ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe: Cooling System
The first revision of the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe was justly criticized for being very noisy – the chipset was cooled with a fan that was rotating at about 8000rpm! Despite its tiny size, the fan was a real torture to sensitive ears as its noise was mostly in high-frequency range. Ironically enough, the chipset was still cooled rather poorly due to the non-optimal design of the heatsink. In the A8N-SLI Premium the fan was replaced with another model with better noise characteristics.
And later on ASUS decided to abandon active cooling altogether and developed the noiseless cooler AI Cool-Pipe. This cooler has been further developed for the A8N32-SLI Deluxe as this mainboard needs cooling for both pieces of the chipset. It now consists of two heat pipes. One pipe cools the South Bridge and, partially, the North Bridge as it transits through its heatsink. The second and shorter pipe is mostly busy cooling the North Bridge.
The pipes transfer heat to a small copper heatsink installed to the left of the CPU socket – it also cools some transistors in the power circuit. It may seem that exhausting the hot air from this area through the back panel would be the optimal solution, as is implemented on some mainboards from ABIT and EPoX, but ASUS thinks different. The heatsink is supposed to be cooled by the air stream from the CPU cooler. This is a solution, too, although we think that pumping the hot air to the outside would still have been better. The mainboard uses an 8-channel power circuit with a number of power transistors, some of which are placed above the CPU socket. These transistors are cooled with a small aluminum heatsink like the one installed on the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.
So again, the mainboard doesn’t exhaust hot air through the system case’s back panel and it means that if you install a water-cooling system, the chipset and the power circuit may overheat because the CPU water-block wouldn’t create airflow to cool the heatsinks. In this case, you must install the special blower included with the mainboard. Of course, you have to sacrifice the mainboard’s noiselessness, but you will at least be sure that the mainboard won’t fail due to overheat of the chipset and/or power transistors. You shouldn’t worry about the second heatsink – the power supply’s fan is going to cool it all right in every case.
The mainboard has six standard 3-pin fan connectors one of which is going to be occupied by the CPU cooler if you use an air-cooling solution and the same five connectors will be available to you if you’ve installed a water-cooling system. This should be more than enough for 99% of users. The mainboard can keep track of the speed of three fans: CPU_FAN, CHA_FAN1 and RWR_FAN. The CPU_FAN connector can be additionally managed by the Q-FAN feature which adjusts the CPU cooler speed depending on the CPU temperature.