Hybrid vs Native Dual X16 SLI: Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus vs Abit IN9 32X-MAX - HotHardware

Hybrid vs Native Dual X16 SLI: Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus vs Abit IN9 32X-MAX

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ASUS has adopted a very confusing naming scheme for their nForce 600 series boards. ASUS currently makes four different motherboards utilizing a nForce 600 series chipset, t hey are (in order of increasing price) the P5N-E SLI, P5N32-E SLI Plus, P5N32-E SLI and the Striker Extreme. Unless you read that list very slowly, the only one out of the four that you're likely to remember is the Striker Extreme. Why didn't ASUS give all their boards catchy names like the Striker?

Some explanation is in order. The P5N-E SLI is the entry level product in ASUS' nForce 600 range of boards, based on the 650i chipset. The Striker Extreme is the flagship ultra high-end board based on the nForce 680i chipset. The P5N32-E SLI non-plus is a high-end board utilizing the 680i chipset.  The board we are looking at today, the P5N32-E SLI Plus, fills in the gap between the entry level P5N-E SLI and the high-end P5N32-E SLI. ASUS' NVIDIA Dual x16 SLI hybrid chipset positions the P5N32-E SLI Plus as an upper mid-range enthusiast product. The emphasis is on "enthusiast", as you'll see from the specifications below.

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus Specifications
nForce 680i Performance for a nForce 650i SLI Price

CPU

  • LGA775 socket for Intel Core 2 Extreme/Core 2 Duo/Pentium Extreme/Pentium D/Pentium 4/Celeron D Processors
  • Support Intel next generation Mulit-Core CPU
  • Intel EM64T / EIST / Hyper-Threading Technology

Chipset

  • NVIDIA Dual X16 SLI
  • ASUS HybridUp Technology
  • Support SLI-Ready Memory Technology
  • Northbridge: nForce 650i SLI
  • Southbridge: nForce 570 SLI MCP

Front Side Bus

  • 1333/1066/800/533 MHz

Memory

  • Supports DDR2 800/667/533, non-ECC, unbuffered memory
  • Dual Channel architecture support up to 8GB by 4 DIMM slots

Expansion Slots

  • 2 x PCI-E x16 slots, support x16 SLI (blue)
  • 1 x PCI-E x8 slot (white)
  • 1 x PCI-E x1 slot
  • 2 x PCI 2.2 slots
  • 1 x SupremeFX slot (reversed PCI-E x1)

Audio

  • SupremeFX Audio Card
  • ADI SoundMAX1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
  • Support Jack-Sensing, Multi-streaming, and Jack-Retasking
  • Coaxial & Optical S/PDIF out
  • DTS Connect, support for up to 7.1, EAX 2.0

Storage

  • 1 x Ultra DMA 133/100/66/33
  • 6 x Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s
  • NVIDIA MediaShield RAID (RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 & JBOD)

LAN

  • NVIDIA Dual X16 SLI built-in dual Gigabit MAC with external Marvell PHY
  • Support NVIDIA DualNet Technology

Special Features

  • ASUS EZ DIY (Q-Connector, CrashFree BIOS2, EZ Flash2)
  • Intelligent Overclocking Tools (AI NOS, AI Overclocking, ASUS AI Booster Utility, O.C Profile)
  • Overclocking Protection (ASUS C.P.R.)
  • ASUS Music Alarm
  • ASUS MyLogo3
  • ASUS Q-Fan 2
  • Uses 100% High-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors
  • GreenASUS - RoHS compliant
  • Silent Pipe Cooling

Back Panel I/O Ports

  • 1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse port
  • 2 x LAN (RJ45) ports
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 x IEEE1394a
  • 6 x Audio ports (on SupremeFX audio card)

Internal I/O Connecto r s

  • 6 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 8 x Fan connectors (1 x CPU, 1 x Power Supply, 1 x Chassis, 5 x Optional)
  • 1 x IDE connector for two devices
  • 1 x FDD connector
  • 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors (support 6 ports)
  • 1 x audio pin connector (support 8-Channel)
  • 1 x S/PDIF output connector
  • 1 x Front Panel Audio connector (on SupremeFX audio card)
  • 1 x IEEE1394 connector
  • 1 x Chassis intrusion connector
  • 24-pin ATX power connector
  • 8-pin ATX 12V power connector

Accessories

  • 4 x SATA cables
  • 2 x SATA power cables for 4 devices
  • 1 x 2-port USB2.0 module
  • 1 x IEEE1394a module
  • 1 x IDE cable
  • 1 x FDD cable
  • 1 x I/O Shield
  • 1 x SLI bridge
  • 1 x ASUS Q-Connector Kit (USB, 1394, system panel)
  • User's manual

Software

  • Drivers
  • ASUS PC Probe II
  • ASUS Update
  • ASUS AI Booster
  • NVIDIA MediaShield RAID

Form Factor

  • ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

 

 


As previously noted, the P5N32-E SLI Plus weighs in at about $180. That's a hefty price for a motherboard, that is until you realize that you're basically getting a nForce 680i SLI. ASUS has packed the P5N32-E SLI Plus with plenty of goodies like  8 phase power, 100% solid-state capacitors, ASUS' SupremeFX audio card,  8 fan headers and intelligent overclocking tools that can automate overclocking and let you load and save overclock profiles.

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