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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Thursday, May 11, 2006
ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe

1. Introduction

We received from ASUS, their first NVIDIA nForce™4 SLI X16 motherboard for AMD Socket 939 processors, the A8N32-SLI Deluxe. The previous models from ASUS for AMD CPUs, limited the PCI-E to 8X when two VGA cards were installed. However, this motherboard supports dual PCI Express at 16X.

- Features

The innovative AMD solution brings you enjoyable gaming experience.
The A8N32-SLI Deluxe supports dual PCI Express x16 slots running at full speed to liberate graphics cards from the narrow bandwidth platform of x8 speed only. It not only inherited AI Life series features, such as Stack Cool 2 and SATA on the Go, but also some new innovations, including 8-Phase Power Design and Fanless Design. With ASUS' innovative designs to bring out the real potential of NVIDIA nForce™4 SLI X16 chipsets, gamers can easily enjoy faster graphics performance and higher video quality today, and be ready for the even more demanding tasks of tomorrow!


Corsair XMS-3500LL PRO Ready
The new XMS-3500LL PRO is the industry's first high-density memory that delivers blazing performance at CL2-1T low latency. Available in a matched pair of 1GB modules, it is shipped with SPD programmed at 2-3-2 -6-1T for the AMD platform. The A8N32-SLI Deluxe and the memory are optimized for each other to reach maximum performance, and are validated for stability and compatibility.

- Unique Features

AI Life
AI Life Series - Gaming Edition motherboards bring lifestyle and personal computing together. This motherboard provides you better system performance to enjoy graphics-intensive games and applications. To create a peaceful environment, several new and improved innovations are also included to reduce noise and temperature. Don't change your way of life for a computer. Instead let the ASUS Life Series improve the quality of your life.
True Dual X16 SLI
True Dual X16 SLI - The ultimate enthusiast platform
The A8N32-SLI Deluxe supports dual PCI Express x16 slots running at full speed to liberate graphics cards from the narrow bandwidth platform of x8 speed only. With ASUS' innovative designs to bring out the real potential of NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 chipsets, gamers can easily enjoy faster graphics performance and higher video quality today, and be ready for the even more demanding tasks of tomorrow!

8 Phase Power Design
- Cooler and quieter system
- Longer components lifespan
- More stable and reliable under heavy-loading and overclocking
The ASUS 8-Phase Power Design provides highly efficient operation to generate less heat (at least 15°C (36°F)) than other conventional power solutions. It reduces input ripple current and output ripple voltage, which keeps CPU and power module from suffering the risk of high power stress. It has the advantages of quick transient response and stability, especially beneficial when CPU requires more current immediately under heavy loading or overclocking mode.

Fanless Design - Heat Pipe & Stack Cool 2
- Complete quiet cooling
- Zero failure
- Excellent heat dissipation
The Heat Pipe design effectively directs the heat generated by the chipsets to the heatsink near the back IO ports, where it can be carried away by existing airflow from CPU fan. ASUS STACK COOL 2 effectively transfers heat generated by the critical components to the other side of the specially designed PCB (printed circuit board). The purpose of the innovative fanless designs is to decrease the number of fans and therefore reducing the noise from the system. Furthermore, the groundbreaking fanless designs do not have lifetime problems as a fan does. To guarantee excellent thermal performance, ASUS adopts copper heat pipes and copper pads for the chipsets. These fanless designs are the most reliable fanless thermal solutions to date

Optional Fan (for Water-Cooling or Passive-Cooling only)
Maximize performance and minimize noise!
The optional fan is specifically designed to provide sufficient airflow over the CPU power modules and chipset area when water-cooling or passive-cooling is utilized, ensuring effective heat dissipation for the entire system.

- CPU Features

Supports AMD Socket 939 Athlon 64 X2
This motherboard supports AMD 939-pin Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core processor with 1MBx2 or 512KBx2 L2 cache which is based on 64-bit architecture. It features better multithreaded / multitasking performance than Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64.
Supports AMD Socket 939 Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64
This motherboard supports AMD 939-pin Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 processors with 1MB / 512KB L2 cache which is based on 64-bit architecture. It features 2000 / 1600 MT/s HyperTransport Bus, dual-channel un-buffered DDR400 memory support and AMD Cool 'n' Quiet! Technology.

Dual-Core CPU
Enjoy the extraordinary CPU power from the latest dual-core CPU.
The advanced processing technology contains two physical CPU cores with individually dedicated L2 Caches to satisfy the rising demand for more powerful processing capability.
64-bit CPU support
64-bit computing, the next generation technology to replace current 32-bit architecture, delivers advanced system performance, faster memory access and increased productivity. This motherboard provides excellent compatibility and flexibility by supporting either 64-bit or 32-bit architecture.

