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Asus A8N-SLI Premium Athlon64 Motherboard Review

Asus A8N-SLI Premium Athlon64 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: In terms of expansion, the motherboard offers up one PCI Express x1 slot, one PCI Express x4 slot and three traditional 32 bit PCI slots to the two PCI Express x16 sockets.
 94% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Aug 09 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ASUS A8N-SLI Premium

Asus A8N-SLI and the Heatpipe

The traditional method of dealing with component heat loads is to slap on an inexpensive heatsink with a little fan, or perhaps a large passive heatsink where long-term reliability is a concern. It's an easy solution, and one that works just as well as any other method. The new generation of chipsets like the nForce4 and Intel 955X are starting to push the envelope, but they in no way "require" heatpipe based cooling solutions yet.

Bearing in mind the space restrictions placed on motherboard components like a northbridge heatsink by devices like AGP, PCI Express, and PCI cards, coming up with a good cooling solution that doesn't interfere with expansion peripherals is a constant point motherboard designers must be mindful of. Necessity breeds creativity, and on the Asus A8N-SLI Premium motherboard we see a very novel way of cooling the nVidia nForce 4-SLI chipset. The heatipe combines the MOSFET and northbridge cooling solutions into one, and takes advantage of existing airflow currents generated by the CPU heatsink without introducing added fan noise. It's definitely an innovative solution, and a total luxury for Asus's flagship AMD Athlon64 SLI motherboard. In other words we're not going to perpetuate any myths that the NF4-SLI chipset is so hot that it needs a heatpipe; that device is merely the thermal solution necessary for this low-profile application.

SLI is thoughtfully implemented by a switchless digital controller, which is the way it really ought to have been from the start. The component layout of the board is great, and the extra space between the PCI Express x16 slots is entirely appreciated by this overclocker. Oddly, some high bandwidth devices like the second Gigabit NIC and SATA II ports don't run through the PCI Express bus - a design move that could have aided heavy multimedia users from finding themselves in possible bottlenecked situations.

Looking at all the benchmarks it's pretty clear that the Asus A8N-SLI Premium performed admirably, and with a retail price of $210 CDN ($173 US) the Asus A8N-SLI Premium is about average in terms of price for a nForce4-SLi board. In every test we ran, the A8N-SLI Premium often battled it out with the DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR and MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI motherboards for top spot, both of which are powerful Athlon64 SLI platforms in their own right. Bottom line, if you're looking to push the envelope, and have the enthusiast grade hardware to match, the Asus A8N-SLI Premium delivers!

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
 Pg 1.  Asus A8N-SLI Premium Athlon64 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Heatpipes, Switchless SLI and Overclocking
 Pg 3.  The Asus A8N-SLI BIOS
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, Comanche 4
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 11.  — Asus A8N-SLI and the Heatpipe

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