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Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe nForce 590 SLI AM2 Motherboard Review

Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe nForce 590 SLI AM2 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe is one of the first Socket AM2 motherboards to make it into the PCSTATS labs, and it's one motherboard with a lot of expectations attached.
 86% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Jun 22 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe

AMD Athlon64 Socket AM2 Heatsink Considerations

The 940-pin AMD socket AM2 Athlon64 processor to is physically speaking nearly identical to the previous generations of socket 754, socket 939 and socket 940 AMD K8 processors. There is one very significant difference as far as heatsinks are concerned however...

The socket AM2 processor uses newly designed plastic heatsink retention frame that attaches to the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard with four screw holes, to a newly designed four-post metal PCB stiffener backplate.

The new socket AM2 heatsink retention frame and metal backplate are not compatible with the previous socket 754/939/940 heatsink retention frame and metal back plates, and vice-versa.

AM2 motherboards like the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard ship with the new AM2 heatsink retention frame, and that means many existing Athlon64 K8 heatsinks are unuseable on the AM2 platform.

All existing K8 heatsinks that screw directly into the two-post metal backplate of the socket 754/939/940 series are not usable with the socket AM2 retention module, because its four-posts are positioned differently. Unfortunately, most heatsinks that use this installation method are the high-end, heavy copper coolers that offer the best performance qualities. The weight of these expensive enthusiast level heatsinks dictated a firmer attachment method than the plastic tabs of the old retention frame, and sadly their useful life is now over.

AMD retail heatsinks that clip onto the socket 754/939/940 heatsink retention frame center tabs will continue to be compatible with the socket AM2 heatsink retention frame. The center tabs survived the transition to socket AM2, alongside with a new type of four-post socket 478-like integrated clip points. Existing K8 heatsinks which use a cam-lock to apply pressure on the spring clip after it has been attached to the retention frame tab will also work with AM2 motherboards like the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe, though there are no lock tabs built onto the retention cage itself.

Three tab K8 heatsink clips should also work with AM2, but it depends on how well the load forces are balanced. Uneven loading is usually associated with the very inexpensive thermal solutions of lower quality standards. If you can avoid this type of heatsink with socket AM2 processors, we'd recommend doing that.

The socket AM2 standard also introduces Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) fan speed control, as identified by four-pin fan power cables. For the moment, both fan and motherboard fan header remain backwards compatible with 3-pin RPM sensing fan power cables. The ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe has its 4-pin PWM CPU fan header located just behind the PS/2 jacks.

Next up, PCSTATS will walk you though some of the highlights of the M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard that we've been looking at, and focus in on a couple of its more unique aspects that are sure to get enthusiasts excited!

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Contents of Article: ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe
 Pg 1.  Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe nForce 590 SLI AM2 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  The nForce 590 SLI Chipset
 Pg 3.  — AMD Athlon64 Socket AM2 Heatsink Considerations
 Pg 4.  Motherboard Highlights - CPU / Chipset Cooling
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Highlights - Videocards / SATA
 Pg 6.  Overclocking the Asus M2N32-SLI Socket AM2 Motherboard
 Pg 7.  Inside the Powerful ASUS BIOS
 Pg 8.  Prelude to Benchmarks / SYSMark 2004
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: 3DMark06, FarCry
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: X3: Reunion, Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 13.  Conclusions on this Socket AM2 Motherboard

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