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Published July 4, 2006
The M2N32-SLI Deluxe gets full marks right across the board, layout, features, design, stability, performance and the rest. There are few motherboards that really offer it all like this one. ASUS has been hot on overclocking performance for quite some time now and the M2N32-SLI Deluxe is another overclockerís fantasy. With nothing more than the standard aluminum retail cooler in place, it looked like the M2N32-SLI Deluxe would stop at nothing. Eventually the limits were reached, but not before a front side bus of 300MHz had been well exceeded.
Of course, many motherboards in the past have punched past a 300MHz FSB, but to do so with standard cooling in place while operating a 2.7GHz was quite an achievement. The final result was a 340MHz FSB and at this frequency system stability was not an issue using an 8x clock multiplier. The M2N32-SLI Deluxe seems more than happy to operate at this frequency all day every day, without a hiccup. Furthermore, the Corsair PC2-8500 memory was also happy to hum along to the tune of 1088MHz, while producing a memory bandwidth in excess of 7.0GB/s!
The 939-pin Athlon64 3800+ processor used for comparison purposes is actually quite a poor overclocker as its previous best as a 300MHz FSB using the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe. In fact, in the past I have gone for an Athlon64 3200+ (Venice) processor to show off the overclocking potential of most motherboards. There are a number of design elements that have been utilized in order to make the M2N32-SLI Deluxe such an amazing overclocker. The highly efficient cooling design of the M2N32-SLI Deluxe is obviously vital in achieving decent overclocking figures and for maintaining high levels of stability.
Then there is the M2N32-SLI Deluxe BIOS which was clearly designed with the overclocker in mind. Everything required for optimized tweaking and overclocking is there, just name it and the M2N32-SLI Deluxe will have it. That is clearly why I found it so easy to reach a 300MHz FSB and going beyond. Finally, the 8-phase power design is again an awesome feature and I have no doubts in my mind that it played a huge roll in the success of the M2N32-SLI Deluxe. The 8-phase power design helps stabilize the power flow to the processor by reducing power spikes, which allows the processor to run much cooler and more reliably.
Bottom-line is, the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe is easily the best motherboard I have had the pleasure of testing this year. It is also one of the first nForce 590 SLI supporting motherboards to become available, and ASUS has done well to achieve this. With almost no design or operating flaws, the M2N32-SLI Deluxe is a truly amazing product. I feel not only ASUS, but also AMD and NVIDIA will be happy with this product and their contribution to make it such a powerful piece of hardware.
Finally, with a retail value of roughly $220 the M2N32-SLI Deluxe may not be the cheapest solution around, but even at this price I could easily justify purchasing this motherboard.
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