CrossFire Xpress 1600 Motherboards: DFI, Asus, ECS

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Asus A8R-MVP: Intro, Specs. & Bundle

The next CrossFire Xpress 1600 based motherboard we'll be looking at today is the affordably priced Asus A8R MVP.  The A8R MVP doesn't have as many features as the DFI RDX200 CF-DR or ECS KA1 MVP we'll be showcasing a little later, but it is equipped with a different southbridge that's superior to the ATI SB450 in a number of ways.  Before we get to the specifics, however, lets take a look at the A8R-MVP's specifications and accessory bundle...


Specifications & Features
Socket 939 for AMD Athlon 64 FX/ Athlon 64 X2/ Athlon 64/ Sempron
AMD64 architecture enables simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing
AMD Cool 'n' Quiet! Technology
AMD HyperTransport Technology

ATI Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire

Front Side Bus
2000/1600 MT/s

4 x DIMM, max. 4GB, DDR 400/333/266, ECC and non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture

Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express x16 slot for discrete graphics card
1 x PCI Express x1
3 x PCI

ULi M1575 South Bridge:
2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33
4 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s with RAID 0, 1, 1+0, 5, and JBOD support

Marvell 88E8001 Gigabit LAN Controller, featuring AI NET2

IEEE 1394a
TI 1394 controller supports 2 x 1394a ports

Max. 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports

Overclocking Features
AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)

Precision Tweaker:
- vDIMM: 8-step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.025 increment
- SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection): allowing FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Special Features
CrashFree BIOS 2

ADI AD1986A SoundMAX 6-channel CODEC
S/PDIF out on back I/O port

Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x Parallel
1 x Serial
1 x IEEE1394a
1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x 6-Channel High Definition Audio I/O
1 x RJ45
4 x USB 2.0/1.1

Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB 2.0 connector supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
1 x IEEE1394a connectors
4 x SATA 3.0Gb/s connector
2 x IDE connector
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x GAME/MIDI connector
CPU/ Chassis/ Power FAN connectors
4-pin ASUS EZ Plug connector
24-pin ATX Power connector
4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
Chassis Intrusion
CD/ AUX audio in connector
Front panel High Definition Audio connector
System panel connector

4Mb Flash ROM, AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0
Manageability WfM 2.0,DMI 2.0,WOL by PME,WOR by PME, Chassis Intrusion, PXE and RPL

CD Drivers
ASUS PC Probe 2
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
Anti-virus software (OEM version)

User's manual
2 x Serial ATA cable
1 x Serial ATA power cable (For two devices)
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x MVP-Switch card
1 x IEEE1394 port module
1 x 2-port USB2.0 / Game module
IDE cable
FDD cable
I/O shield

Board Size / Form Factor
ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)


Asus is marketing the A8R-MVP as a mainstream CrossFire platform, and as such it features a more streamlined bundle than the company's true enthusiast class products.  Included with the A8R-MVP were a couple of case brackets that feature game, Firewire, and USB ports, along with a handful of cables including a single SATA data cable, a Molex-to-SATA power adapter, an 80-wire IDE cable, a 40-wire IDE cable, and a standard floppy cable.  There was also a relatively complete User's Manual thrown in, in addition to a custom I/O shield, a driver CD, and lastly a PCI Express terminator card. The terminator card is meant to be used when only a single graphics card is installed in the system, to re-direct all 16 PCI Express lanes to the master PEG slot.  The A8R-MVP and ECS KA1-MVP both require the use of a PCI Express terminator card, but the DFI RDX200 CF-DR does not.

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