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The ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe

The ASUS AM2 ATX motherboard lineup
ASUS casts the first stone in the race for AM2 dominance

With the AM2 and MCP55 launches just around the corner (May 23, 2006), motherboards are already starting to trickle into the retail channel.  DailyTech recently obtained the complete ASUS AM2 launch roadmap, including ATI, NVIDIA and VIA offerings.

The spearhead of ASUS's AM2 offerings will be the nForce 590 SLI and Xpress 3200 motherboards, labeled as the M2N32-SLI Deluxe and M2R32-MVP Deluxe respectively.  The M2N32-SLI Deluxe features everything you'd expect to find on nForce 590, including dual gigabit LAN ports from the nForce MCP, eight SATA 3.0Gbps (of which one is external SATA) and dual full x16 PCIe graphics interfaces.  NVIDIA's LinkBoost technology will also make an appearance on the M2N32-SLI Deluxe, which ASUS's box art claims will automatically overclock the PCIe and MCP HyperTransport link by 25% when a GeForce 7900 or 7950 GPU is inserted into both PCIe x16 interfaces. The M2N32-SLI Deluxe will also come in a workstation version dubbed the M2N32-WS.

The high end M2R32-MVP Deluxe features similar specifications and uses the fabled ATI SB600.  The motherboard features dual full x16 PCIe graphics interfaces, dual gigabit LAN and six SATA 3.0Gbps interfaces. 

Continuing to work down the line, ASUS will also offer an M2N4-SLI motherboard based on the nForce 4 SLI chipset.  Aside from the obvious PCIe lane configuration differences between nForce 4 and nForce 5xx, the M2N4-SLI uses a bog standard AC'97 5.1 channel codec with four SATA 3.0Gbps interfaces.  ASUS's M2V will be the only VIA offering from the company at AM2 launch.  The M2V, based off the K8T890 Northbridge and 8237A Southbridge, will only feature a single x16 PCIe interface and one SATA 3.0Gbps devices.  To round off the low end, ASUS will also offer an nForce 430 motherboard with all the GeForce 6150 trimmings.

ASUS also has plans for a few MicroATX AM2 motherboards on its roadmap, including the M2NPV-VM (GeForce 6150, nForce 430 with dual video outputs), the M2NPV-MX (a slightly cheaper version of the M2NPV-VM) and the M2N-MX which will be the first ASUS MCP61S motherboard.  Expect to see this motherboard begin to sample near the end of June, with the other MATX offerings showing up just after the AM2 launch.

ASUS's high end boards feature a new player in the integrated motherboard audio market for the company: Analog Devices.  ASUS first experimented with the ADI's SoundMax digital processor on a few Intel 965 prototypes, but it appears SoundMax will have a permanent home on new high end ASUS offerings going forward.  The ADI SoundMax 1988B features 7.1 high definition audio and special optimizations for voice recording.  The ASUS M2N SLI offerings come with an array microphone that uses multiple mic heads for a slightly less distorted sound.

Once again, the majority of ASUS's high end offerings will offer 8-phase power in the form of dual 4-phase serial circuits.  Some offerings, like the M2N32-SLI Deluxe pictured, will also come with an 802.11b/g WiFi card with an omni-directional antenna. All high end motherboards also come with a fanless heatpipe design.

We don't have prices on these motherboards yet, but expect to see them at your local Fry's or Newegg within the next few weeks!

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AM2 is a bad idea
By photoguy99 on 5/12/2006 2:28:15 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, let's buy lots of AM2 cpus - even though within 60 days we'll be able to get the same performance for 1/2 the price.

Go Conroe!

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By heulenwolf on 5/12/2006 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
Being able to get same performance for half the price by getting an AMD over a P4 never stopped most folks from buying Intel in the past. Turnabout's fair play;)

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By drebo on 5/12/2006 2:52:14 PM , Rating: 3
It's going to be funny when all that comes out in 90 days is a bunch of water.

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By hstewarth on 5/12/2006 3:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't read anything about these motherboards being watercooled.

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By animedude on 5/12/2006 5:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think he meant intel's release.

"Being able to get same performance for half the price by getting an AMD over a P4 never stopped most folks from buying Intel in the past. Turnabout's fair play;)"

Thats because of Intel's marketing + channel harassment.

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By hstewarth on 5/12/2006 7:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
To be honest, I was joking.. his joke deserves another one.

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By hstewarth on 5/12/2006 7:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
second though, mine was true - so I was actually implied that the water comment was a joke.

There is no mention of watercooling in the article.

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By mendocinosummit on 5/12/2006 7:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
AM2 is being launched now with the technology that is in current 939, except the memory controller, that is why there is no performance gain. AMD never said there would be a substantial performance gain, consumers were just expecting one. AM2 being launched now will make it easier for AMD to release K8L in the 1st half of 2007 and then we will see a performance gain.

RE: AM2 is a bad idea
By Live on 5/12/2006 5:53:38 PM , Rating: 2
Conroe might beat a AM2 CPU in performance but availability is looking to be very low and hence prices are likely going to be very high. The thing isn't even released yet and the prices are already going up in every report I read. First report out they were labeled as cheap. Next report prices were much higher and fewer models was available. If the trend continues Conroe looks to be limited edition with street prices much higher then MRSP for the rest of 2006.

By hstewarth on 5/12/2006 6:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
I have heard no indications of low available of Conroe. In fact it should be the oposide - you likely find low indications of older Netburst - Netburst will start be fading out in 2nd half of 2006.

Besides this article is not talking about Conroe.

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