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.
Though the AM2 platform was not released that long ago, there are an innumerable amount of motherboards to choose from. Choice is a good thing though, especially when you may or may not be on a budget. The board we are looking at today comes from ASUS and is one of their top models. It has all the goods, including the nForce 590 chipset. Beyond that though, there are features found here that only ASUS provides.
The M2N32 is an AI Lifestyle board, meaning it’s feature complete for your lifestyle and performance needs. As we will see later in the review, this is clearly the case.
M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition Features
- Support AMD Socket AM2
- NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP
- NVIDIA LinkBoost Technology
- 2 x PCI Express x16 slot with NVIDIA SLI support, at full x16, x16 speed
- Dual-channel DDR2 800/667/533
- ASUS 8-Phase Power Design
- WiFi-AP Solo supports IEEE802.11b/g
- AMD Live! Ready
- Bundled ASUS Array Mic
The addition of WiFi and AMD Live! support may make the board out to seem like it’s for an HTPC or the like. Make no mistake, this is a board also caters well to enthusiasts and overclockers.
I won’t be getting into every minor thing this board offers, but if you are interested in the overall look you can take a look at the official specs page. The M2N32-SLI Deluxe is designed for anyone, whether you be building an HTPC or a sweet gaming rig. This board has it all. This is not ASUS saying this, this is -me- saying this. I’ve been using the motherboard for near a month, and I am left quite impressed with all it offers.
The board packs the nForce 590 SLI MCP chipset meaning you can hook up SLI right away. This chipset in itself introduces a lot of features to the user:
nForce 590 MCP Benefits
- Designed to offer a lot of overclocking headroom.
- Linkboost – Increases the bus speed of PCI-E slots when equipped with supported GPUs
- FirstPacket – Optimized network technology that helps put priority to network gaming traffic.
- SLI-Ready Memory – Uses EPP enhanced modules if you require them.
- DualNet – Increased performance with the dual-gigabit ethernet ports that features TCP/IP offloading.
- Support for S-ATA RAID configurations, including RAID5.
A feature complete motherboard would not be as such without proper cooling considerations. The M2N32-SLI uses a special heatsink that covers the Southbridge, Northbridge and PWM all in one fell swoop. This sink uses copper heatpipe technology to dissipate heat quickly, but fins are only found on the PWM. The SB and NB are merely covered with a heatpipe enhanced heatsink. It does the job though while taking away the need for a chipset fan. This should result in less power consumption (albeit low) and less noise.
Since this board also caters to overclockers, it’s no surprise the wealth of tools that are included. I will give a brief overview:
ASUS Specific Overclocking Features
- AI Clock Skew – Automatically or manually adjusts the memory clock signal timing for improved memory overclocks.
- OC Profile – Ability to save and load BIOS profiles from within the BIOS and even off a CD-Rom or thumb drive.
- Precision Tweaker – Complete control over Vdimm, Vcore and other overclocking specific features.
- AI NOS – Safe overclocking for those who don’t want to delve into manual tweaking.
- PEG Link – Allows to increase PCI-E buswidth and memory throughput.
So, I think it’s obvious that this is indeed a packed board. Time to take a look at the packaging and the board overview!