- Maximizing Gaming Performance

Precision Tweaker
Designed for serious overclockers

It offers ways to raise system performance inch-by-inch and step-by-step to achieve maximum performance! This is about getting the most out of your machine, and taking pride in your customized computer.
vDIMM -
Take control of how much power is going into the memory modules. ASUS gives you 8-step voltage control to the DIMM
vCore -
Find out "exactly" how much power your CPU needs. Fine-tune it with 0.0125 volts at a time!
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection) allows
- FSB tuning from 133MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
- Memory tuning from 533MHz up to 1200MHz at 1MHz increment
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz up to 150MHz at 1MHz increment
AI NOS™
Applications such as 3D games and video editing demand a huge chunk of system resource.
Inject "nitrous oxide" into your CPU! The patented AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System) technology intelligently detects system load and automatically boosts performance for the most demanding tasks. Unlike other dynamic overclocking techniques, AI NOS™ reacts much faster to satisfy your unending need for speeds.
PEG Link for dual VGA cards
Automatically gaming performance tuning for single/dual graphics cards
This latest technology, PEG (PCI Express Graphics) Link Mode, is a unique feature that enables users to boost graphics card performance for superior video quality.
PEG Link allows users to raise GPU and VGA memory throughput via the motherboard BIOS the same way system bus and memory bus are tweaked. PEG Link Mode enables powerful video performance on DX8 and DX9 applications. ASUS engineers carefully fine-tuned the parameters for every single PCI-Express card to provide system stability during high-speed graphics operation.
AI Clock Skew
AI Clock Skew optimizes this motherboard's memory overclocking capability and provides users the fastest computing speed possible. When users overclock memory frequency, AI Clock Skew automatically skews the memory clock signal timing, thus improving memory overclocking capability by 10 to 15%, depending on the memory features. AI Clock Skew also allows users to separately adjust each memory channel's clock signal to reach the highest memory frequency.
C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
When the system hangs due to overclocking failure, there is no need to open the case to clear CMOS data. Just simply restart the system, the BIOS would show the previous setting and then users can amend the CPU setting again.

- Acoustic Features

AMD Cool 'n' Quiet! Technology
Supports AMD Cool 'n' Quiet! Technology, which monitors system operation and automatically adjusts CPU voltage and frequency for a cool and quiet environment.
ASUS Q-Fan 2
ASUS Q-Fan2 technology intelligently adjusts both CPU fan and chassis fan speeds according to system loading to ensure quiet, cool and efficient operation.

- Network features

Dual Gigabit LAN
The integrated dual Gigabit LAN design allows a PC to serve as a network gateway for managing traffic between two separate networks. This capability ensures rapid transfer of data from WAN to LAN without any added arbitration or latency.
NV Firewall
NV ActiveArmor enhances network security while delivers the highest system performance by offloading CPU-intensive packet filtering tasks in hardware. NV Firewall provides professional-grade traffic inspection capabilities, instant on protection, advanced management features and is easy to use and setup via a user friendly wizard.

- Interface Features

PCI Express Architecture
PCI Express is the latest I/O interconnect technology that will replace the existing PCI. With a bus bandwidth 4 times higher than that of AGP 8X interface, PCI Express x16 bus performs much better than AGP 8X in applications such as 3D gaming. PCI Express x1 and x4 also outperforms PCI interface with its exceptional high bandwidth. The high speed PCI Express interface creates new usages on desktop PCs e.g., Gigabit LAN, 1394b, and high-speed RAID systems.
Serial ATA 3Gb/s
The motherboard supports the next-generation hard drives based on the Serial ATA (SATA) 3Gb/s storage specification, delivering enhanced scalability and doubling the bus bandwidth for high-speed data retrieval and saves.
SATA on the Go
The motherboard supports the next-generation hard drives based on the Serial ATA (SATA) 3Gb/s storage specification, delivering enhanced scalability and doubling the bus bandwidth for high-speed data retrieval and saves. The external SATA port located at the back I/O provides smart setup and hot-plug functions. Easily backup photos, videos and other entertainment contents on external devices.
Dual RAID
The nForce4 chipset incorporated four Serial ATA connectors with high performance RAID functions in RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD. The Silicon Image controller provides another two Serial ATA connectors for RAID 0 and 1 functions. This motherboard is the ideal solution to enhance hard disk performance and data back up protection without the cost of add-on cards.
IEEE 1394a interface
IEEE 1394a interface provides high speed digital interface for audio/video appliances such as digital television, digital video camcorders, storage peripherals & other PC portable devices.
S/PDIF-out on Back I/O Port
This motherboard provides convenient connectivity to external home theater audio systems via an coaxial S/PDIF-out (SONY-PHILIPS Digital Interface) jack. It allows to transfer digital audio without converting to analog format and keeps the best signal quality.
Max. 10 USB 2.0 ports
USB 2.0 is the latest connectivity standard for next generation components and peripherals. Backwards compatible with current USB 1.1 peripherals, USB 2.0 delivers transfer speeds up to 40 times faster at 480Mb/s, for easy connectivity and ultra-fast data transfers.

