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Asus M2N32-SLI DeluxeDeluxe up to 30% faster than 939

First INQpression Athlon FX 62 AM2 in a new Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe board
Fri Jul 21 2006, 10:03
AMD FINALLY went DDR2. It was about time. Unfortunately for AMD it didn't gain as much performance as people expected. Well educated people knew that DDR 2 doesn't mean twice the performance or not even a significant performance increase and Intel had the same problem to convince people to go for DDR2. The performance is too close.

Temporarily forget about CPUs, because here we're looking at Asus' M2N32 SLI Deluxe board.

This is the first in a series of Nvidia Nforce 590 SLI chipsets that we want to present. Nvidia made some changes to the south bridge and cut some features and added some new ones and sort of redesigned its north bridge. We proved before that you didn't need a new chipset as miraculously AMD has a memory controller inside of CPU. Nvidia is great at marketing and convinced many people that its stuff is revolutionary rather than evolutionary. It is a good chipset, don't get me wrong but nothing is revolutionary about it, it works well and it finally got rid of the dodgy firewall.

The board supports dual PCIe 16X but the trouble is that the bandwidth from the second PCIe 16X slot comes from the south bridge or MCP as Nvidia prefers to call it. It does work but it is not a perfect way of doing thing.

The Nforce 590 SLI south bridge has PCIe 16 lanes support, two Gigabit LAN, HD "Azalia" audio but nothing like Soundstorm, 10 USB 2.0 ports, support for four PCIe 1X, two IDE drives, six serial ATA II drives and five PCI slots.

alt='asm2a'

Asus M2N32 SLI Deluxe board is a socket AM2 board that features a 200 to 425 MHz bus speed with 1MHz increments, support for DDR 2 up to 800MHz officially, PCIe speed from 100 to 200 MHz adjustment, millions of voltage and multiplier tweakage. It is a nice board for overclocking.

The board has a nice heathpipe cooler that covers all the chipset chips and the power transistors by the CPU socket. It makes your board very quiet but you have the option to use a fan to cool this heathpipe cooling marchitecture. The memory sockets are kind of upside down compared to most of the boards we've seen and of course there are four DIMM slots that only support DDR 2 memory. CPU socket now has retention mechanism that has four holes and four screws while the earlier one had two. The good news is that your socket 939 cooler will fit on socket AM2 just fine.

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The board gets some extra power by four pin connector placed by the side of first PCIe 16X connector. The board has single PCIe 4X and a single PCIe 1X connectors in between two PCIe 16X slots and if you use dual slot cards you can forget about the 4X one while the second dual slot card will block one of the two PCI slots. That's what you get from the boards these days. The board utilise all six SATA 2 ports, a floppy and a single IDE cable connector.

The back panel has two PS 2 ports, rather rare Serial connector, digital our and SPDIF for audio, E SATA and Firewire port, four USB 2.0, two Gigabit cards, 5.1 analogue audio and a wireless LAN antenna connector. The package of this box is out of this world and I cannot think of any cable, CD of feature including WLAN that is not included. You get three power adaptors, featuring SAA plug on each and six SATA cables, two rear brackets one with Firewire ports and the second one with two USB ports. The package also includes IDE cable, a floppy cable, rear I/O shield and of course CDs and manuals. Even the W LAN has its manual. alt='asm2b'

We like the design of the external W LAN antenna and it is also adjustable at the same time. We already mentioned additional fan that you can mount if you don't like the performance of heat pipe cooler. There is also soundMEX Superb which is some kind of audio gadget and some extra long connectors.

Benchmarketing
It is an interesting combination as we compared one single core FX 57 CPU on a older Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe 939 motherboard and a new FX 62 CPU on a latest Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard. The names are incredible similar but those are two boards first one uses good old Nforce 4 SLI 32X PCIe chipset and the second one new super marketing duper Nforce 590 (you pronounce it as Five, ninety with a long I in a five). We decided to use a midrange Albtaron 7600GT card. This is what we got.

We used Corsair latest greatest DDR 2 memory that works at amazingly CL3 and DDR 800 settings out of the box. We will play with the memory on the later date but we have to say this one was top of the notch and will give you the best timings out of the box.

