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ASUS L1N64-SLI WS to be the first 4x4 motherboard

DailyTech has obtained a couple of images of an upcoming motherboard for AMD’s 4x4 enthusiast platform. The motherboard is an ASUS  L1N64-SLI WS powered by two NVIDIA nForce 680a MCPs. Two socket-1207 processors are supported with four memory slots—two slots per processor. With two nForce 680a MCPs the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS features 12 SATA 3.0 Gbps ports and one PATA for storage connectivity. There’s also an additional e.SATA port on the back I/O as well.

As far as PCI Exress goes the L1N64-SLI WS features a grand total of four PCI Express x16 slots for plenty of SLI and SLI physics processing power. Due to space limitations the L1N64-SLI WS only has one PCI and PCIe x1 slots.

Networking features of the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS include dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. The onboard Gigabit Ethernet features NVIDIA’s FirstPacket, DualNet, Teaming and TCP/IP offload technologies. Audio is powered by a high definition audio codec with optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs. It is unknown which codec ASUS has equipped the L1N64-SLI WS with, though it could be Analog Devices or Realtek. The board is not legacy free and still has PS/2 and parallel ports.

Due to the complex design of AMD’s 4x4 platform, the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS uses an eATX form factor which will not fit in smaller cases. Since dual processors require a little extra power, ASUS has equipped the L1N64-SLI WS with an 8-pin EPS12v and Molex power connectors.

U.S. distributors claim the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS will have an MSRP of $480 without bundles, but the street price will probably be much less.

Expect AMD’s 4x4 enthusiast platform to arrive later this month with three Athlon FX processors—FX-70, FX-72 and FX-74. It is unknown if the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS will be compatible upcoming AMD Stars processors.

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RE: waste of money
By bribud on 11/20/2006 4:41:53 PM , Rating: 4
You need to wait until actual performance numbers come out. You can't make a statement like that without any evidence.

RE: waste of money
By psychotix11 on 11/20/2006 4:44:04 PM , Rating: 3
Well odds are that dollar for dollar quadcore will be better then 4x4, and honestly this is getting out of hand.

RE: waste of money
By RMSistight on 11/20/2006 4:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
This is why I haven't jumped to Core 2 Duo yet for my desktop. I'm waiting for both parties to show me what they've got before I even consider purchasing anything. I'm probably going to skip Core 2 Duo and go quad core or 4x4. I'm just waiting for performance numbers.

RE: waste of money
By primer on 11/20/2006 5:21:55 PM , Rating: 5
At launch we should see entry level 4x4 FXs at around $600/pair to $1300/pair on the high end. With the ability to upgrade to quad core and have 8 cores late next year, this is a bargain for the multithreading buck really.

RE: waste of money
By peternelson on 11/20/2006 6:07:36 PM , Rating: 4
Not just in processor/mobo costs, but 8 cores in a single system will be a $ value for software purchases that are licensed per system rather than per core etc.

RE: waste of money
By othercents on 11/20/2006 6:48:10 PM , Rating: 1
However the software has not caught up to the use of multiple cores. Once it does, the 8 cores would be an awesome system.

Did anyone notice the 4 PCI-Express slots?


RE: waste of money
By JackPack on 11/20/2006 8:02:52 PM , Rating: 3
Will four 8800 series cards fit in there?

RE: waste of money
By AggressorPrime on 11/20/2006 8:37:48 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, if you get water cooled ones.

RE: waste of money
By Thorburn on 11/20/2006 6:58:48 PM , Rating: 3
In some cases its per socket however.
For example you couldn't use this system with XP Home, or Vista Home Premium, as it is 2 sockets.
So add into the cost the extra for Vista Ultimate (or at least Business if you are willing to lose some features).

RE: waste of money
By peternelson on 11/20/2006 8:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
Dualboot and/or virtualise Vista Ultimate with Linux was my intention.

RE: waste of money
By dilz on 11/21/2006 10:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
If you're willing to spring for 4x4, are a couple more Benjis for the O/S really going to be a showstopper?

RE: waste of money
By JackPack on 11/20/2006 8:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
They already gave out the prices a few days ago.

