2. The Package
The Asus P5N-E SLI costs between €145~195, as found at several online stores. The retail package is small:
All included cables are shown below:
The manuals and included CDs
Below is a list of what's in the retail package
- 1 x SLI bridge
- 1 x 2-in-1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit (Retail version only)
- 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
- 1 x FDDe cable
- 2 x SATA cables
- 2 x SATA power cables
- 1 x 2-port USB2.0 module
- 1 x I/O Shield
- User's manual and driver CD-ROM
The board itself is compact but neat and all parts can be identified easily:
Let's zoom in on the CPU area.
A large aluminium heatsink handles the northbridge chipset. There is plenty of free space around the CPU area and any nearby components are low profile. However, the big aluminium heatsink maybe a "problem" for 3rd party CPU coolers like the AC Freezer 7 CPU. Before purchasing such a cooler, check the compatibility list! The motherboard has four memory banks:
Moving to the south area on the board, we can see the 4x SATA 2 connectors and the absence of any cooling system for the southbridge chipset. It is strange that Asus has opted not to use any kind of cooling system for the chipset, possibly to try and keep the overall cost down.
The SouthBridge needs a proper cooling system however, if you are interested in doing any overclocking.
The motherboard supports SLI Technology but in reduced mode 8x. There is enough space between the two PCI-E slots, so no problem here for extra big VGA cards:
The SLI connector needs to be installed depending on the mode (one VGA card or two).
There are several extra connections for USB, Front Panel Audio, COM2 and Firewire on the back. Asus has include all port modules in the retail package. The back I/O panel has the usual connections:
- 1 x Parallel port
- 1 x 1394a connector
- 1 x S/PDIF Out port (Coaxial)
- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard port (purple)
- 1 x PS/2 Mouse port (green)
- 1 x LAN(RJ-45) port
- 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 port
- 1 x External SATA
- 6-Channel Audio I/O port