ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review :: ASUS P5N32-SLI E Features

04-01-2007 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Spec Sheet
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Part NumberP5N32-E SLI Plus
ManufacturerASUS
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetNvidia nForce4 SLI (LGA775)
North BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI MCP LGA775
SocketLGA775 Socket
Processor TypesPentium 4
Number of CPUs
Front Side Bus1066/800/533MHz
Memory TypeDDR2
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory16GB
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 x2
FirewireIEEE 1394a
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
BIOS
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

CPU Features

  • CPU Features
  • LGA-775 Intel Quad-core Processor Ready
  • NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI chipset
  • NVIDIA SLI
  • Dual-Channel DDR2 800
  • AI Lifestyle Series
  • Advanced Thermal Design
  • Stack Cool 2
  • Fanless Design Heat-pipe Thermal solution
  • 8 Phase Power Design
  • ASUS EZ DIY
  • ASUS Q-Connector
  • CrashFree BIOS 2
  • ASUS EZ Flash 2

Audio Features

  • SupremeFX (ADI 1988b
  • DTS Connect

Intelligent Overclocking Tools

  • AI NOS
  • ASUS OC Profile
  • CPR

ASUS Unique Features

  • MyLogo3
  • Music Alarm

Interface Feature

  • Dual Gigabit LAN
  • IEEE 1394a interface

ROHS and Operating System

  • GreenASUS

So let's get straight to the meat of the naming scheme. The P5N32-E SLI Plus board has a 650i SLI Northbridge married to a 570 SLI Southbridge. The 650i NB only supports up to 2 x8 PCI Express slots. ASUS decided to add the 570 chip to allow up to two x16 lanes to operate at the same time, giving the P5N32-E SLI Plus the equivalent of the same number of PCI Express lanes as a full-fledged 680i chipset would bring to the table.


ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Northbridge

Northbridge

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Southbridge

Southbridge

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Other expansion

Other expansion

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review PCI Express x16 slots

PCI Express x16 slots

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review PCI Express x16 lock

PCI Express x16 lock


ASUS in fact outfits the P5N32-E SLI board exactly as they did the Striker Extreme in terms of expansion in the form of 3 PCI Express x16 slots (2 x16 1 x8), two PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI slots. As we'll see in the layout section, the two boards share more than a superficial similarity.


ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket


The P5N32-E SLI Plus board supports all current Intel LGA-775 CPUs including the Quad Core QX6700, the Core 2 Duo E6800, the 9xx series, the 8xx Dual Core series, the 6xx series and the Celeron D series. I was able to test the P5N32-E SLI Plus motherboard with an E6700 Core 2 Duo CPU which worked flawlessly without an issue.


ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review DIMM slots

DIMM slots


ASUS decided to support SLI-Ready memory with their P5N32-E SLI Plus motherboard. SLI-Ready memory is memory that has been tested by NVIDIA to work stably and in conjunction with other SLI components like SLI-ready PSUs and nForce 680/590 motherboards. SLI-Ready memory also supports EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles), which stores additional information in the memory besides the SPD information.

The P5N32-E SLI Plus board sports four DIMM slots which support up to 8GB of DDR2 memory clocked at up to 800MHz. To support more than 4GB of memory, the operating system needs to be 64-bit, as 32-bit operating systems can only address 4GB of memory. Linux, Windows XP 64-bit or Windows Vista 64-bit are required for 8GB of memory as the 32-bit versions will only see 4GB.


ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review IDE port

IDE port


SATA hard disks replaced the IDE standard years ago. Six SATA ports are on the board, which allows the board to use MediaShield in RAID 0 mode. RAID 1 mode is supported to allow two mirrored sets of 3 drives each (from the nForce 590 chipset.) An IDE controller and a FDD controller make up the rest of the expansion on the board for drives.


ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Mixer

Mixer

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Audio Mixer

Audio Mixer

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Sound riser card

Sound riser card

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Sound Preferences

Sound Preferences


Onboard sound has improved over the last three years to the point that add-on sound card makers like Creative Labs made only a very small amount of money in the add-in market. Their gross margins over the last three years have decreased from 35% to 15% mainly due to the decrease in audio sales. The P5N32-E SLI Plus sports an ADI1988b CODEC that supports Intel's High Definition Audio standard. HDA includes such useful features as multiple independent audio streams (allowing 5.1 sound and 2.1 streams to be simultaneous), Dolby Digital Surround Sound, 7.1 Surround Sound and more.

ASUS calls their implementation of the ADI1988b CODEC SupremeFX. The onboard audio is implemented via an audio riser card that replaces the rear IO jacks that are normally found on motherboards. The jacks include Side-Out, Rear-Out, Center/Subwoofer, Mic-In, Front-Out and Line-In. To install the onboard sound, simply insert the riser card into the slot and install the drivers. The onboard audio supports EAX 1.0, 2.0, Microsoft DirectSound and Aureal3D 1.0.


ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard Review Rear IO

Rear IO


The rear I/O on the board is interesting due to the removal of the audio jacks that would normally be on the back of the board. Four USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port, a PS/2 Mouse, a PS/2 Keyboard two RJ-45 jacks for the onboard Gigabit Ethernet and S/PDIF Optical and Coaxial Outputs make up the rear IO. Two Marvell PHYs control Dual Gigabit Ethernets which supports DualNet, another nForce 590 innovation that the 650i chipset does not normally support.