Ready or not, AMD
is moving forward with its Athlon64 architecture and to be part of these
sweeping changes you'll need a socket AM2 motherboard. The need for a new memory
standard has been long overdue as DDR memory simply cannot provide a dual core
processor with enough memory bandwidth. With DDR2 RAM, AMD can provide a hungry
Athlon64 X2 or FX dual core processor with exactly the right amount of memory
bandwidth - 12.8 GB/s when using dual channel DDR2-800 memory.
While the K8 does not suffer catastrophically when
starved of memory bandwidth like the Intel's Netburst architecture, moving to
DDR2 does solve its bandwidth issue quite definitively. With that issue out of
the way, AMD extends its technological advantage further.
With the memory controller integrated into the
processor, upgrading is a bit more complex. This time around if you want to
taste AMD's latest and greatest, you'll have to buy at least a new motherboard,
memory and processor. If the power supply you're using is old or not up to the
ATX 2.0 standard, you'll probably want to replace that as well.
The Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard is one of the new
generation Socket AM2 Athlon64 motherboards and it's darn sweet. Based on the
new high end nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI chipset, the M2N32-SLI Deluxe is an awesome
motherboard loaded to the hilt with features.
nVIDIA really outdid itself this time around with its
new nForce 5x0 series chipsets. The nForce 590 SLI improves on the solid nForce4
series before it and adds a whole list of new and useful features. LinkBoost
technology promises to improve a gamer's 3D experience and the next generation
of videocards will definitely benefit from the added PCI Express bandwidth. More
enticing is nVIDIA's new networking technology like FirstPacket which can
prioritize outgoing packets to better suit online gamers and DualLink technology
which can let you run two Gigabit connections as one!
The Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard shows the world
that AMD and nVIDIA are on the ball and that the transition to DDR2 has been a
smooth one. The performance of the Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe was awesome as you
could see from the benchmark results it blew the Intel competition away. The
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe performed on par with the Foxconn C51XEM2AA, which very
good considering that is nVIDIA's reference board.
From what we've seen, and judging by the motherboard
benchmark results the Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe is a great all round multipurpose
board. It's full of features, its got a fast chipset, and overclocks well. If
the competition can keep quality, feature set and performance up to par with
this example from Asus, the Socket AM2 Athlon64 will have a long and bright
future ahead of it.
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