Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe twin x16 SLI mobo
So far so good, but the A8N32-SLI isn't perfect as our tests showed that it's was not much faster than its little brother, the A8N-SLI Premium. However, this is an early board with an early BIOS. Asus supplied a couple of BIOS upgrades but neither seemed to make any real difference. My main gripe here is that no matter what BIOS settings I used, the memory wouldn't run faster than 200MHz (400MHz effective) which means that you wouldn't get the most out of the Corsair modules. If you own an Athlon FX processor, the current BIOS version won't allow you to change the CPU multiplier, even though these processors are unlocked.
With regards to performance, this is not a slow board by any means, but I nevertheless expected it to perform better than it did, especially with 2GB of memory fitted. Still, 215 as an overall score in SYSMark 2004SE isn't to be sniffed at. The PCMark 2005 scores were all an improvement on the A8N-SLI Premium. AS you might have noticed we've updated some of our benchmarks to the latest versions and as such some of the numbers aren't comparable to older test results. We've also had to create a new demo for Half-Life 2 as the updates to the Half-Life 2 engine rendered the old demo unusable.
You wouldn't be disappointed with this board if you built a gaming system based on it as all of our benchmarks put in good numbers. Although with two 7800 GT cards you wouldn't expect anything less. The only game that didn't breach the 100fps barrier was Far Cry but this is the toughest of the 3D tests.
At £141 the A8N32-SLI Deluxe is expensive, but as it's a brand new product the price is likely to come down quickly. It offers some advantages over the A8N-SLI Premium but unless you feel that you need dual x16 PCI Express slots the A8N-SLI Premium is the more affordable alternative.
The A8N32-SLI Deluxe is the first of the true dual x16 slot PCI Express motherboard to hit the market. It's got a few minor issues, but Asus is working to sort them out. Don't expect a major performance boost, at least not unless you can afford the new 512MB 7800 GTX cards, but it's a well -designed board with loads of features.