Asus CrossHair NF590 SLI: Republic of Gamers
Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The Asus CrossHair performed on-par or slightly better than the M2N32-SLI throughout our entire battery of benchmarks. This was to be expected considering the facts that both boards are based on the same chipset and we used the same supporting hardware for all of the tests. However, the CrossHair was slightly faster overall, even if its margins of victory were quite small. It seems Asus has done a bit of tuning with the CrossHair to give it a slight edge over the older M2N32-SLI.
The Asus CrossHair is an enthusiast-class motherboard in every sense. From its accessory bundle, to its feature set, to its performance and overclockability, the CrossHair does not disappoint. The only areas where the CrossHair stumbles a bit are in regards to its layout and price. The board's 24-Pin ATX power connector and single IDE port are too close together and the integrated LCD POST code error reporter's screen is located in the I/O backplane, which forces users to stick their heads behind their systems to read it. Then again, it's probably easier to read Asus' reporter than any of their competitors because the screen is visible from the outside of a system. The CrossHair's price may put some user's off as well. This board is currently selling for about $250, which is expensive in the socket AM2 world. Despite our concerns with the layout and price, however, we feel the CrossHair is easily one of the best socket AM2 motherboards on the market. This board is fast, stable, overclockable, and its BIOS and feature set are second to none. We're giving the Asus CrossHair a well deserved Editor's Choice award and applaud Asus for their innovations. Anyone in the market for a high-end socket AM2 motherboard should put the CrossHair on their short list.