serial port, 4 USB ports, 1 RJ45, 1 coaxial SPDIF output, 1 optical SPDIF output, 1 Firewire port, and the audio input and outputs for 8-channel surround sound. For users who need more features, there are headers for extra USB and Firewire ports, as well as the game port for optional handheld controllers and joysticks. The audio codec used is the ever-popular Realtek ALC850. Although there are better choices out there, the Realtek is good enough for music and games.

It's a shame that Nvidia does not continue to provide their awesome Soundstorm. Please Nvidia, bring it back. The Firewire is controlled by VIA's VT6307. The motherboard features 1 AGP slot and 5 PCI slots. The PCI slots are more than enough considering the supplied features of the motherboard. The most you'll probably use is one or two PCI slots for a separate sound card and a wireless network card. The front panel connectors are distinguished by different colors and allow easy connections. The CMOS jumper is located right below the battery and is considered to be extremely poor placement, especially when there is another jumper just below to block from easy access. This is one placement that needs to be fixed on the board in my opinion.


ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review AGP/PCI Slots

AGP/PCI Slots

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review I/O Ports

I/O Ports

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review Realtek

Realtek

ASUS K8N-E Deluxe Motherboard Review USB/CMOS

USB/CMOS