- BIOS Features

Multi-language BIOS
The multi-language BIOS allows you to select the language of your choice from the available options. The localized BIOS setup menu helps you configure your system easier and faster.
ASUS CrashFree BIOS2
The CrashFree BIOS2 feature now includes the BIOS auto-recovery function in a support CD. Users can reboot their system through the support CD when a bootable disk is not available and go through the simple BIOS auto-recovery process. ASUS motherboards now enable users to enjoy this protection feature without the need to pay for an optional ROM.
ASUS EZ Flash
With ASUS EZ Flash, you can update BIOS before entering operating system. No more DOS-based flash utility and bootable diskette required.
ASUS MyLogo2
You can convert your favorite photo into a 256-color boot logo for a more colorful and vivid image on your screen.

- Bundled

WinDVD Suite
ASUS, consolidating its role as a leader in the IT industry, now bundles the versatile InterVideo WinDVD Suite. This multifaceted software set, includes the latest multimedia software, bringing to the fore the multimedia features of ASUS motherboards! (OEM version).

You can see the specifications in the table below:

CPU Socket 939 for AMD® Athlon™ 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 / Sempron™ processor
AMD Cool 'n' Quiet™ Technology
* Refer to www.asus.com for AMD CPU support list
Chipset NVIDIA nForce™4 SLI X16 (NVIDIA nForce SPP 100 / NVIDIA nForce4 SLI)
Front Side Bus 2000 / 1600 MT/s
Memory Dual channel memory architecture
4 x DIMM, max. 4GB, DDR 400 / 333 / 266, ECC, non-ECC, un-buffered memory
* Refer to www.asus.com or user manual for "Memory QVL (Qualify Vendor List)
Expansion Slots 2 x PCI-E x16 with SLI™ support at full x16, x16 mode
1 x PCI-E x4 (Support PCI-E x4 or PCI-E x1 card)
3 x PCI 2.2
SLI Support two identical SLI-ready graphics cards (both x16 mode)
ASUS EZ Plug
ASUS two-slot thermal design
ASUS Soft SLI Bridge
ASUS PEG Link for dual PCI Express graphics cards
Storage/RAID NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 Southbridge supports
- 2 x Ultra DMA 133 / 100 / 66 / 33
- 4 x Serial ATA 3 Gb/s
- NV RAID: RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD on Serial ATA drives
Silicon Image 3132 SATA controller supports
- 1 x Internal Serial ATA 3 Gb/s hard disk
- 1 x External Serial ATA hard disk (SATA On-the-Go)
- Support RAID 0, 1
LAN Dual Gigabit LAN
Marvell® 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit LAN controller
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 Southbridge built-in Gigabit MAC with external Marvell 88E1111 PHY supports:
- NV Firewall
- NV RIS (Remote Installation Service)
- NV ActiveArmor
- AI NET
Audio Realtek® ALC850 8-channel CODEC
Universal Audio Jack
Audio Sensing and Enumeration Technology
Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports on back I/O
IEEE 1394 TI® 1394a controller supports:
- 2 x IEEE 1394a connectors at midboard
ASUS AI Life Features Stack Cool 2
SATA on the Go (External SATA on back I/O port)
Overclocking Features Intelligent overclocking tools:
- AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System)
- AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
- ASUS PEG Link - Automatically performance tuning for single/dual graphics cards
Precision Tweaker:
- vDIMM: 8-step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125V increment SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
- Memory tuning from 400MHz up to 800MHz
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz up to 200MHz at 1MHz increment
Overclocking Protection:
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features ASUS 8-Phase Power Design
ASUS Fanless Design
ASUS AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
ASUS AI NET2
ASUS C.P.R. (CPU Parameter Recall)
ASUS MyLogo2
ASUS Q-Fan2
BIOS 8 Mb Flash ROM, AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash, ASUS CrashFree BIOS2
Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Parallel
1 x S/PDIF Out (Coaxial + Optical)
1 x External SATA
2 x RJ45
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x Wireless LAN antenna jack
1 x Wireless LAN activity LED
8-Channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors 6 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
2 x IDE connector
5 x SATA connectors
1 x CPU / 2 x Chassis / 2 x Chipset / 1 x Power Fan connectors
1 x GAME / MIDI connector
2 x IEEE1394a connector
1 x COM connector
Front panel audio connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD / AUX audio in
24-pin ATX Power connector
4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
4-pin EZ Plug power connector
Accessories SLI bridge connector
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
IDE cable
FDD cable
SATA cables
SATA power cables
USB2.0 / Game port module
COM port module
IEEE1394 port module
I/O Shield
InterVideo WinDVD Suite (OEM version)
User's manual
Optional Fan (for Water-Cooling or Passive-Cooling only)
Support CD Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Booster
NV RIS (Remote Installation Service) application
NV Firewall
NV RAID
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor ATX Form Factor, 12”x 9.6” (30.5cm x 24.5cm)




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