We used :
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe Nforce 4 SLI X16 motherboard
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Nforce 4 SLI X16 motherboard
Athlon FX 57 2800 MHz 90 nanometre San Diego core
Athlon FX 62 2800 MHz 90 nanometre Windsor core
2x1024 MB DDR Corsair XMS-3500LL PRO memory
2x1024 MB DDR2 Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 memory
Albatron 7600GT / 560-1400 MHz
Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 two times 500/1200MHz, two times 512 MB memory Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA NCQ hard drive
Akasa AK913 EVO 33 Athlon 64 cooler
Stock Athlon 64 cooler
Silverstone Strider ST60F, 600W ATX 2.0 SATA
Driver 84_21_forceware_winxp2k_whq

Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
3DMark 03
Game2
Game3
Game3
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
13409
96.9
83.8
83.1
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
13811
97.4
84.8
84.3
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
CPU Score ?
CPU Test 1 ?
CPU Test 2
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
1261
149.2
20.9
30.8
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
1545
167.7
28.2
?
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Vertex Shader
Pixel Shader 2.0
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
2392.4
6397.2
37.8
284.4
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
2393.4
6397.2
38.8
286.3
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
3DMark 05
Game1
Game2
Game2
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
5984
26.0
18.3
28.9
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
6095
26.9
17.5
29.1
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
CPU Score ?
CPU Test 1 ?
CPU Test 2
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
5933
2.9
5.5
30.8
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
7477
3.2
7.8
64.8
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Pixel Shader

VS/VS
complex

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
2829.4
6650.2
184.2
51.5/37.6
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
2829.1
6633.2
184.2
51.5/37.7
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 06
3DMark 06
? ?
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
3077
? ?
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
3355
? ?
? ? ? ? ?
SM2.0 Test
Score
GT1
GT2


Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
1319
10.756
11.234
30.8
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
1322
10.800
11.234
64.8
? ? ? ? ?
HDR/SM3.0 Test
Score
HDR1
HDR2


Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
1193
10.500
13.365
30.8
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
1199
10.584
13.405
64.8
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
Score
CPU1
CPU2


Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
1105
0.347
0.562
30.8
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
2114
0.668
1.070
64.8
? ? ? ? ?

PC Mark 2005

CPU
Memory
HDD
Total
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
4072
4306
5534
4446
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
5714
5606
5418
5961
? ? ? ? ?

PC Mark 2004

CPU
Memory
HDD
Total
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
5285
5224
5123
5318
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
7748
6998
4754
6876
? ? ? ? ?
Sandra 2007
CPU
Memory
Multimedia
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
10200/8615
5023/5023
26492/28745
?
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
20414/17225
8573/8526
52939/57639
?
? ? ? ? ?
Sandra 2005
CPU
Memory
Multimedia
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
12626/5743
4932/4927
26597/28602
?
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
25286/11405
7191/7122
53125/57363
?
? ? ? ? ?
Doom 3
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
103.8
91.4
73.9
49.5
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
122.3
98.5
75.0
49.8
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
103.1
102.6
101.9
99.1
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
128.5
127.5
126.7
116.6
? ? ? ? ?
Doom 3 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
72.6
48.3
35.5
18.8
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
74.1
49.1
35.9
18.1
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
101.8
99.6
92.8
70.1
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
128.1
120.7
103.5
71.1
? ? ? ? ?
Far Cry High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
81.05
55.53
39.41
22.79
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
82.31
55.68
39.44
22.94
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
83.16
81.71
82.46
74.96
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
97.03
96.81
95.76
76.51
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
142.1
127.8
103.2
70.9
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
162.0
135.5
105.5
71.5
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
138.1
137.6
135.8
129.3
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
168.7
166.6
163.5
150.0
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
116.0
83.8
63.4
32.2
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
122.7
85.3
64.0
32.3
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
137.7
131.4
124.9
109.3
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
162.9
155.8
145.6
118.9
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR
1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
79
58
41
27
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
80
59
41
27
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
120
112
101
75
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
138
128
108
78
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
46
32
22
13
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
46
32
23
13
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
109
94
70
46
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
122
98
69
45
? ? ? ? ?
Battlefield 2
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
96.77
78.24
61.93
44.41
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
99.69
78.63
62.58
44.74
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
94.49
92.77
92.76
79.45
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
113.69
112.67
112.76
107.11
? ? ? ? ?
Battlefield 2 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
67.83
50.75
37.38
23.28
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
68.35
50.58
37.81
23.38
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
93.37
92.21
91.38
76.45
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
113.29
110.78
101.15
79.01
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam 2
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
122.6
92.6
65.3
44.8
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
120.0
92.9
66.0
45.5
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
128.4
126.4
124.5
121.2
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
154.2
151.8
150.5
127.7
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam 2 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
79.9
58.1
40.8
25.2
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
83.2
60.3
42.4
26.7
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
126.8
122.9
115.7
87.4
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
153.2
141.4
123.0
91.0
? ? ? ? ?
Half Life 2
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
71.64
69.69
64.16
52.77
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
73.66
71.39
65.67
53.06
? ? ? ? ?
Half Life 2 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Albatron 7600GT
71.38
59.20
48.43
29.88
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Albatron 7600GT
73.30
59.68
48.85
30.00
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX57, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
77.99
69.35
66.38
58.24
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe - FX62, Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
82.17
71.91
66.74
59.11

