ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review :: M2R32 MVP Crossfire Features

10-17-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
ASUS M2R32-MVP Spec Sheet
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Part NumberM2R32-MVP
ManufacturerASUS
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetATI RS485 SB600
North BridgeATI RS485
SocketSocket AM2 (940)
Processor TypesAthlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2 dual-core
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1GHz HyperTransport Bus Link
Memory TypeDDR2
Memory ChannelsDual, Single
Maximum Memory8GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGPATI RADEON X300
South BridgeATI SB600
Audio8-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1
LAN10/100/1000
FirewireIEEE 1394a
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
BIOSAMI
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

AMD released their Socket AM2 platform in July, a scant three months ago. The RADEON Xpress 3200 chipset was released during the Socket 939 days, with support for all current AM2 processors, including the FX-62 and the 5000+. AMD has a full lineup of CPUs on the AM2 platform including the mainstream 3800+ and 4600+ Energy Efficient CPUs as well.


ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review Memory slots

Memory slots


The AM2 platform was introduced to bring DDR2 memory support to the AMD platform. DDR2 memory has the advantages of higher clock speeds and more memory bandwidth over DDR, but higher latency as well. DDR2 comes in several flavors including 533Mhz, 667MHz and 800MHZ DDR2.The memory controller for AMD CPU is integrated in the CPU die, meaning that chipset performance is The A32R-MVP has four DIMM slots for up to 8GB of DDR2 memory. Windows XP 32-bit can only address 4GB of memory, requiring Windows XP 64-bit or Linux to run more than 4GB.


PCI Express x16 slots


ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review
ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review

ATI's big push for their Xpress 3200 chipset was Crossfire support. Crossfire is ATI's trademark for their multiple graphics card solution. High-end Crossfire setups require a Master Edition card (X1950 or X1900, or X1800), a regular card of the same model and a Crossfire cable. X1600 Crossfire setups only require two X1600 cards. It's likely that AMD/ATI will move to cable-less Crossfire for the high-end R600 and the mainstream variants when they release, but that won't be until sometime next year.


ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review PCI slots

PCI slots

ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review PCI Express slots

PCI Express slots


ASUS outfitted the M2R32-MVP with two PCI Express x16 slots for Crossfire support. The Xpress 3200 Northbridge supports two x16 lanes operating simultaneously. Earlier Crossfire chipsets and the Xpress 1600 chipset support two x8 lanes for Crossfire mode. There are two PCI Express x1 slots are on the board, with one blocked if a two-slot graphics card is installed on the board. Two PCI slots are also present, with one blocked if a two slot graphics card is installed in it.


ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review PATA port

PATA port

ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review FDD port

FDD port


Serial ATA has replaced Parallel ATA and SCSI as the dominant hard disk drive interface in the computer industry today. ASUS has elected to outfit the M2R32-MVP board with four SATA ports, a fairly common number. The ATI SB600 controls the four SATA ports, with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 modes supported. An external SATA port is on the Rear IO controlled by a J-micron 360 SATA controller. There is a PATA port on the board for two IDE devices and a FDD port for the floppy disk.


Audio shots


ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review
ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review

Audio preferences


ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review
ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review

ASUS has moved their onboard audio from the REALTEK standard to the ADI SoundMAX CODEC for their recent motherboards on both the AMD and the Intel platforms. This audio CODEC fully supports the HDA (High Definition Audio) standard that replaced the AC'97 standard. Features of HDA include multiple audio streams so sound can be heard from two sources at a time, native 7.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital certified sound rivaling that of home theaters.


ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard Review Rear IO

Rear IO


The rear panel IO contains 6 audio jacks for the 7.1 surround sound, 4 USB 2.0 ports, an external SATA port, a PS/2 keyboard a PS/2 mouse port, a COM1 port, a RJ-45 jack for the LAN and a Firewire port. The external SATA port is a welcome addition to the board, as it allows an additional SATA device to be attached. The LAN is controlled by a Marvell 88E8008-LK1 chip.