$999/1132/1500 -> FX-70/72/74

RE: waste of money
By shabby on 11/20/2006 8:30:10 PM , Rating: 4
*chuckle* Didnt amd say that the whole 4x4 setup(2 cpu's + mobo) was supposed to cost under 1k?

RE: waste of money
By JackPack on 11/20/2006 8:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think they said a pack of processors would cost under $1k. Maybe it's just me, but that Asus 4x4 board alone looks like it will cost at least $499.

RE: waste of money
By Gholam on 11/21/2006 3:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
Eh, it's not a server-grade board, and only has 2 RAM slots per CPU... I'd say $350 or so, $500 boards tend to have integrated dual channel SCSI U320, and this one doesn't.

RE: waste of money
By JackPack on 11/21/2006 2:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think you underestimate the fact that this product, unlike workstation boards, will be extremely low-volume, uses two MCPs, and is Asustek-exclusive.

RE: waste of money
By KristopherKubicki on 11/21/2006 3:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
The MSRP is $480.

RE: waste of money
By leidegre on 11/21/2006 6:56:29 AM , Rating: 2
8 cores!? Now i understand what the other guy was saying when he said "this is getting out of hand". What desktop application will utilize 8 cores within the near future?

Quad core solutions is obviusly a good thing, and is a quite resonable platform, but there is a limit to how many times you can divide things into seprate tasks...

RE: waste of money
By Loc13 on 11/21/2006 10:05:17 AM , Rating: 3
Finite element analysis softwares benefit from multi-core... The solve time improves significantly with increasing number of CPU cores, and that saves money...

RE: waste of money
By TheShniz on 11/20/2006 4:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think he was just stating this is a less-than-elegant solution in comparison to Intel's latest... w/ which I agree.

I've not owned an Intel anything since the original Pentium (1x Cyrix and a bunch of AMD), but that's about to change for me.

RE: waste of money
By peternelson on 11/20/2006 6:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, but 4x4 is forward compatible with future AMD quadcore processors. When this board is used in that 8 core configuration (rather than the current 2 dualcores), it will likely rival Intel's offering very effectively.

Buy board now, upgrade processors later.

RE: waste of money
By JackPack on 11/20/2006 8:07:19 PM , Rating: 1
For a motherboard that costs nearly $600? I'll wait.

RE: waste of money
By defter on 11/21/2006 5:18:20 AM , Rating: 2
There is lot of evidence. Check Core2 Duo benchmarks, two Core2 cores at 2.4GHz (E6600) are faster than two Athlon64 cores at 2.8GHz (FX-62), clockspeed difference is 16%.

In this case, it will be four Core2 cores at 2.67GHz (Kentsfield) against four Athlon64 cores at 3GHz (4x4), clockspeed difference will be 13%. 4x4 will have more bandwidth, which will provide advantage, but Kentsfield will have serious price/performance advantage unless AMD starts selling 3GHz Athlon64-FXs at $400...

Another downside of 4x4 is that adding more memory is impossible, since there is only one DIMM slot per memory channel. If you want to utilize all memory bandwidth, and want to increase memory capacity, you need to replace all four DIMMs.

RE: waste of money
By Heron Kusanagi on 11/21/2006 6:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
It is hard to say as AMD has a upper hand in one area -> 8 cores in the future (2 X Barcelona)

And even though we will migrate to 64 bit one way or the other, with Vista 64 bit NOT exactly the best, I will say that the memory argument is not yet valid for some time, and so, AMD for the winner.

RE: waste of money
By SexyK on 11/21/2006 9:35:11 AM , Rating: 1
And even though we will migrate to 64 bit one way or the other, with Vista 64 bit NOT exactly the best, I will say that the memory argument is not yet valid for some time, and so, AMD for the winner.

Huh? How is AMD the winner? If you want 2GB on this board with full bandwidth you need to use 4x512MB, filling all the slots. God forbid you only need 1GB (obviously not likely with a high end board, but still...) then you're stuck with half the bandwidth or 4x256MB. Seems like a loser to me.

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