You have to realise that both CPUs are clocked at the same 2800 MHz but the Windsor based FX 62 actually has dual core so it is not really an egg to egg comparison but it is the fastest FX on 939 versus the fastest AM2 CPU that we had at the press time. 3Dmark 03 runs some 400 marks on Asus M2N32 SLI board. The game scores are really tight with a slight advantage on AM2 side. You can clearly see that FX 62 and AM2 board are some 300 marks faster in CPU test and the game 1 test runs some respectable 18 frames faster.

The scores are really tight on 3Dmark05 as the AM2 CPU is just 100 marks faster but in CPU test AM2 runs some 1500 marks faster. 3Dmark06 runs 280 marks faster on AM2, not the greatest score but in CPU test it runs almost twice as fast than on good old FX 57.

PCmark05 shows a really noticeable difference. Asus M2N32 SLI board and AM2 CPU are almost 1700 marks faster in CPU test, the memory runs 1300 marks faster while the HDD is little bit slower on it. Overall AM2 platform runs 1500 marks faster.

PCmark04 shows even greater difference as the CPU test difference is 2500 marks, more than forty percent faster. The memory runs 1700 marks faster and that is the difference between DDR 400 and the DDR 2 800+. HDD again runs a little bit slower, some 400 marks slower but the overall score runs 1600 marks faster on AM2 platform.

We started using new Sandra 2007 and saw some significant score differences. FX 62 is roughly twice as fast as a single core CPU, bare in mind that this is a synthetic test and there won't be a case where dual core will run twice as fast except maybe in multimedia decoding and rendering. In normal windows application and work you simply don't see that much improvement. 2x1024 MB DDR2 Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 memory has 3550 MB/s higher bandwidth, more than forty percent. Yet again multimedia runs twice as fast on dual core platform.

Good old Sandra 2005 shows the same scores. It runs twice faster in CPU and Multimedia tests on AM2 platform and some 2200+ MB/s higher memory bandwidth.

We ran the games on two graphic cards. We used Albatron 7600 GT and Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 to try to push the things a little bit harder.

At 10x7 Doom 3 runs 18 frames faster on AM2 and 7600 GT but the difference narrows to seven frames at 12x10, two frames at 16x12 and 0.3 frames at 20x15. at the same time AM 2 platform and dual core FX62 can manage to keep up the performance gap. At 10x7 it runs twenty five frames faster, 12x10 it again runs twenty five frames faster, 16x12 yet again twenty five frames faster and even at 20x15 it runs seventeen and a half frames faster. You can really see the necessity for dual core in Doom 3 and high end card. Asus M2N32 SLI Deluxe powered with an FX 62 is always around twenty percent faster.

Once you turn the FSAA and Aniso on and use 7600 GT the difference melts down. AM2 is up to two frames faster, nothing to be excited about. But with high end card dual core can keep up and still shows the twenty seven frames difference, twenty one frames on 12x10, eleven frames at 16x12 and just a single one at 20x15.

The difference in Far Cry with FSAA and Aniso is very tight on 7600 GT but it shows fourteen frames difference at 10x7, fifteen frames at 12x10, thirteen at 16x12 and two and a half at 20x15 that can kick 7950 GX2's butt.

