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Conclusion

The ASUS P5N-E SLI is not free from drawbacks some of which are not to be disregarded, yet this very mainboard makes us confident that the Nvidia nForce 650i SLI chipset, which is the foundation of it, is an excellent basis for midrange Core 2 systems.

Talking about the particular mainboard on this chipset, the ASUS P5N-E SLI can make a good alternative to popular iP965-based products. This mainboard provides satisfactory functionality, good performance, and acceptable overclocking opportunities for its price category ($120-140). Moreover, it allows using graphics cards with Nvidia’s GPUs in SLI mode, even through at a lower speed than you would have with the more expensive nForce 680i SLI-based mainboards.

Well, we do not want to overpraise this mainboard. We haven’t yet tested nForce 650i SLI-based products from other manufacturers and the ASUS mainboard may not look so great against them. It does have a number of flaws after all.

Highs:

  • Good performance
  • Can overclock the FSB almost to 500MHz
  • Can overclock system memory independently
  • Appealing price

Lows:

  • Chipset and the CPU voltage regulator are not cooled enough
  • A FSB hole from 400 to 450MHz
  • Faulty PCB design
  • Six-channel integrated audio
 
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