Articles: Mainboards

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Specification and Accessories

Here’s the first mainboard on the nForce 650i SLI chipset that we’ve got – ASUS P5N-E SLI.

The question is if the ASUS P5N-E SLI mainboard, based on the highly promising nForce 650i SLI chipset, can be regarded as equal to popular iP965-based solutions. The answer becomes clear even from its specification.



LGA775 processors: Celeron D, Pentium 4, Pentium D,
Pentium 4 XE, Pentium XE, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad
and Core 2 Extreme


NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI (C55 SPP + nForce 430 MCP)

FSB frequencies

133-750MHz (with 1MHz increment)


Adjustable Vcore, Vmem, North Bridge voltage.
Independently adjustable PCI and PCI Express bus frequency.
EPP technology support.


4 DDR2 DIMM slots for dual-channel
DDR2-1067/800/667/533 SDRAM

PCI Express x16 slots

2 (with NVIDIA SLI support in 8x + 8x mode)

PCI Express x1 slots


PCI expansion slots


USB 2.0 ports

8 (4 – on the rear panel)

IEEE1394 ports

2 IEEE1394a ports
(1 – on the rear panel, by VIA VT6308P controller)


2 ATA-133 channels (in the chipset)

Serial ATA

4 Serial ATA-300 channels (by the chipset, with RAID support)
1 eSATA channel
(on the rear panel, by the JMicron JMB360 controller)

ATA RAID support

RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 in the chipset

Integrated sound

6-channel HD codec: Realtek ALC883

Integrated LAN

Gigabit Ethernet (in the chipset)

Additional features



Phoenix AwardBIOS v6.00PG


ATX, 305mm x 229mm

Yes, it can. In its main formal parameters this mainboard is not inferior to most iP965-based products. Yet we should keep it in mind that the ASUS P5N-E SLI is inexpensive whereas top-end products like the ASUS Commando belong to a higher class (for details see our review called Asus Commando: First Look at a Dream Mainboard). As we are examining the mainboard, we’ll see a lot of instances of the engineers having tried to minimize the product cost to make it more affordable. Thus, this mainboard’s competitiveness should be evaluated basing on its price which is currently $120-140.

Take the packaging and accessories, for example. You see the economy at once. The mainboard comes in a moderate-size plain box without pretty pictures or translucent windows or even a handle to carry it.


It is somewhat empty inside. Besides the mainboard, the box contains a user manual, a CD with software and drivers, an I/O shield for the back panel of your system case, cables for your floppy drive and Parallel ATA devices, two Serial ATA cables and an appropriate power adapter. These necessities are complemented with only three extra things: a bracket with a couple of USB ports, a flexible cable to connect graphics cards in SLI mode, and a set of exclusive connectors called Q-Connector.

On the other hand, we can’t seriously criticize this set of accessories. Although it is indeed scanty in comparison with more expensive mainboards from ASUS, there is in fact everything necessary to use the mainboard.

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