Quake 4 is the different story on both cards. Even with 7600 GT it runs twenty frames faster at 10x7, eight frames faster at 12x10, two at 16x12 and less than one at 20x15. 7950 shows a great difference and runs thirty frames faster at 10x7, twenty nine at 12x10, twenty eight at 16x12 and twenty one at 20x15. This is certainly significant difference between AM2 and 939.

Quake 4 with FSAA and Aniso runs six frames faster at 10x7 on 7600 GT, two frames at 12x10, less than one at 16x12 and 0.1 at 20x15 but is faster. Gainward 7950 GX2 on AM2 again saves to day. It runs twenty five frames faster at 10x7, twenty four at 12x10, twenty one at 16x12 and nine frames faster at 20x15.

FEAR is really tight on both platforms with 7600 GT, there is a single frame difference on first two resolutions and no difference at all at last two. 7950 GX2 on AM2 runs eighteen frames faster at 10x7, sixteen at 12x10, seven at 16x12 and three at 20x15. The scores on FEAR with 4X FSAA and 16X Aniso are tight on both 939 and AM2 platforms and 7600 GX2. The much more expensive AM2 wins by a frame just at 16x12. Gainward 7950 GX2 on AM2 runs thirteen frames faster at 10x7, four frames faster at 12x10, and a single frame faster at both 16x12 and 20x15.

Battlefield 2 scores are very tight on 939 and AM2 platforms and Albatron 7600 GT with only three frames difference at 10x7 and almost identical scores on all the remaining resolutions. Gainward 7950 GX2 runs nineteen frames faster at 10x7, twenty frames faster at 12x10, again twenty frames faster at 16x12 and finally massively twenty eight frames faster at 20x15. Socket AM2 is 28 percent faster in this test.

Battlefield 2 with 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso is again identical with less then a frame AM2 wins at 10x7 and stays identical in rest of the resolutions with 7600 GT. 7950 GX 2 runs again twenty frames at 10x7, eighteen frames faster at 12x10, again twenty frames faster at 16x12 and finally just three frames faster at 20x15. But anyway 79 FPS at 2048x1536 is a respectable score with 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso, I think this is the way it's meant to be played if you have 20x15 display of course.

Serious Sam 2 gives almost identical scores with 7600 GT and surprisingly single core, DDR 939 platform runs two frames faster at 10x7 and is tight on the other resolutions losing by less than a frame. 7950 GX2 again shows a tremendous difference. At 10x7 Socket AM2 Asus M2N32 SLI Deluxe with FX 62 and 7950 GX2 is twenty six frames faster, twenty fuve frames faster at 12x10, twenty six frames faster at 16x12 and finally six frames faster at the top 20x15 resolution.

Serious Sam 2 with 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso runs two to four frames faster on AM2 platform with 7600 GT. But yet again 7950 GX2 saves the day. It runs twenty seven frames faster at 10x7, nineteen frames faster at 12x10, eighteen frames fast at 16x12 and less than a four frames faster on top 20x15 resolution. Serious Sam 2 with and without FSAA and Aniso runs up to eighteen percent faster on a new platform.

The last but not the least is the good old Half life 2 that runs up to two frames faster on 7600GT and AM2 CPU and board. The scores are really tight. Half Life 2 with FSAA and Aniso 8X is again tight or up to two frames faster on 7600 GT but 7950 GX runs slightly faster as well on AM2. the first 10x7 resolution shows four frames AM2 advantage, two frames at 12x10, less than half of a frame at 16x12 and less then third of a frame at 20x15. we can easily say that they are tight.

In Short
Users who have the FX57 or any other single core CPU and DDR based socket 939 platform might thing about upgrading to a dual core AM2 CPU. Asus M2N32 SLI Deluxe board is fast, reliable and stabile and we do like the fact that it supports and comes with a very nice wireless LAN and a nice rich package. You can overclock on the board as well and all the games and cards worked very stable. That is very important to us.

When it comes to gaming you can expect twenty to thirty percent more performance which is not bad at all considering that we are talking about a major upgrade. It would not be that dramatic if we compared dual core FX60, a first dual core FX CPU but we simply didn't had one and we figurate out that the owners of single core 4000+ or FX 55 or 57 might want to upgrade to dual core and new memory and board. For you chaps this might be a worth a while. ?

Reviewed and tested by Sanjin Rados and Fuad Abazovic

 

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