ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review :: A8N-SLI Features

05-08-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Doc Overclock
ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberA8N-SLI Deluxe
ManufacturerASUS
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetNvidia nForce4 SLI
North BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI MCP
SocketSocket 939
Processor TypesAthlon 64, Athlon 64 FX
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1GHz HyperTransport Bus Link
Memory TypeDDR
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory4GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI MCP
Audio8-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5
LAN10/100/1000
FirewireIEEE 1394b
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
  • 3 x PCI
  • 2 x PCI Express x1
  • 2 x PCI Express x16
BIOSAWARD
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

For starters, the motherboard sizes in at, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm) in the standard ATX Form Factor and comes with its own rear I/O plate that can be installed into most cases. Built on a black PCB, which looks great BTW, the motherboards chipset features NVIDIA's award winning nForce4 chipset, and the A8N-SLI Deluxe comes packed with feature options that will generate interest in many different user groups. Supporting the Socket 939 Athlon64/64FX AMD CPU line, the ZIF socket has ample room around it for using many of the high-end CPU coolers blocked by capacitors on many other boards we have seen. The board features a 2000 MT/s, 1600MT/s FSB and dual-channel memory architecture that allows for 4GB of DDR400/DDR333/DDR266 ECC/ non-ECC un-buffered DDR SDRAM memory via its four 184-pin DIMM slots. Using quality high-end memory with the highest latency values will yield the best performance results and help in maintaining system stability.


ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review Socket

Socket

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review Memory

Memory

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review PCIe 16x

PCIe 16x

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review MCP Heatsink

MCP Heatsink


The board features SLI (Scalable Link Interface) technology that allows the use of dual-NVIDIA 6600GT through 6800Ultra VGA cards. This allows two separate cards to perform as one extremely fast card by splitting the sixteen available pipelines in two, effectively creating eight pipelines in each slot (Equaling Sixteen) while at the same time using the GPU power of each card to increase the overall efficiency of the SLI configuration. Nothing currently can beat the sheer pixel per pixel performance of a dual 6800Ultra configuration run in SLI mode as it just shreds through any game that supports this feature. There are at present many titles that support the SLI option, and supported titles run at their highest setting without performance loss in many instances. When the PCIe 16x VGA card is in the primary slot, it does obtrude enough to block the memory slots located by the rear of the card. Very few boards ever have a design that completely eradicates this enigma, but still, it is nice to have the memory slots unhindered.


ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review SLI

SLI

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review SLI Bridge

SLI Bridge

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review SATA

SATA

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review PATA/Floppy

PATA/Floppy


Storage support is very good on the A8N Deluxe, as it offers four SATA150 connections and two UltraDMA 133/100/66/33 connections via its native nVraid offering the following configuration options, RAID0, RAID1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD span cross SATA and PATA. In addition to NVIDIA's storage support, the board also incorporates the Silicon Image 3114R RAID controller offering an additional four SATA150 connectors supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and RAID 5 configurations. Inside the Windows environment you can see and control your hard disc arrays via the nVraid tool that offers a user friendly GUI for monitoring and controlling your drives. The nVraid tool also has the ability to let you change drives on the fly or add drives as needed in a hot-swappable environment that can come in very handy in case of drive failure. We did this here at my house with the guys from AMD back when this all first came out, and as the NF4 chipset matures new drivers and options become available, the chipset will only get better. Having the ability to configure a RAID 5 array is in itself an excellent, albeit expensive setup option that only enhances the A8N's storage flexibility.


ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review Drive Removal

Drive Removal

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review Drive Added

Drive Added


On-board sound is available and the Realtek ALC850, 8-channel CODEC provides adequate sound reproduction to your PC environment. There are both the standard analog and digital SPDIF connections on the rear I/O for hooking up a mixture of speaker configurations from the 2.1 to the 7.1 surround sound variety. LAN support comes in two forms on the A8N Deluxe; it has the nForce4 built-in Gigabit MAC with external Marvell PHY offering, NV Active Armor, NV Firewall and AI NET2. It also incorporates the MARVELL PCI Gbit LAN controller and offering an additional RJ45 connection on the rear I/O. NVIDIA has raised the ante when it comes to having an on system Hardware Firewall and with Active Armor protection it makes would be hackers and system intruders a less worrisome prospective. The trick lies in paying attention to your configuration options as the tools NVIDIA provides are very intricate and offer so many different features you may not have them set optimally for your personal network without a tweak or two. The board can ultimately support ten USB 2.0 ports that are backwards compatible to the 1.0b standard, with four being located on the rear I/O and the rest connecting via brackets that connect to headers on the board and occupy a rear PCI slot. Firewire is also available with one port on the rear I/O and another by cable bracket. For those of us still using the slowly growing archaic PCI slot the A8N offers three standard PCI slots as well as two of the newer, but no actual available peripherals PCIe 1X slots. The layout of the board is quite good, with no obstacles that are noteworthy on the A8N Deluxe, and overall its features and design do not leave much to complain about here.


ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review PCIe 1X

PCIe 1X

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review PCI Slots

PCI Slots

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review USB Headers

USB Headers

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review Capacitor Heatsink

Capacitor Heatsink