ATi is playing catch up with the CrossFire Xpress 3200
chipset, but the technology looks pretty good against chipsets like nVIDIA's
mainstream nForce 570 SLI. With a retail price of $167 CDN ($148 US, £79 GBP),
the Asus M2R32-MVP
motherboard offers business and gamers alike a decent enthusiast board for a
mainstream motherboard price.
In terms of frills, the motherboard comes with a Gigabit
network card, 7.1 channel High Definition Azalia audio controller, eSATA and
IEEE 1394a. Expansion is possible thanks to the two PCI Express x16 slots, two
PCI Express x1 slots for high bandwidth peripherals and two 32 bit PCI slots for
legacy hardware. Dual videocards are supported with ATI's Crossfire
The Asus M2R32-MVP performed quite well in the benchmarks,
although there were a few quirks in SYSMark and PCMark05. Those blips in
performance seem to be isolated incidents as Super Pi, 3DMark05 and Doom 3
performance was up to snuff. We were also pleasantly surprised to see how much
memory bandwidth was available to the system with the M2R32-MVP motherboard.
Asus has a flair for the enthusiast side of things and the M2R32-MVP is pretty
good in this regards as well. The motherboard was able to overclock all the way
up to 305 MHz! It's reassuring to see ATi RD580 based motherboards overclock
ATi has done many things right with its CrossFire Xpress
3200 chipset. Motherboards like the Asus M2R32-MVP certainly put the chipset in
a good light. If you're thinking about upgrading to Socket AM2 and want decent
performance without breaking the bank, the Asus M2R32-MVP motherboard is
certainly worth consideration.
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