Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review :: The Board

11-28-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberA8N32-SLI Deluxe
Price CheckFind Best Price
ChipsetNvidia nForce4 SLI X16
North BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI X16 MCP
SocketSocket 939
Processor TypesAthlon 64X2, Athlon 64FX, Athlon 64
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
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5
FirewireIEEE 1394a
Expansion Slots
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

The AMD platform hasn't changed the core Socket since the introduction of the Socket 939 platform in 2003. That's one benefit of the AMD platform, not needing a new motherboard every time a new CPU is released. The A8N32-SLI motherboard supports all current AMD CPUs including the 4800 and FX-57 CPUs. AMD has delayed the launch of their new M2 Socket, making the 939 platform

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review DIMM Slots

DIMM Slots

Memory support on the board comes in the form of 4 184-pin DIMM slots providing support for up to 4GB of unbuffered non-ECC DDR memory. ASUS has certified this board to work with Corsair XMS3500LL DDR memory clocked at a speed of 275MHz. Of course, you can use any DDR memory on the board, but there is a memory compatibility list on ASUS's website.

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review PCI Express x16 slots

PCI Express x16 slots

The big innovation on the A8N32-SLI motherboard is two x16 PCI Express slots. Previous motherboards based upon nForce4 SLI had two x16 slots, but when two video cards were inserted, they operated at x8 mode. High performance PCI Express cards have not yet saturated the AGP8x bus, much less the x8 PCI Express bus, but there are situations where the extra bandwidth is a positive. NVIDIA's 7800GTX in SLI mode gives an incredible amount of performance in SLI mode; we'll have to see if it makes a difference with two x16 slots.

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review Expansion slots

Expansion slots

ASUS decided to add one PCI Express x1 slot and 3 PCI slots to complete the expansion options on the board. PCI Express x1 devices are few and far between on the market currently, making the choice an excellent one for the device expansion. Two of the PCI slots are in between the two x16 slots, leaving one PCI Express x1 and one PCI slot open if two video cards are installed and you want good airflow. A far better choice would have had the PCI below the slots. One good thing about the 7800GTX is the card is normally a single-slot card. If a two slot card like a 6800 Ultra or an ASUS TOP card is used the adjacent PCI slot will be blocked.

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review eSATA port

eSATA port

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review IDE and Floppy connector

IDE and Floppy connector

Drive expansion on ASUS's motherboards are generally very good. The C51 MCP has support for 4 SATA II drives natively. ASUS adds a 5th port on the board along with an External SATA port to bring the total on the board to 6. The last two ports are controlled by a Silicon Image Sil3132 chip. NVIDIA's chip supports RAID modes 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD, providing the maximum flexibility. Rounding out the drive support ASUS brings two IDE connectors and a floppy drive connector to the board.

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review Primary IDE

Primary IDE

The back panel input/output ports consist of 1x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 PS/2 Mouse, 1x Parallel, 1x S/PDIF Out (Coaxial+ Optical), 2x RJ45, 4 USB 2.0/1.1, 1 Wireless LAN Antenna jack, 1 Wireless LAN activity LED. Notable on the board is the inclusion of Wireless LAN and 2 RJ45 jacks. Wireless networking is becoming more the standard today with many areas offering "hot spots" to connect your network.