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Asus M2-CROSSHAIR Socket AM2 nForce 590 SLI Motherboard Review

Asus M2-CROSSHAIR Socket AM2 nForce 590 SLI Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Asus leads the way with the M2-CROSSHAIR motherboard, for it has got to be the fanciest motherboards that has ever passed through the PCSTATS test labs.
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Feb 11 2007   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ASUS M2-CROSSHAIR

Crosshair: A Gamers Delight?

In the computer world choosing the right motherboard is often the most difficult decision to make. Not only does it affect the processor choice but it also affects future upgradeability of the system. To put even more pressure on you, with the videocard market split between nVIDIA SLI and ATi CrossFire, there's also the chance you could be "betting on the wrong horse" as the technologies are not cross compatible due to licensing reasons.

While Intel's latest and greatest Core 2 Duo processor line is more powerful than AMD's Athlon64 socket AM2 chip, most gamers are still going the AMD route due to better gaming support. nVIDIA's SLI technology has been around with us for a bit over a year now, and it's also the preferred choice of gamers.

If you're in the market for a new gaming PC, Asus has one heck of a motherboard for you to set your sights on. The Asus M2-CROSSHAIR retails for $266 CDN ($240 US, £126GBP). The board is priced at a premium, but then again gaming is an expensive hobby and it comes with a whole host of gamer/tweaker friendly options that might make it worthwhile in your eyes.

From the awesome looking blue LEDs all over the motherboard PCB to the convenient power, reset and Clear CMOS buttons, the motherboard is an absolute pleasure to work with.

The rear panel LCD doesn't just look cool, it's also very useful if you're having a hard time with the system. If you're having a hardware problem, the LCD will tell you exactly what is the issue, when you're in Windows XP, you can put whatever slogan you want back there. =D

The Asus M2-CROSSHAIR has the most memory options we have ever seen in a motherboard. Experienced tweakers will absolutely love tweaking this board!

The overclocking options available here are pretty mind blowing - but be careful when adjusting voltages. The values go high enough to kill hardware if you don't know what you're doing. It's also a good idea to get some major cooling on the CPU and the VRM/chipset heatsinks before you even think about increasing CPU voltage to 1.85V. Take it from us, totally forget about pushing 3V+ voltage to the DDR2 RAM if you're a novice!

The Asus M2-CROSSHAIR performed quite well in the benchmarks, but then again the socket AM2 Athlon64 platform is strong on all fronts.

In our tests we notice that an SLI'd pair of nVidia GeForce 7800GTXs wasn't really enough to push the M2-CROSSHAIR motherboard to its breaking point, but future generations of nVIDIA videocards may benefit from the added bandwidth that LinkBoost offers.

When it came to overclocking, the Asus M2-CROSSHAIR was an absolute beauty. It rose to 325 MHz motherboard clock speed, and that teamed that up with monster voltages could potentially add up to the best enthusiast class Socket AM2 motherboard on the market.... I know this board and our Socket AM2 processors are begging for some Prometeia Mach II GT action, just imagine what might be possible... ;-)

There is no getting around the fact that the Asus M2-CROSSHAIR motherboard is an expensive platform, but it's also one of the fastest and most well equipped Socket AM2 motherboards PCSTATS has tested. If you want a killer gaming rig, start with the right motherboard and the Asus M2-CROSSHAIR fits that bill very nicely.

PCSTATS Editor's Choice Award

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: ASUS M2-CROSSHAIR
 Pg 1.  Asus M2-CROSSHAIR Socket AM2 nForce 590 SLI Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Advanced Thermal Solution for the Chipsets and Voltage Regulators
 Pg 3.  Asus goes overboard with goodies!
 Pg 4.  Motherboard Highlights Gallery
 Pg 5.  More Motherboard Highlights....
 Pg 6.  Nvidia C51XE and MCP55XE Core Logic
 Pg 7.  Overclocking the M2-CROSSHAIR
 Pg 8.  Inside the Asus BIOS
 Pg 9.  Test System Specs and Sysmark 2004 Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: 3DMark06, FarCry
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: X3: Reunion, Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 14.  — Crosshair: A Gamers Delight?

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