CPU Prices

RAM Prices

Compare Prices

Sharky Extreme : Monthly High-end Gaming System Buyer's Guide October 5, 2008

Be a Marketplace Partner

 Advertising Info

About the Double-Underlined Links

 - Most Active Threads
 - Technical Support
 - CPUs & Overclocking

Latest News

- AMD Rolls Out the ATI Radeon HD 4350 and HD 4550 Graphics Cards
- Acer Releases New High-Performance Aspire Notebooks
- OCZ Launches the HydroFlow HF-MK1 CPU Waterblock
- Dell Launches its Studio Desktop and Studio Slim Desktop Series
- Lenovo Delivers Two New ThinkPad X Notebooks
News Archives


- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with Microsoft's Dan Odell
- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with ATI's Terry Makedon
- SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with Seagate's Joni Clark
- Half-Life 2 Review
- DOOM 3 Review

Buyer's Guides

- September Extreme Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- July High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
- May Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide


  • CPUs

  • Motherboards

    - AMD 790GX Chipset Review
    - Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5 Motherboard Review
    - AMD 780G Chipset Review

  • Video Cards

    Be a Commerce Partner

    Internet News
    Small Business
    Personal Technology

    Search internet.com
    Corporate Info
    Tech Jobs
    E-mail Offers


    September High-end Gaming PC Buyer's Guide
    By Vince Freeman :  September 22, 2007

    AMD Motherboard: ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe

    Current Cost: $178
    Consecutive Guides: 5
    Price Change: -$5

    When we moved over to Socket AM2, the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe was our inaugural AMD platform base. There has been no reason to change from this price-performance winner, and even though we really like the slightly higher-end ASUS CROSSHAIR, our budget simply can't take the heat. The M2N32-SLI Deluxe is based on the NVIDIA 590 SLI chipset that, discounting the Quad FX 680a, is still the high-end model in the NVIDIA single-processor AMD chipset line. It includes support for all the latest technologies, including SATA 3.0 Gb/sec./NCQ, PCI Express, Gigabit LAN, and dual-channel DDR2, along with NVIDIA features such as LinkBoost, MediaShield, and DualNet. Obviously, the most impressive feature is the chipset's ability to utilize two PCI Express-based video cards in SLI format, giving high-end gamers an easy upgrade path to faster performance.

    The ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe is a serious performance motherboard with all the features our High-end Gaming PC Guide demands. It supports all AM2 Athlon 64 X2/FX, and Sempron-based processors, and offers 4 DIMM sockets capable of up to dual-channel DDR800 operation. The board features dual PCI Express x16 slots for single or SLI graphics, 1 x PCIe x4, 1 x PCIe x1, and 2 x PCI expansion slots. ASUS also includes a full host of storage options, including six native SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports, two SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports through the onboard Silicon Image controller (including one back port for SATA On-the-Go), and a single PATA connector. Networking is taken care of through NVIDIA's Dual Gigabit LAN, the ADI 1988B supplies 8-channel high definition audio, and ASUS even includes WLAN through a USB wireless module that supports IEEE802.11b/g.

    The ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe also includes an advanced thermal design, consisting of three core features. The most visible is the fanless, heat pipe thermal cooling, which includes a chipset heatsink linked to several heat pipes and heat fins/sinks for maximum thermal protection without the noise of a cooling fan. The motherboard also supports an 8-phase power design, which not only protects the CPU and power module from potential damage, but also generates less heat than conventional power designs. ASUS has also implemented their Stack Cool 2 cooling solution, which transfers heat from critical components to the other side of the PCB.

    There are also a ton of ASUS-specific features such as AI Gear (adjust system profiles on the fly), AI Nap (low power mode, while still downloading or running applications), Precision Tweaker (enhanced overclocking), AI Clock Skew (automatically skews the memory clock signal timing, improving memory overclocking) and AI NOS (Non-delay Overclocking System), just to name a few.

    For those looking at an ATI CrossFire solution, rather than NVIDIA SLI, we recommend an AMD 580X CrossFire motherboard, and potential options include the ASUS M2R32-MVP or MSI K9A Platinum.

    Intel Motherboard: ASUS P5N32-E SLI

    Current Cost: $205
    Consecutive Guides: 2
    Price Change: -$5

    The situation is much the same in the Intel camp, and we are sticking with our existing motherboard for the Core 2 platform. Once again, we're going back to ASUS, and their P5N32-E SLI is a superb mix of performance, price and quality. The 680i chipset features true 2 x PCIex16 slots for high-end SLI gaming, supports up to a 1333 MHz bus, Dual DDR2 memory (800 MHz standard, 1200 MHz NVIDIA SLI), PCIe peripheral support, Gigabit LAN and DualNet, MediaShield Storage, 3.0 Gb/s SATA + RAID, HD Audio and all the other standard 600 series options. Processor compatibility is also top of the line, as the 680i supports all Core 2 Duo/Extreme, Pentium D, Pentium 4, and Celeron D LGA775 single, dual and quad core processors. The main benefit of the 680i is its ability to handle the new 1333 MHz Intel processors, while maintaining NVIDIA SLI support.

