ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe - Page 2
- The mainboard - Packaging
ASUSTek includes in the package almost everything a user will ever need for
this motherboard, from the IEEE1394 modules to Serial ATA and IDE
cables. There's an 80 conductor cable included for hard
disk connections, while a 40 conductor cable is provided for your CD/DVD burner/reader
You'll also find a Serial ATA extension module so that you can install Serial
ATA devices without having to open the case.
The A8N-SLI Deluxe is designed on a black PCB with coloured components.
This way, you can easily identify all the connection interfaces, without
the danger of confusing different memory banks or IDE channels. There are
also several led which indicate stability/problems on the mainboard.
if the EZ Plug is not connected, a red colored led will light up to notify
the user. If the motherboard lights up green, then you are ready to fire it
up. A list of all the accessories that come with the A8N-SLI Deluxe
is shown below.
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
The latest NVidia chipset, the nForce4, is cooled with a small fan
to reduce heat and increase performance, with no danger of damaging your system.
You can see the CPU motherboard socket that supports AMD64/FX 939 socketed processors.
The memory module slots are coloured black and blue. You can always put two
memory modules of the same memory size on the same coloured slots and
enable the Dual Channel's symmetry mode support, or even use two memory modules
memory size and use the asymmetric mode.
On the inputs panel located on the rear, you will find the keyboard and mouse
(PS2) ports, parallel port,
audio ports (digital, analog and coaxial),
port, 4 USB2.0 ports and two ethernet RJ-45 inputs.
Below you can see the standard IDE channel and Serial
By combining the nForce4 with the Silicon Image storage capacities,
you can connect up to 8 SATA devices. The NVRAID storage (nForce4) supports RAID0,
RAID1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD span cross SATA and PATA, while the Silicon Image
3114R RAID controller offers 4 x Serial
ATA with RAID0, 1, 0+1, and RAID5.
The A8N-SLI Deluxe offers two PCI Express slots used for graphics cards and
two PCI Express x1 slots. Here, the two PCI Express x16 slots are
colored. In SLI mode, the user should always remember that the graphics
is connected to the blue PCI slot which should be considered as the primary
VGA card that will handle all signal transfers to the monitors. The secondary
slot), is used only for graphics acceleration. The monitor connected to the
secondary VGA card will go blank in SLI mode.
In order to switch from single VGA mode to SLI mode and vice-versa, the A8N-SLI
Deluxe uses a small interface card that needs to be inserted accordingly. Looking
at the picture below, notice the indications on the inserted card for "Single
Video Card" and "Dual Video Cards". This card is removed and
inserted in the correct direction depending on the mode desired. You also need
to be wary of the fact that despite there being an option in the
motherboard's BIOS to enable/disable SLI mode, the interface
card still needs to be inserted correctly.
When two VGA cards are used, the PCI Express slots share the graphics acceleration
speed. So, you can have two PCI Express x8 slots, or in Single VGA mode, you
can have one PCI Express x16 slot (blue) and one PCI Express x1 slot (black).
The IT8712F is the newest member of ITE
Tech's growing family of Low Pin Count Interface-based Super I/O devices
with Environment Controller integration. It provides enhanced hardware monitoring,
fan speed control, SmartGuardian control and it can also support SmartCard
reader, has two 16C550 UARTs, one Game port, one parallel
port, floppy disk controller, keyboard controller and one ITE innovative
power-failure resume & power button debounce.
The Marvell Yukon 32-bit
88E8001 offers an additional network connectivity solution, the Yukon
Gigabit Ethernet controller with Intergrated PHY. It also provides an advanced
cable diagnostics function, (Virtual Cable Tester technology) that will enable
IT managers to easily pinpoint the location of cable problems.
This small Winbond chip
will give to your system the ability to speak. It is a programmable speech
synthesizer that will inform you if any errors occur during the BIOS self
test scanning process. Users can edit and change the voices and even
own voice for every error that might occur.
For this review, we tested the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard with two ASUS
Extreme N6600GT graphics cards. You can always see how this card performed
in Single VGA mode here.
On the following page we provide some background information on
these graphic cards for reference reasons.