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Asus M2N32-SLI nForce 590 SLI AMD Motherboard Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Asus
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Introduction and Specifications

Introduction


The nForce 590 SLI chipset for the AMD AM2 platform was launched in conjunction with the processors in June of this year, and NVIDIA has enjoyed much success with it since then.  The only major competition for it has been ATI's XPress 3200 chipset, and ATI hasn't had much success getting board vendors to actually make and sell those boards.  NVIDIA, much like we saw with the nForce4 chipset in the Socket 939 days, is mopping up the chipset market not necessarily because of technical advantage, but due to the incapable competition.


Today we are reviewing the Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard, based on that same nForce 590 SLI chipset we were bragging about above.  The Asus board wasn't the first to find its way to reviewer's hands, it was pretty close and there is a good chance this board has populated into many PC enthusiasts systems already. 


Specifications (from Asus.com)








































































CPU

Support AMD® Socket AM2 Athlon 64 X2/Athlon 64 FX/Athlon 64/Sempron
AMD Cool 'n' Quiet™ Technology
AMD64 architecture enables simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing
AMD Live!™ Ready


Chipset

NVIDIA nForce® 590 SLI™ MCP
NVIDIA LinkBoost™ Technology

Memory

Dual channel memory architecture
4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR2-800/667/533, ECC and non-ECC, un-buffered memory

Expansion Slots


2 x PCI Express x16 slot with NVIDIA® SLI™ technology support, at full x16, x16 speed
1 x PCI Express x4
1 x PCI Express x1
2 x PCI 2.2


SLI

Support two identical NVIDIA SLI-Ready graphics cards (both at x16 mode)
ASUS two-slot thermal design
ASUS PEG Link

Storage

NVIDIA nForce® 590 SLI™ MCP supports:
 * 1 x Ultra DMA 133/100/66/33
 * 6 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s
 * NVIDIA MediaShield™ RAID supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD span cross Serial ATA drives
Silicon Image® 3132 SATA controller supports
 * 1 x Internal Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s
 * 1 x External Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s port on back I/O (SATA On-the-Go)
 * Support RAID 0, 1, and JBOD

LAN


Dual Gigabit LAN controllers support NVIDIA DualNet® technology
NVIDIA nForce® 590 SLI™ MCP built-in dual Gigabit MAC with external Marvell PHY
 * Support Teaming and fail-over functions
 * Support TCP/IP Acceleration


Audio

ADI 1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
Support Jack-Sensing, Enumeration, Multi-streaming and Jack-Retasking
Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out on back I/O port
Support DTS® Connect function

Wireless LAN

WiFi-AP Solo™ USB wireless module supports IEEE802.11b/g

IEEE 1394a

TI 1394 controller supports 2 x 1394a ports

USB

Wireless Edition: max. 8 USB2.0/1.1 ports

Special Features

ASUS EZ DIY:
 * Q-Connector
 * ASUS CrashFree BIOS3
 * ASUS EZ Flash2
ASUS Music Alarm
ASUS MyLogo3

Back Panel I/O Ports

1 x PS/2 Keyboard port
1 x PS/2 Mouses
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x External SATA
2 x LAN (RJ45) port
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x IEEE 1394a port
1 x WiFi-g™ antenna jack (Wireless Edition only)
1 x COM port
8-channel Audio ports

Internal I/O Connectors

Wireless Edition: 2 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector for two devices
7 x SATA connectors
1 x CPU / 4 x Chassis / 1x Chipset / 1 x Power Fan connectors
1 x IEEE1394a connector
1 x Parallel connector
1 x S/PDIF output connector
1 x ADH connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
Front Panel Audio connector
CD audio in
24-pin ATX Power connector
4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
System panel connector

BIOS

8Mb Flash ROM, AWARD BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3

Manageability

WOL by PME, WOR by PME, Chasis Intrusion, PXE

Accessories

1 x SLI bridge
1 x ASUS Array Mic
1 x ASUS Optional Fan
1 x ASUS Q-Connector Kit (USB, 1394, system panel; Retail version only)
1 x wireless antenna (Wireless Edition only)
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x Floppy disk drive cable
6 x SATA cables
3 x SATA power cable for 6 devices
1 x 2-port USB2.0 module
1 x IEEE1394a module
1 x I/O Shield
InterVideo® Media Launcher (OEM version only)
User's manual

Support CD

Drivers
ASUS WiFi-AP Solo™ Wizard (Wireless Edition only)
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Booster
NVIDIA MediaShield™ RAID
Anti-virus software (OEM version)

Form Factor

ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

Front Side Bus

2000/1600 MT/s

Overclocking Features



Intelligent overclocking tools:
 * ASUS AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System)
 * AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
 * AI Clock Skew
 * ASUS PEG Link - automatically performance tuning for graphics cards
 * ASUS O.C. Profile: overclocking configuration-sharing tool


Precision Tweaker:
* vDIMM: 25-step DRAM voltage control
* vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125V increment
* PCIe x16 Frequency: allowing PCIe x16 frequency from 100MHz up to 200MHz at 1MHz increment
* SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection): allowing FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment


Overclocking Protection:
 * ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
ASUS AI Booster Utility
Adjustable FSB/DDR2 ratio. Fixed PCI/PCIe frequencies

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