ASUS A8N-SLI Premium or the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe???

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Scott Souva, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Scott Souva

    Scott Souva Guest

    What is the big difference between the ASUS A8N-SLI Premium and the
    ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe mobos? I have looked at several of the
    comparisons on Newegg and the Asus site, but don't see why the
    A8N32-SLI Deluxe is the more expensive board. Can someone just point
    me in the right direction? What have I missed?

    I had initially thought the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe as going to be the
    mobo for my new system. After reading several nightmare stories in
    the Asus Forums, I now question if the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe is the
    best selection for my new system. My hardware consists of the

    - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Processor Socket 939
    - Corsair VS1GB400C3 1GB DDR400 PC3200 CAS3 Value Select Memory
    - eVGA e-GeForce 7800 GT PCI Express 256MB DDR3 Video Card w/HDTV,
    Dual DVI & VIVO
    - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB Serial ATA II 7200RPM
    Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer
    - Plextor PX-716SA 16X Internal Serial ATA Dual Layer DVD±R/RW CD-R/RW
    - Viewsonic VX924 19in LCD Monitor
    - Antec Performance TX TX1050B SOHO Mid Tower case (Black)

    Any thoughts on this configuration and should I stick with the ASUS
    A8N-SLI Premium? The memory listed is on-sale at ZipZoomFly for
    $79.99 for a 1GB stick. It seems rather cheap, maybe I should get
    better memory? Any help would be appreciated.

    Scott Souva, Feb 20, 2006
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  2. The a8N32 has 8 phase power generation, and is configured (unsing a
    different nForce4 chip) so it can run both the two graphics slots at 16x
    speed at the same time (the premium will revert to 8x on each slot if
    you run two). Since current graphics cards can't get close to needing
    that much bandwidth I guess the 8 phase power (more eco friendly,
    allegedly better overclocking) is probably all you need to think about.

    There do seem to be more horror stories around about the A8N32, plus it
    is more expensive , and has been hard to get hold of. You pick!
    GSV Three Minds in a Can, Feb 20, 2006
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  3. Scott Souva

    Bob Cronin Guest

    I think it is that the A8N32 supports two simultaneous PCIe 16X boards,
    but I am no expert.
    Bob Cronin, Feb 20, 2006
  4. Scott Souva

    Paul Guest

    This would be a limited block diagram of the A8N32. There
    are two x16 video card slots. But the available bandwidth
    at the processor itself, is only good for an x16 PCIe rate,
    which means if both video cards need service at the same time,
    they get it at an average x8 rate.

    (PCIe is 250MB/sec per lane, so x16 PCIe lanes is 4GB/sec. Each
    lane has separate TX and RX bus.)

        (Mem) <------->  S939       (single digit numbers shown
    6Gb/sec half duplex Athlon64     are maximum bandwidth per
                                |         direction, in GB/sec)
                             ^  |  4
                             |  |  |    16 bit HT busses:
                             4  |  v    1000MHz  x  2  x  16 = 4GB each
                                |                 (DDR) (bits) direction
               4 ->     --------+-------------
    PCI x16 -----------| NVIDIA nForce SPP 100|
               <- 4     --------+-------------
                             ^  |  4
                             |  |  |    16 bit HT busses:
                             4  |  v    1000MHz
               4 ->     --------+-------------------
    PCI x16 -----------| NVIDIA Nforce4 Southbridge |
               <- 4     ----------------------------
                             |    |    |
                         Other_I/O_Devices here

    This would be an A8N-SLI Premium. The chipset is a single
    chip in this case.

        (Mem) <------->  S939       (single digit numbers shown
    6Gb/sec half duplex Athlon64     are maximum bandwidth per
                               |         direction, in GB/sec)
                             ^  |  4
                             |  |  |    16 bit HT busses:
                             4  |  v    1000MHz  x  2  x  16 = 4GB each
               <- 2             |                 (DDR) (bits) direction
               2 ->     --------+-------------
    PCI x8 -----------| |
    | NVIDIA nForce4 SLI |
    PCI x8 -----------| |
               <- 2     ----------------------
               2 ->          |    |    |
                         Other_I/O_Devices here

    The advantage to the A8N32 could be, that when occasion arises,
    one video card pf the SLI pair, can work at the full x16 rate,
    to the memory attached to the side of the processor. But if you
    have a single video card, you can put the A8N-SLI Premium in
    non-SLI mode and achieve the full x16 rate as well.

