Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe Intel nForce4 SLI Overclocking Review

Motherboards/Intel S775 by KeithSuppe @ 2005-12-08

Today we explore Asus nVidia SLI solution for Intel, we?ll take full advantage of Proactive AI and determine just how smart the board is. Read on for Madshrimps first IQ test designed for a motherboard.

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Introduction & Specs

Deluxe Introduction

Since 1989 ASUS has been manufacturing quality OEM (or after-market) motherboards for the PC-market. They were often the only alternative available to system builders seeking to assemble truly custom PCs. Asus has contributed as much as anyone to the birth of Overclocking, which simply couldn't have evolved without After-market boards and user-friendly BIOS. Several years ago Asus designed sand introduced System Overclocking software which allowed chnages to made to hardware thorugh the Operating system or Desktop. That feature was aptly named Proactive AI it's introduced the Art of Overclocking to the masses.

Madshrimps (c)

Not long after PC-Enthusiasts realized they could open their case and switch out parts, a debate arose as to which part in particular had the greatest impact on performance. For the longest time the consensus settled on the CPU; however, with the burgeoning OEM market, healthy competition fostered technological progress in every sub-sector. The graphic card became the "little darling" of tech-companies whom could only look enviously on what was effectively a monopoly among a few CPU makers. When the first truly successful OEM graphic card maker, 3DFx dissolved, its talent was distributed three ways forming Matrox, ATI and finally nVIDIA (arguably another monopoly). Gamers might argue while switching among similar model CPUs has an might have an impact on performance by virtue of speed increases, yet one's choice in they're graphics card could make or break a system. This was especially true of Intel based systems. While switching out a Pentium for a Celeron CPU will have a limited affect on performance the difference between a system utilizing on-board graphics’ (IGP) opposed to a high end graphics' card (GPU/fast DDR) would be substantial.

Of course most manufacturers will claim they're product’s contribution to the PC is essential. I've been guilty of this myself once claiming in a PSU review; "...without a PSU your PC is basically a sophisticated sandbox." Time has taught me all components have their place and removing any number of these seemingly benign parts would leave your system crippled. If; however, there is a hierarchical order among components perhaps one device more then any other approaches that pinnacle, the motherboard.

The motherboard, particularly its onboard chipset(s) are to the PC what the autonomic nervous system is to the human brain. Only the motherboard acts as translator, coordinator, accomodating and powering most internal/external devices associated with the PC. The motherboard acts as the platform for all these devices which convert analog to digital then digital to analog in their perspective input/output functions. My interest in Neurophilosophy revived my interst in PCs both as a device to run Paralell Ditributive Processing software (emulates synaptic strength ratios) and as common tool in the Nueroscience arsenal due to it's functional similarities to the human brain. Both effectively collect analog (empirical) data via peripherials, (5-senses) convert that data inot a eletrical signals and "process" that information in a binary fashion. I wonder if Asus realized the significance in using using a Neuroscience term "AI" for their AI Series (although in this case AI = Asus Intelligence vs Artificial Intelligence). As we delve into the Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe based upon nVIDIA's C19 chipset. While this board has been out for the better part of a year she still has a few surprises in store.

Madshrimps (c)


When nVIDIA entered the motherboard chipset market with their nForce chipset in 2001 the evolution of the PC was forever changed. Undoubtedly NVIDIA’s experience as a graphic card maker gave them a unique perspective, Twin Bank memory architecture resulting in Dual Channel was a memory maker's dream come true. The impact on memory performance was nothing short of extraordinary and was directly responsible for Double Data Rate RAM. Another technological leap in FSB memory throughput was DASP (Dynamic Adaptive Speculative Pre-Processor) which acted as a pre-fetch expediting latency. Finally their MCP (Media Communications Processor) and APU (Audio Processor Unit) also raised the bar. In 2004 nVIDIA gave us SLI (Scalable Link Interface). While the technology and the P5ND2-SLI board have been out for sometime today’s review will reveal a few issues which were overlooked and re-test the P5ND2-SLI Deluxe as a mid-level gaming platform running Asus EN6600GT's in SLI. By now your probably familiar with how SLI works, if not the image below should help.

