The rest of the layout is classic Asus, which is to say that it's very well done and also fairly predictable. Asus has used a 16+2-phase power design with 16 phases for the core voltage and another two phases for the memory controller, which is, of course, inside the CPU. That’s an awful lot of hardware to pack in around the CPU socket but Asus has made a very neat job of the task.
Six DDR 3 DIMM slots and PCI aplenty
There are three PCI Express 2.0 slots but the spacing of the slots and distribution of PCI Express bandwidth - 16+16 or 16+8+8 lanes - means that you’ll be effectively limited to using two graphics cards. Which isn’t much of a limit, of course.
The big news, in case you’ve been asleep under a rock for the past few months, is that X58 supports both Crossfire and SLI. The motherboard manufacturer has to cough up an SLI licence fee to Nvidia which unlocks SLI as an option for that particular model of motherboard without any need for the horrible nForce 200 add-in chip. Asus has done the deed and included a copy of GeForce 178.20 drivers with our sample so no doubt the retail boxes will include both SLI and CrossFire connectors.
The other expansion slots are one PCIe x4 slot and two PCI slots, with the SATA, SAS and IDE connectors neatly arranged along the edge of the board. For some reason, Asus felt the need to include a floppy connector at the foot of the board alongside the Firewire and USB headers and the Power and Reset micro buttons. If it had ditched the antique floppy connector, perhaps it would have seen fit to include a Clear CMOS button.
Longer bars are better
Using over 4GB of RAM...
You can do it on 32bit operating systems, but you need to use PAE and will still lose chunks of your address space due to mapping PCI address space and video apertures.
It's a game for mugs : you have to use a server OS (on Windows), have PAE capable drivers (they frequently aren't - and if they're not your device will not work) and your apps have to be specially written to support larger memory (it isn't automatic most of the time).
On servers where a limited set of certified drivers are used there is no reason to use a 32bit OS, other than the hassle of reinstalling as 64bit. For consumer level hardware, the drivers won't support PAE anyway, so running a server OS is a bit daft.
64 bit operating systems just work. Certain consumer hardware manufacturers may like to pretend that they don't exist so that they avoid the driver writing hassle, and it is IME foolish to run Vista x64 in less than 4GB, but other than that things just work.
"Why not? Does the Reg sign NDAs?"
Even if not, I assume they want to continue to receive review kit in the future... ;)
2 GB in each of the 6 slots?
If I read it correctly, you can cram 2GB modules in each of the 6 slots. (six slots?!?)
Fitting 12GB on a desktop PC would be neat, I've heard of that amount of RAM in servers only. But won´t that force 64-bit OS presence, at least concerning memory management point of view? Honestly, I don´t have a clue on this one.
Yes, I´ve been under a rock in the last few months... SLI meeting crossfire sounds fun... and expensive to build on top of that mobo.
I run Win2003 Enterprise (32bit) in 8GB at home. Makes a really good webserver/SQL server ..... and I dont have issues with 64bit drivers.
I love MSDN - really good value.
"We can’t give the game away about the performance of the P6T Deluxe - well, not for a couple of weeks, anyway"
Why not? Does the Reg sign NDAs?
Also, Leo is correct about RAM!