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Asus P5ND2-SLI nForce4 Intel Edition Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Asus
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Introduction and Specifications

Introduction


Having a very strong relationship with NVIDIA and their chipset department, and being the largest Tier 1 motherboard manufacturer in the world, it is no surprise that the first NVIDIA C19 nForce4 SLI Intel Edition motherbard we are reviewing is from Asus.  The chipset was released just one month ago and getting a retail product ready in such short notice is quite a feat in its own right.  Asus has never been a slouch when it comes to get quality motherboard out to the enthusiast, so it's no surprise they have a retail board for us so quickly.


The C19 chipset has a few drawbacks to it that may hinder many of the motherboard manufacturer's early attempts at selling boards by being an Intel platform chipset. While that may sound like a knock on Intel's parts, it really means that the enthusiast community has been strongly drawn to the Athlon 64 platform by its performance lead in gaming applications, and thus selling Intel motherboards to the enthusiast had become somewhat more difficult.  Another hurdle C19 manufacturers need to jump over is that it's NOT an Intel chipset.  While NVIDIA has become the dominant chipset vendor in the AMD market with their nForce brand, Intel still is very much in command of their own chipset destiny.  It would really take a spectacular chipset product from NVIDIA to even hope of creeping up on Intel's territory. 


Specifications (from Asus.com)


































































CPU

LGA775 socket for Intel® Pentium 4/Celeron CPU
Compatible with Intel® 6XX, 5XX and 3XX processors
Intel ®Hyper-Threading Technology ready
Supports Intel® Enhanced Memory 64 Technology(EM64T)
Supports Enhanced Intel SteepStep® Technology(EIST)
Intel new next generation CPUs enabling ( subject to Intel CPU availability and NVIDIA chipset supportability )

Chipset

nVIDIA nForce4 SLI - Intel Edition ( Crush 19 )
nVIDIA MCP-04

Front Side Bus

1066 / 800MHz

Memory

Dual channel memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support
max. *8GB / 4GB DDR2 667/533/400 non-ECC memory ( 8GB DDR2 support for 64 bit OS platform only )
Native DDR2 720 support

Expansion Slots

2 x PCI Express x16 slot
- SLI mode : x8 , x8
- Normal (Single VGA) mode : x16, x1
2 x PCI Express x1
3 x PCI

SLI

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 Status LED
ASUS EZ Selector
ASUS two-slot thermal design
ASUS PEG Link for dual PCIe graphic cards

Storage/RAID

nForce4 Storage:
- 4 x SATAII
- 2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33
- NVRAID : RAID0, RAID1, RAID 0+1, Software RAID 5 and JBOD span cross SATA and PATA

Silicon Image 3132R RAID controllers :
- 2 x SATAII
- RAID 0, 1 and exteral SATA connectability

LAN

nForce4 built-in Gbit MAC with external Marvell PHY :
- NV ActiveArmor
- NV Firewall
- AI NET2
Intel PCI Gbit LAN controller

Audio

Realtek ALC850, 8-channel CODEC
Audio Sensing and Enumeration Technology
Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF out ports on back I/O

IEEE 1394

TI 1394 controller supports 2 x 1394 ports

USB

Max. 10 USB2.0 ports

ASUS AI Proactive Features

AI NOS (Non-delay Overclocking System)
Precision Tweaker
PEG (PCI Express Graphics) Link Mode
Fanless Design
AI NET2 network diagnosis before entering OS

Overclocking Features

CPU Lcok Free
AI NOS (Non-delay Overclocking System)
AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
ASUS PEG Link for single/dual graphics cards
Precision Tweaker:
- 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
Fixed PCIe/PCI frequencies.
ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Other ASUS Special Features

CrashFree BIOS 2
Q-Fan2
1 x PS/2 Mouse
Multi-language BIOS
MyLogo2

BIOS

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

Back Panel I/O Ports

1 x Parallel
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
2 x RJ45
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x External SATA
1 x IEEE1394
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 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
4-pin EZ Plug power connector

Support CD

Drivers
InterVideo WinDVD Suite (OEM version)
ASUS PC Probe - PC Health Monitoring Software
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
ASUS AI Booster
NVIDIA nTune Utility
Anti-virus software (OEM version)

Form Factor

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

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