Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review :: nForce 650i Chipset Features

01-11-2007 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

  • CPU Support: QX6700, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo, 8xx series, 6xx series, 5xx series, Celeron D
  • SLI- 2 x8 lanes
  • NVIDIA Native Gigabit Ethernet 1
  • NVIDIA FirstPacket Technology
  • NVIDIA MediaShield Technology
  • DualDDR2 Memory Architecture
  • High Definition Audio
  • USB 2.0

As the first nForce 650i SLI board on the test bench I thought it would be a good idea to take an overview of the features of the new motherboard chipset. The 650i is the smaller brother to the 680i chipset that was released a month ago along with the GeForce 8800GTX and 8800GTS cards. While the nForce 680i chipset has rightly been given a little negative press for the SLI problems and SATA issues, NVIDIA has sent out a BIOS to address these issues.


Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review CPU

CPU


The nForce 650i SLI is designed to work with Intel LGA-775 CPUs including the Quad Core QX6700, the X6800 Core 2 Extreme and the E6700 Core 2 Duo CPUs and the earlier 955, 840, 6xx series of Intel CPUs. The maximum FSB officially supported by the 650i chipset is 1066MHz, meaning when Intel moves to the 1333MHz FSB early next year you're going to be a bit out of luck.


Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review SLI Card

SLI Card


The chipset supports NVIDIA SLI technology. What this means is if you have two like NVIDIA video cards you can improve your application performance (usually games) by inserting both in the same motherboard at one time. The 680i SLI chipset supports two PCI Express x16 cards operating in x16 mode. The P5N-E SLI board is based upon the 650i chipset which supports two cards operating in x8 mode.


Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review Back Panel

Back Panel


The nForce 650i chipset supports NVIDIA's FirstPacket Technology. FirstPacket allows you to prioritize your bandwidth to where it is needed most. FirstPacket increases the user's controls by assigning a "fast traffic" lane for an application that requires low-latency, while a "slow traffic lane" can be used for applications like FTP transfers where latency really doesn't matter as much.


Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review CD-In

CD-In



Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review Sound Effect

Sound Effect

Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review Microphone

Microphone

Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review 3D Audio demo

3D Audio demo

Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review Mixer

Mixer

Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard Review Audio IO

Audio IO


Onboard audio is provided by a Realtek ALC883 CODEC. This is the latest CODEC from Realtek supporting the Intel High Definition Audio format that replaced the ubiquitous AC'97 standard that's been around since 1996. HDA provides hardware support for multiple audio streams, Dolby Digital, and 7.1 Surround Sound. Virtually no motherboard on the market today comes without supporting HDA with the onboard sound.