    ASUS motherboards continue to be a real favorite of the high-end gaming crowd, and this is mostly due to the company's design philosophy of combining high performance with exceptional quality. The ASUS P5N32-E SLI features the powerful nForce 680i SLI, which supports LGA775 processors on the 533/800/1066 (and up to 1333 for upcoming processors) MHz bus, and handles standard DDR2 memory at up to DDR2-800. The motherboard offers dual PCIe x16 slots, 1 x PCIe x16 (at 8x), 1 x PCI Express x1, and 2 x PCI expansion slots. Storage requirements are handled with 1 x PATA and 6 x Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s, and the motherboard features Dual Gigabit LAN, SupremeFX Audio through the ADI 1988B 8-channel, and 2 x IEEE 1394a Firewire.

    This motherboard also includes a fanless thermal heat pipe design, featuring an 8-phase power design, Stack Cool2, and Q-Fan2, which adjusts both the CPU and chassis fan speeds according to system load. As with many of the ASUS enthusiast motherboards, this model includes ASUS-specific features such as AI NOS (Non-delay Overclocking System), AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency and voltage adjustments), and ASUS Q-Connector (one module connects the chassis front panel cables), just to name a few.

    For Intel buyers looking at the ATI video card option, we really like the ASUS P5K Premium, which features the Intel P35 chipset and a potential graphics upgrade path with its CrossFire-supported dual PCIex16/PCIex4 slots.

    Page 1 Introduction and Case
    Page 2 Processors and Cooling
  • Page 3 Motherboards
    Page 4 Memory, Hard Drive and DVD Writer
    Page 5 Video Card, LCD Display and Audio
    Page 6 Mouse and Keyboard
    Page 7 Communications, Operating System, etc.
    Page 8 Price Roundup and Closing Remarks

    Copyright(c) 2008 Jupitermedia Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices | Licensing , Reprints , & Permissions | Privacy Policy




    Jupitermedia Corporation has two divisions: Jupiterimages and JupiterOnlineMedia

    Jupitermedia Corporate Info

    Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

    Advertise | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers

    Whitepapers and eBooks
    IBM Whitepaper: Innovative Collaboration to Advance Your Business
    Internet.com eBook: Real Life Rails
    Avaya Article: Call Control XML - Powerful, Standards-Based Call Control
    Internet.com eBook: The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
    Go Parallel Article: Scalable Parallelism with Intel(R) Threading Building Blocks
    Internet.com eBook: Best Practices for Developing a Web Site
    IBM CXO Whitepaper: The 2008 Global CEO Study "The Enterprise of the Future"
    Avaya Article: Call Control XML in Action - A CCXML Auto Attendant
    Go Parallel Article: James Reinders on the Intel Parallel Studio Beta Program
    IBM CXO Whitepaper: Unlocking the DNA of the Adaptable Workforce--The Global Human Capital Study 2008
    Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro: Web Conferencing and eLearning Whitepapers
    Go Parallel Article: Getting Started with TBB on Windows
    HP eBook: Storage Networking , Part 1
    Go Parallel Video: Intel(R) Threading Building Blocks: A New Method for Threading in C++
    HP Video: Is Your Data Center Ready for a Real World Disaster?
    Microsoft Partner Portal Video: Microsoft Gold Certified Partners Build Successful Practices
    HP On Demand Webcast: Virtualization in Action
    Go Parallel Video: Performance and Threading Tools for Game Developers
    Rackspace Hosting Center: Customer Videos
    Intel vPro Developer Virtual Bootcamp
    HP Disaster-Proof Solutions eSeminar
    HP On Demand Webcast: Discover the Benefits of Virtualization
    Downloads and eKits
    Microsoft Download: Silverlight 2 Software Development Kit Beta 2
    30-Day Trial: SPAMfighter Exchange Module
    Red Gate Download: SQL Toolbelt
    Iron Speed Designer Application Generator
    Microsoft Download: Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Runtime
    Tutorials and Demos
    IBM IT Innovation Article: Green Servers Provide a Competitive Advantage
    Microsoft Article: Expression Web 2 for PHP Developers--Simplify Your PHP Applications
    Featured Algorithm: Intel Threading Building Blocks - parallel_reduce