Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe
The A8R32-MVP Deluxe is a huge improvement on its predecessor, the A8R-MVP. Asus has pulled out all the stops with the new board and added pretty much every feature you could possibly want and/or need. Starting with the chipset functionality, the ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 North Bridge is the key feature of this board with its dual x16 lane PCI Express slots. A further two x1 PCI Express lanes are available and Asus has utilised one of these for a Marvell PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller while the second lane terminates in a x1 PCI Express slot.
The ULi M1575 southbridge adds four SATA II connectors – with support for RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD - two IDE connectors and eight USB 2.0 ports. Asus has added a second SATA controller from Silicon Image which adds a further two SATA II connectors. One of the connectors is located at the rear I/O of the motherboard to allow for external SATA devices to be connected - a neat touch.
HD audio is also part of the package, and Asus has gone for a Realtek ALC882 7.1-channel audio codec. FireWire is included too, although this is through a rear-bracket which offers a six-pin and a four-pin FireWire connector. Finally, a second Marvell Gigabit Ethernet controller connected via the old-style PCI bus rounds out the features.
The backplane of the motherboard sports two PS/2 ports for a keyboard and mouse, a parallel port, optical and co-axial S/PDIF out, the eSATA connector, six 3.5mm audio jacks, four USB 2.0 ports and to RJ45 connectors for the on-board Ethernet controllers. A bracket with two USB 2.0 ports and a game/midi port as well as a third bracket with a serial port are also part of the package.
Asus has also included two IDE cables, a floppy drive cable, five SATA data cables and three SATA power adaptors – two of which has two power connectors.
The 3200 is passively cooled and so is the M1575, so there’s no extra noise being made by any chipset fans.