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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

Asus goes overboard with goodies!

The Asus M2-CROSSHAIR motherboard is a computer enthusiast's dream motherboard. Not only does it have quick access buttons for clearing the CMOS or just powering up, it has 16 bright blue LEDs spaced throughout the PCB to highlight SATA and USB ports, an integrated LCD status display panel on the rear I/O called the 'LCD Poster', and an electroluminescent I/O shield so the port names all glow light blue. All these features are extremely useful when there is little light to see what you're doing at the back of the computer, or inside.

The sixteen blue LEDs can be turned on or off through the BIOS, or via the rear LED control button. It's a pretty neat feature, but I hope your computer is not in the bedroom because the LEDs do shine very brightly. Some accessories that might look nice with the board are blue cold cathodes and blue LED fans. Of course if blue isn't your colour, you can always disable the LEDs and go another route.

The Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons are each backlit, so the lables are legible. One pretty neat feature that accompanies the Asus M2-CROSSHAIR is a separate front panel I/O connector. At first I thought it was a bit redundant but I soon realized that it allows users to easily attach the front panel wires to the motherboard in one swoop. This way you're not crouched over the case or under a table configuring jumper wires.

 Asus knows that enthusiasts can be pretty crazy when it comes to temperature monitoring so it includes three long wire thermistors that will allow you to place them anywhere within the case to monitor the device temperatures of your choice.

 Each cable is 50cm long, so the hard drive, videocard or memory is well within reach. A few small cable ties help keep internal cables in the system tidy and clear way from any spinning fans.

At first glance it looks like the Asus M2-CROSSHAIR only supports six Serial ATA devices but it actually supports eight, two come care of a Silicon Image SiI3132 PCI Express x1 Serial ATA/RAID controller. The two additional ports are located on the rear I/O, as eSATA jacks.

There are lots of external Serial ATA enclosures for hard drives available now, and this is one of the few boards we've seen which allows you to connect more than one external Serial ATA device. The Silicon Image SiI3132 supports Port Multiplier capabilities, of course you have to share your bandwidth but it should be significantly faster than IEEE 1394 or USB2.0.

Asus' LCD Poster screen displays a whole host of information; from initializing the processor or USB ports to detecting memory and hard drives, if there's a problem, the LCD Poster will tell you.

You can even customize the message is displays after the boot processes. Here we have set to to say "PCSTATS".

The Asus M2-CROSSHAIR comes with a stand alone ADI 1988B audio card which is an 8 channel High Definition Intel Azalia compatible device. The sound card is more than adequate for gaming, or movies.

Up next, a quick visual overview of the M2-CROSSHAIR's highlights...

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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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   10 / 19 / 2019 | 9:34AM
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