    Also, you can see, that by some freak set of circumstances, there
    is actually a 4GB/sec "up" and a 4GB/sec "down" transaction on
    the Hypertransport RX and TX links to the processor, the memory
    can only handle an aggregate of about 6GB/sec (as seen by Sandra)
    bandwidth. Which means an average 3GB/sec on the "up" bus and
    3 GB/sec on the "down" bus. And the processor would be stopped
    dead in its tracks, starved for bandwidth, because it needs to
    do memory read/write once in a while too :)

    So while both diagrams are littered with "fat pipes", not every
    fat pipe can run full out, arbitrarily.

    The A8N32 costs more to make, as there are two chips in the
    "chipset". The Premium or the Deluxe uses a combo chip that
    performs both the Northbridge and the Southbridge function.

    The Premium uses Pericom chips, to take the place of the
    paddle card used on the Deluxe - the Pericom chips can
    reroute the PCI Express lanes on the fly, and allow the
    SLI or non-SLI bus configurations. That is why the Premium
    doesn't use a paddle card. The Premium can change modes
    electronically, rather than physically with a paddle card.

    I would say the A8N32 is intended for the same person who
    buys CAS2 memory over CAS3 memory. It would allow the last
    5% of performance to be extracted (assuming there are no
    chipset limitations, and the drivers do a good job of using
    the hardware). Now, depending on which motherboard achieves
    higher overclocks, might be the deciding factor on which
    one to get. And I have no idea how the two boards compare
    in that department. (A8N32 has eight phase power, the other
    boards are three phase power, but only an overclocker's forum
    will be able to tell you whether that is making any difference
    at all. The eight phase power uses "smaller" phases, so it
    is not an 8/3 advantage, if that is what you are thinking.
    More like comparing a 2 liter V-8 to a 1.6 liter three
    cylinder :) Smoother power.)

    Also, I would suggest you look at the slot layout of the two
    motherboards, and see how the provided slots will work with
    your intended card mix. Depending on the thickness of the cards
    you plug in, and the length of the cards, one board might
    be better for you than the other.

    Paul, Feb 20, 2006
  5. Scott Souva

    kda Guest

    Hmmm .... what nightmare reports?

    I have the A8N32SLI Dlx and the previous poster is correct. It
    supports two video cards running as one and each has an 16x pipeline
    (2 x 16 = 32) compared to 8x pipeline on previous boards.

    Of real interest to me was just how many reviewers of all sorts of PC
    peripherals pick the A8N32SLI Dlx as the test platform. Want to
    compare an AMD X2 CPU against Intel? All the big name reviewers run
    the CPU comparisons on the A8N32SLI MB. Want to test the new Western
    Digital Raptor HD (150 MB) ... just go see how many load it onto a
    test bed using the A8N32SLI Dlx MB.

    I figured that if this MB is the choice of the "big boys" doing these
    endless test reviews on all sorts of equipment, then it must be at
    least OK ... maybe even great. :)

    Love mine. No nightmares ... just daily amazement at how well this
    thing works with all the goodies running. Twin nVidia top end GTX
    video cards, the new WD Raptor 150 MB 10K HD, 2 GB of Corsair 433 MHz
    memory, a couple of CDRW / DVD +-R writers, SB Audigy, an external
    FireWire HD, an internal IDE HD, Flash Card Readers, color printer,
    scanner ... you name it and I probably have it hooked up. All run
    perfectly ... I've never had a setup this solid and reliable.

    Oh, and Cool n Quiet and QFan was a absolute breeze to set up and
    configure ... works miracles with the AMD FX 60 Dual Core CPU.

