by Rob Williams on September 4, 2006 in Motherboards
The M2N32-SLI Deluxe is one feature packed motherboard in every sense of the word. Whether you are a hardcore gamer, enthusiast overclocker or Joe HTPC, this board delivers what you are looking for.
Time to take a look at the board itself and examine the layout. When it comes to motherboard layout, there never seems to be a “perfect” solution. There always seems to be a few minor things that keep it from being the perfect board. Let’s see if that’s the case here.
Some aspects of the board prove to be a tight squeeze. Take the top PCI-E slot, which is directly next to the large heatsink. Removing a GPU will be a fun experience with such a tight space. Pushing up on the tab will hit the heatsink. Nothing major, but a slight bit of extra space would have been welcomed.
Here is a close-up of the copper heatsink unit. Quite an interesting design. You can see the single heatpipe running through the entire unit. Along the way, each ‘checkpoint’ is secured with screws and plastic tabs.
As you can see here, the heatsink is covering the entire PWM to dissipate heat quickly. The caps in between are not touching this sink, but leave 2mm~ in between.
The socket in it’s 940-Pin glory:
As mentioned earlier, the board includes six S-ATA ports, all located nearer the bottom of the board, just underneath the BIOS battery. Also seen here are four 3-Pin fan connectors. No doubt that should prove more than enough for anyone.
The IDE/Floppy and motherboard connectors are all incredibly close to one another. This will not prove to be a problem in the least if you don’t use any IDE devices, but plugging in an IDE CD-Rom proves a tight squeeze.
At the top left corner of the board we can see another S-ATA connector and 4-Pin CPU fan connector. There’s also a tilted cap. Strange.
The non-removable WiFi card is located directly below the rest of the connectors. There is no antenna pre-connected, which is great for those who don’t intend to ever use it.
Now here’s an odd place for the 4-Pin motherboard connector. Honestly, I have no idea why it belongs here, because the power cable will just be resting atop your video card. Strange place indeed. Not to mention a tight squeeze. During installation, I didn’t notice this connector until after I had the GPU installed. The spot was so tight, that I could not plug the cable in without having to cut myself to pieces. So I was forced to remove the video card and plug it in first. In a good spin though, here are even more fan connectors.
Here is a glamour shot of the available slots. Two PCI-E 16x, One PCI-E 4x, One PCI-E 4x and two PCI slots. The blue and pink ports are for hooking up external Firewire or USB ports.
The BIOS chip and voltage regulator. Also the BIOS battery and reset switch.
There are a slew of ports available here, including a PS/2 keyboard/mouse, S/PDIF, firewire, S-ATA, USB ports, Ethernet and of course the audio. This board takes advantage of SoundMAX digital HD audio.
Lastly, here is the back of the board. Since the board is black on the front, it was a surprise to see it completely blue on the back.
Whew, that was a lot of ground covered. Let’s dedicate some time now to taking a hard look everything the BIOS has to offer.