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.
ASUS P5N-E SLI
LGA775 processors: Celeron D, Pentium 4, Pentium D,
NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI (C55 SPP + nForce 430 MCP)
133-750MHz (with 1MHz increment)
Adjustable Vcore, Vmem, North Bridge voltage.
4 DDR2 DIMM slots for dual-channel
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)
2 IEEE1394a ports
2 ATA-133 channels (in the chipset)
4 Serial ATA-300 channels (by the chipset, with RAID support)
ATA RAID support
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 in the chipset
6-channel HD codec: Realtek ALC883
Gigabit Ethernet (in the chipset)
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.