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ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset

Asus' A8R32-MVP Deluxe mobo probed

Security for virtualized datacentres

Asus A8R32-MVP 2D

The board layout is generally good, with most of the connectors where you expect them to be. There are three free fan headers once you’ve fitted the CPU fan in. The only odd aspect to the layout is that one of the USB headers is located just above the top x16 PCI Express slot, which means that if you use this with a front USB port on your case, you’ll have to trail the cable across most of the motherboard.

ATI is targeting the Xpress 3200 chipset at overclockers and the A8R32-MVP Deluxe has an impressive set of overclocking options in the BIOS. I won’t go in to the detail about them, but there are options to change the CPU multiplier (as long as your CPU allows for it), HyperTransport bus speed and a vast range of memory speed options.

The A8R32-MVP Deluxe was tested with an AMD FX-60 CPU, 1GB of 400MHz DDR Crucial Ballistix memory, a 7,200rpm SATA drive and a Tagan TG580-U22 PSU. Asus also kindly supplied two X1600XT graphics cards for CrossFire testing.

I’m waiting for some faster graphics cards to arrive alongside with some additional test equipment for some more intensive 3D benchmarks. None the less, the SYSMark 2004SE numbers produced are very impressive and I haven’t seen anything quite as fast in the past, be it an AMD or an Intel platform. The FX-60 CPU would have something to do with the impressive numbers, but it seems like ATI and Asus has put together an impressive solution for general applications.

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