Madshrimps (c)

In the Box and Specifications

The P5ND2-SLi Deluxe arrived in perfect condition, packaged securely, with a plethora of extras.

Madshrimps (c)

The P5ND2 layout is conducive to easy placement and installation of cables/connectors.

Madshrimps (c)

P5ND2-SLI Deluxe Specifications

CPU Socket775 for Intel® Pentium Processor Extreme Edition / Pentium D* / Pentium 4 / Celeron CPU
Compatible with Intel® 05B/05A and 04B/04A processors
Intel® EM64T/ EIST*/Hyper-Threading Technology
* Refer to for Intel® Pentium D CPU and EIST support list
Chipset NVIDIA® nForce4™ SLI Intel® Edition
Front Side Bus 800MHz (QDR) / 1066MHz (QDR) ~ 1600MHz (QDR)
Memory Dual channel memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. 8GB DDR2 667/533 non-ECC memory
Support NVIDIA DASP 3.0 (dynamic adaptive speculative preprocessor) and QuickSync features
Expansion Slots 2 x PCI Express x16
- SLI mode: x8, x8
- Default (Single VGA) mode: x16, x1
2 x PCI Express x1
3 x PCI
PCI 2.2
SLI Under SLI mode: support two identical SLI-ready graphics cards
Under Default(Single VGA) mode:
- 1 x PCI Express x16 graphics card on the first slot (blue)
- 1 x PCI Express x1 card on second slot (black) ASUS EZ Selector
ASUS two-slot thermal design
ASUS PEG Link for dual PCI Express graphics cards
Storage/RAID NVIDIA® MCP-04 Southbridge supports NVRAID
- 2 x Ultra DMA 133/100/66/33
- 4 x Serial ATA 3 Gb/s
- NVRAID: RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5, and JBOD span cross Serial ATA and Parallel ATA drives
- Supports multi-RAID
- Supports up to 8 drives for RAID function
LAN Intel 82540EM Gigabit LAN controller
Audio Realtek ALC850 8-channel CODEC
Universal Audio Jack
Audio Sensing and Enumeration Technology
Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF out ports on back I/O
USB Supports up 10 USB2.0 ports
Overclocking Features Intelligent overclocking tools:
- AI NOS(Non-delay Overclocking System)
- AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
- Automatically performance tuning for single/dual graphics cards
- ASUS CPU Lock Free
- ASUS Ai Booster Utility
Precision Tweaker:
- vDIMM: 8-step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125V increment SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- FSB tuning from 133MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
- Memory tuning from 400MHz up increment
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz up to 150MHz at 1MHz increment
Overclocking Protection:
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Other ASUS Special Features Fanless Design
AI NET2 network diagnosis before entering OS
CrashFree BIOS 2
EZ Flash
Multi-language BIOS
BIOS 4 Mb Flash ROM, AWARD BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3
Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x Parallel
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
2 x RJ45
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x External SATA
1 x IEEE1394
8-Channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors 1 x SLI selector card connector
3 x USB connectors supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
1 x COM connector
1 x GAME/MIDI connector
CPU Fan / 2x Chassis Fan/ Power Fan connectors
Front panel audio connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD / AUX audio in
24-pin ATX Power connector
4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
4-pin EZ Plug power connector
Support CD Drivers
ASUS PC Probe 2
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Booster
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Accessories 1 x SLI connector
1 x SLI retention bracket
2 x SATA cables
SATA power cables for 2 devices
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x IDE cable
1 x FDD cable
1 x I/O Shield
User's manual
Form Factor ATX Form Factor, 12" x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.5cm)

Taking a closer look at the hardware ->
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