    Just think about it. If your living involved choosing a test bed for
    computer equipment that was reliable enough to run comparison tests on
    just about any hardware you can throw at it (to get comparable test
    you need a consistent test bed) ... and if the unanimous choice of
    test beds was the A8N32SLI Dlx ... there is a message in there

    Remember, most folks posting to these Usenet boards are doing so
    because they have a problem (either real or caused by the operator),
    not because they are happy with their system. So you hear a few
    complaints, usually ascribed to the wrong cause. Some folks, when
    they work out their problem, have the character to come back and tell
    us what the problem really was, but most just disappear into the
    darkness leaving us with that first faulty impression first came into
    the original poster's mind and thus got repeated as fact here.

    You can learn here, but have to consider what you are hearing pretty
    carefully along with the source.

    The A8N32SLI Deluxe is a MB to die for. I've owned and built with
    ASUS for years and I've been generally happy ... but nothing ASUS has
    done before can approach this MB when it is running the new generation
    of AMD X2 processors and connecting it to a lot of peripherals. With
    this MB, you can finally assemble a "dream machine".
    kda, Feb 20, 2006
  6. Scott Souva

    John Lewis Guest


    I have the A8N32-SLI. Works like a champ. Overclocking X2 4400+ to
    2.6Ghz (FSB 238MHz) , no problem and 2 GBytes Corsair XMS2048-3500
    @ 2.5-3-2-6-1T/ 238MHz. Prime 95 totally stable.

    With a Zalman CNPS9500, CPU temp max. peak is 50 degrees C,
    very worst case, both cores fully loaded. The airflow through this
    wonderful CPU cooler in conjunction with a slow-speed case fan is
    perfectly directed to keep both the RAM and the heat-pipe
    dissipator cool as well.

    The 8-phase regulation has a significant unstated advantage. The 8
    regulators are distributed over a wide area with the result of no
    significant hot-spots due to switcher dissipation anywhere near the
    CPU, thus keeping the local ambient low.

    So, what problems are people having with the A8N32-SLI? Maybe
    I can help ?

    John Lewis
    John Lewis, Feb 21, 2006
  7. Scott Souva

    Bob Doran Guest

    I noticed your memory specs. By chance are you running 3500LLPRO memory? If
    so, Corsair advises

    SDRAM CAS Latency: 2.0T
    SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD): 3T
    SDRAM Row Precharge (tRP): 2T
    SDRAM Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS): 6T
    SDRAM Bank Interleave: 4 Bank
    SDRAM VDIMM: 2.75
    Command Rate 1T
    Bob Doran, Feb 21, 2006
  8. Scott Souva

    John Lewis Guest

    Yes, indeed.

    Requires CL=2.5T @ 238MHz at least for my pair. With CL=2, Prime95
    and memtest86 have occasional failures. All other memory settings
    already exactly as per the above list. The 3500LLPro is spec'd 2-3-2-6
    only up to 217MHz.

    My system is stable with zero [email protected] 238MHz FSB on 24-hours runs
    of 4 simultaneous instances of Prime95 - two pairs of test 2 (max
    CPU), test 3 (max memory ) each pair targeted at each X2 core.
    These four tests simultaneously run also totally involve all available
    main-memory. Torture-test in spades. This type and duration of test is
    mandatory on any overclocked system. Otherwise the user can only
    look forward to erratic system crashes, general flakiness and loss of
    important data.

    John Lewis
    John Lewis, Feb 22, 2006
  9. Scott Souva

    Bob Doran Guest

    Yeah, good point on the FSB speed.

    Bob Doran, Feb 22, 2006
  10. Scott Souva

    bradstrum Guest

    I have both the A8N-SLI Premium and the A8N32-SLI.

    Here are my problems with the A8N32:

    With 2 7800 GTX ( or any single slot video cards) installed there is no
    place to put
    a sound card that isn't on top or bottom of one of the graphics cards.
    The video cards run much hotter because of this. My evga 7800 GTX KOs
    run so hot I get really bad video artifacting after a while.

    I anticipate similar problems when the Aegia PhysX cards come out.

    I have additional 120mm case fans blowing on the video cards and they
    still get too hot.

