Friday, February 04, 2005
ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe
ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe - Page 1
AMD64 processors are fast becoming more and more popular in gaming quarters
and AMD introduces the 939 socket processors for CPU speeds lower than
end users are now looking for the best 939 socket motherboard to buy. Following
on AMD's 64 bit architecture, ASUSTek released
their new motherboard series for the AMD64 processors that utilize NVidia's
new nForce4 MCP (Media and Communications Processor), offering a whole
series of features implemented at the hardware level.
support, PCI Express graphics support and secure network engine are some benefits
that A8N-SLI users will enjoy. There are two versions of these motherboards,
the A8N-SLI and A8N-SLI Deluxe. In this review, we put to the test the deluxe
version of this motherboard armed with two ASUS Extreme N6600GT graphics cards
SLI mode. The million dollar questions are how do two 6600GT cards compare
against one 6800GT card, and will their combined performance reach higher levels
than those of the 6800GT?
The A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard offers a wide variety of features that are not easily found in other, similar motherboards. It supports all nForce4 innovations, along with AMD's cutting edge technologies such as Cool'n'Quiet.
|Supports AMD Socket 939 Athlon 64FX/Athlon 64, which are based on AMD's 64-bit and 32-bit architecture. These processors provide a dramatic leap forward in compatibility and performance.
|The NVIDIA nForce4 Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology allows two graphics processing units in a single computer. This technology takes advantage of the PCI Express bus architecture and features intelligent hardware and software solutions that allows multiple GPUs to work together and achieve exceptional performance.
|NVIDIA introduces built-in NVFirewall, a high-performance firewall application and NVActiveArmor engine that provides advanced data packet inspection.
|The A8N-SLI Deluxe supports AMD's Cool'n'Quiet technology that will automatically monitor and control VCore voltage, CPU speed and power and adjust it accordingly, depending on CPU demands.
|HyperTransport technology increases the communications speed between integrated circuits in computers and networks, achieving 48 times faster communication. It is basically a high-speed, low-latency point-to-point link.
|Double Data Rate (DDR) memory technology is supported, offering ultra-fast memory bandwidth
|Next-Generation Serial ATA 3GB/sec is supported, providing twice the bandwidth of current Serial ATA products. Additionally, Serial ATA allows thinner and more flexible cables with lower pin counts and reduced voltage requirements. RAID controllers provide Dual-RAID functionality that allows you to select the best RAID solution.
The A8N-SLI Deluxe supports 8-channel audio through the onboard ALC850 CODEC with 16-bit DAC, a stereo 16-bit ADC, and an AC97 2.3 compatible multi-channel audio designed for PC multimedia systems.
|The motherboards offers up to 10 USB 2.0 compatible ports, and 2 IEEE1394a (Firewire) ports.
||Apart from the AIAudio feature described above, ASUS uses several others AI Proactive features to further improve network and overclocking performance on this motherboard.
||ASUS Non-delay Overclocking System (AI NOS) will monitor CPU demands and overclock the system automatically, only when it is needed.
||AI NET2 will report all Ethernet cable faults and shorts. During the boot-up process, AI NET2 will check the cable's condition and report back all problems found.
The features list does not end here! There are more ASUS innovative features:
|ASUS EZ Plug is a 4-pin auxiliary +12V connector that is used to ensure voltage stability on your motherboard and for other installed peripherals.
|CrashFree BIOS 2 will protect you from bad BIOS flashing, with the ability to restore the BIOS to its original state from the installation CD.
|Alternatively, with ASUS Post Reporter you can forget all those annoying, beeping sounds if something is wrong with your hardware. The A8N-SLI will inform you of any hardware failure with pre-recorded voice messages.
|Asus QFan will adjust the fan rotation speed according to the system's temperature/load reducing noise and ensuring quiet, cool and efficient operation.
|You can also turn your computer into a stand-alone CD player with ASUS InstantMusic, since you do not have to turn your PC on in order to use your CD/DVD player for audio playback.
You can see a full detailed specification table below:
||- Socket 939 for AMD Athlon 64FX / Athlon 64
- AMD64 architecture enables simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing
- Supports AMD Cool 'n' Quiet Technology
||NVIDIA nForce®4 SLI
|Front Side Bus
||2000 MT/s, 1600MT/s
||- 4 x 184-pin DIMM Sockets support max. 4GB DDR400/DDR333/DDR266 ECC/ non-ECC un-buffered DDR SDRAM memory
- Dual Channel Memory Architecture
||- 2 x PCI Express x16 slot
*SLI mode : x8 , x8
*Default(Single VGA) mode : x16, x1
- 2 x PCI Express x1
- 3 x PCI
||- Under SLI mode : support two identical SLI-ready graphics cards
- Under Default(Single VGA) mode: supports all PCI Express graphics cards
- ASUS EZ Plug
- ASUS SLI Warning LED
- ASUS EZ Selector
- ASUS two-slot thermal design
- ASUS PEG Link for dual PCIe graphic cards
- 4 x SATA 3Gb/s
- 2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33
- NVRAID : RAID0, RAID1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD span cross SATA and PATA
Silicon Image 3114R RAID controller:
- 4 x Serial ATA with RAID0, 1, 0+1, and RAID5
||nForce4 built-in Gbit MAC with external Marvell PHY :
- NV ActiveArmor
- NV Firewall
- AI NET2
MARVELL PCI Gbit LAN controller :
- AI NET2
||Realtek ALC850, 8-channel CODEC
Audio Sensing and Enumeration Technology
Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF out ports on back I/O
||TI 1394 controller supports 2 x 1394 ports
||Max. 10 USB2.0 ports
|ASUS AI Proactive Features
||AI NOS(Non-delay Overclocking System)
AI NET2 network diagnosis before entering OS
||AI NOS (Non-delay Overclocking System)
AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
ASUS PEG Link for single/dual graphics cards
- vDIMM: 9-step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125 increment
- SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection): allowing FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
- PCIe Frequency: allowing PCIe frequency from 100MHz up to 200MHz at 1MHz increment
Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio. Fixed PCIe/PCI/SATA frequencies.
ASUS PEG Link for single/dual graphics cards
ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
|ASUS Special Features
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 2
ASUS Multilanguage BIOS
ASUS Instant Music
ASUS SLI warning LED
ASUS EZ Selector
ASUS EZ Plug
||4 Mb Flash ROM, AWARD BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3
|Back Panel I/O Ports
||1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Parallel
2 x RJ45
1 x 1394
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
8-Channel Audio I/O
|Internal I/O Connectors
||- 1 x SLI selector card connector
- 3 x USB 2.0 connector supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
- 1 x IEEE1394 connectors
- 1 x Paraller connector
- 1 x COM connector
- 1 x GAME/MIDI connector
- CPU Fan / 2x Chassis Fan/ Power Fan/ Chipset Fan connectors
- Front panel audio connector
- Chassis Intrusion connector
- CD audio-in connector
- 24-pin ATX Power connector
- 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
ASUS PC Probe - PC Health Monitoring Software
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
ASUS AI Booster
ASUS Cool ' n' Quiet Utility
NVIDIA nTune Utility
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
1 x 1-port IEEE1394 module
1 x SLI retention bracket
8 x Serial ATA cables
1 x SATA Extension module for external devices
4 x 2-port SATA power cable
1 x 2-port USB2.0 / Game module
1 x 2-port USB2.0 module
1 x COM Port module
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x IDE cable
1 x FDD cable
1 x I/O Shield
||ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)