The Asus P5N-E SLI Motherboard falls under the “oldie but goodie” category, but with the added plus of a new reduced price. This is easily the smartest option for those that are seeking simple SLI support on the Core 2 platform, without all the extravagant options – just the meat and potatoes. For the most part, the nForce 650i chipset offers the same core features and benefits the nForce 680i has, but does so at a much lower price point. So lets go over the Asus P5N-E SLI layout and features, and see why I think it’s a great bargain.
As a mid-range SLI board, it’s a perfect match for those seeking a relatively low price, without any flashy add-ons or gimmicky features. The P5N-E SLI supports a PCI Express 8x mode SLI setup. One thing to remember, having full 16x SLI support has no real performance benefits over an 8x SLI setup, so this is something gamers are surely not going to miss.
Performance, Right out of the Box
As for CPU support, the P5N-E SLI designed with the Core 2 in mind, so Core 2 Duo and Quad processors are supported right out of the box. For the “Model T” enthusiasts, the board will also support older Socket 775 Pentium and Celeron processors. Asus also gives official support for 1333MHz FSB, above the standard 1066MHz support the nForce 650i chipset normally offers. The remaining basics of the P5N-E SLI provide a solid foundation for performance. There’s support for 8GB of DDR2 800/667/533 in a dual-channel configuration, a total of five SATA-300 ports with two ATA/133 ports for storage, Gigabit Ethernet, coaxial SPDIF output, support for up to eight USB 2.0 ports and much more. The 650i SLI chipset offers basically the same or better performance as the 680i, about 95% of the time, for significantly less money. It’s everything the average John or Jane Q. Public will need.
Overclocking on the Asus P5N-E SLI can be quite the challenge, but the potential for great results is there. The board features ASUS’ AI overclocking system that will intelligently overclock the system based upon CPU load, or off predetermined settings. The overclocking capability may surprise you. This AI system generally overclocked the board by 7%-11%, and is designed for users who want a little extra performance without worrying about adjusting multiple BIOS settings.
Those confident implementing the right tweaks and adjustments will have more success with this board. For example, you will find that the FSB can go way beyond the 1333MHz spec stated by Asus (hint-hint). Some additional options for overclocking include the memory clock, PCI Express clock, CPU voltage, memory voltage, and other important overclocking features not found on other mainstream motherboards. There’s a reason why the P5N-E SLI has gained a reputation as a great budget overclocking mobo.
- AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
- ASUS CPU Lock Free
- Precision Tweaker
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 6.25mv increment – max. 1.6V
- vChip: 4-step Chip voltage control – adjust Chip voltage max. 0.55V
- vDIMM: 8-step DRAM voltage control – adjust DRAM voltage max. 0.6V
- SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 750MHz at 1MHz increment
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz up to 131MHz at 1MHz increment
- CPU Multiplier
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
The Asus P5N-E SLI is an impressive motherboard, offering great performance for the LGA775 platform. The price is what I found to be the most notable aspect; the features and overclocking abilities are just a nice big bonus as far as I’m concerned. I highly recommend checking out the link below for more info.