    Also the cards are much "deeper" in an ATX case which also causes heat

    All of the new overclocking options are nice but I can still get better
    overclocks with my A8N Premium.

    Why is there no voice post on the A8N32-SLI?

    I know 2X16 PCIe is nice but overall I prefer the A8N-SLI premium.
    bradstrum, Feb 27, 2006
  11. Scott Souva

    BobS Guest

    I just made some comments to your post about mounting a Zalman cooler (good
    post) and then read this. We have similar systems and I have a tall tower
    case that I'm reusing for this build. Fought this battle before about using
    full-sized tower cases (ATX) and not being able to move air efficiently
    inside the case. In addition two the push-pull fans on the PSU (Antec TP-II
    550W) with one of those fans just above the Zalman cooler, I have also
    mounted a lower front case fan (Antec 8cm, 53cfm @5000rpm, 39dba) and two
    more at the top rear of the case. Both sides of the case on the bottom are
    vented. The airflow swirls at the bottom and then chimneys on up the case
    passing the hard drives and the Zalman cooler and being exhausted by the PSU
    and the two 8cm case fans in the top rear of the case. I also used round
    cables so as not to restrict airflow. Routed all power cables to minimize
    air obstruction in the chiney area between the hard drives and PSU.

    Having a fan blowing on the video card may be a good idea but if it's only
    blowing warm air around - you won't get much cooling effect even if that
    120mm fan is mounted on the side panel and blowing fresh air directly on the
    card. Think of blowing into a soda bottle - if you don't have a good exhaust
    path - you aren't moving air. A good test to try is to take off the one side
    of the case and tape a piece of clear plastic in-place of the cover. This
    will allow you to see the airflow. Borrow a ciagaret and light it. Place it
    near the front air intake and now watch the smoke pattern and how it moves
    through the case - or not. Once you can see the bottleneck problem then you
    have a better chance at fixing it. You may want to think about going with a
    BTX type case which provides better airflow, etc.

    Bob S.
    BobS, Feb 27, 2006
  12. Scott Souva

    dirfrops Guest

    Having major problems installing on this mobo. Blue screens over and
    over and over and over again.

    Running Antec 400watt PS with AMD 4200 FX dual core, 4 sticks of
    corsair dual channel ram to 2gigs with an IDE drive.

    Blue screens to an ACPI stop error constantly. Sometimes it will get
    to the install screen for windows pro sp1 and will begin intalling,
    but then on the reboot after installation it BSODs again. Have
    popped out Rams and tested them...about to run to see if
    sticks (which were brand new) are faulty.

    Is it possible that 400 watts (also running an Asus n6800GT pci
    express card, only one of them right now)

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks
    dirfrops, Mar 18, 2006
  13. Scott Souva

    BC Guest

    I would venture a guess that the 400W power supply is not enough....


    Seasonic 600W

    PC Power and Cooling 510 SLI

    Antec's 550W was OK in the above test, but, not great--


    BC, Mar 19, 2006
  14. Scott Souva

    Kantrico Guest

    I'm a programmer and I'm searching my ideal mobo. I'm interested in
    this two models but I'm confused. I've readed a lot of forums,
    analysis,... but
    I need your help please. I'm not a game player, but I need a lot of
    performance tu run my simulations, programs and work with
    My initial hardware could be:

    AMD 64 x2 4400+
    2 x 1 Gb RAM Kingstom
    XFX 6500 PCX (256 Mb)
    HDD 300 Gb SATA2 Maxtor (16 Mb cache)
    And... my mainboard....

    Anyone can help me to determine which mobo is teh optimal for my
    work's style?
    I think that Premium is better for me because I'll not use SLI 16X,
    but I dpn't know which mobo has the highest performance.

    Kantrico, Mar 26, 2006
  15. Scott Souva

    Bill Guest

    They all use similar nForce4 chipsets, therefore performance will be
    similar. I bought the A8N-E since it had what I needed and cost a little
    bit less, and I knew it was reliable.

    I would focus on the features, and buy the board that has what you want.
    Bill, Mar 27, 2006
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