ASUS L1N64-SLI WS
- Two CPU socket design means it will be able to handle up to eight CPU cores in the future, 12 SATA ports, Full-speed SLI graphics, Capable of running four graphics cards
- Only supports Socket-F Athlon 64 FX 7-series CPUs, Currently slower than an equivalent Intel quad-core platform
If you're in the market for a high-end quad-core configuration, the ASUS L1N64-SLI-WS is well worth a look. Even though the Athlon 64 FX-74 CPUs that run on this board are slower than Intel's high-end Core 2 Extreme QX6800, ASUS says the board will run AMD's set to be released Phenom CPUs, which give this board the potential to run up to eight CPUs cores.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The ASUS L1N64-SLI WS is the first quad-core-capable motherboard that's available for AMD CPUs. It uses a dual-CPU socket design that can run two separate dual-core AMD Athlon 64 FX 7-series CPUs -- FX-70, FX-72 or FX-74.
It has four DDR2 memory slots and supports up to 8GB of memory. Furthermore, it's furnished with the best PCI Express (PCIe) and Serial ATA (SATA) options that we've seen to date: two PCIe x16 slots (for full-speed SLI), two PCIe x8 slots, one PCIe x1 slot and 12 SATA ports, using two NVIDIA controller chips. It's a board that's aimed at workstation users, but its SLI graphics configuration is well-suited to gamers and enthusiasts.
The L1N64-SLI-WS runs NVIDIA's nForce 680a chipset and its two CPU sockets make it scalable from two cores all the way up to eight with one caveat: it uses Socket-F CPU sockets, rather than AM2 CPU sockets. This means that it's not compatible with current AM2-based Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX CPUs. Socket-F is similar to Intel's land grid array (LGA) socket design, which removes the pins from the CPU, leaving it with flat surface connections. The pins are located on the motherboard's CPU socket instead. This socket is also used for AMD's Opteron workstation and server CPU.
Using two AMD Athlon 64 FX-74 CPUs running at 3GHz, 1GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM, a 500GB Western Digital hard drive, an ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card and Windows Vista Ultimate, we ran our WorldBench 6 benchmark, as well as media encoding and image processing tests. The results we obtained were fast -- for an AMD platform.
Referenced against a dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ CPU running at 2.6GHz, the L1N64-SLI-WS scored 18 percent better in WorldBench 6 tests. The 3ds Max rendering test, in particular, showed a dramatic improvement on the Quad FX platform, almost halving the amount of time it took to complete.
However, it wasn't as zippy as the result produced by Intel's Core 2 Extreme QX6800 using the same hardware (except for the motherboard, which was an ASUS P5B Premium with an Intel P965 chipset). The breakdown in WorldBench 6 shows the L1N64-SLI-WS quad-core AMD solution trailing the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 by 40sec in the 3ds Max rendering test, by 67sec in the multitasking test and by 117sec in the Photoshop test.
The MP3 encoding test was also in favour of the Core 2 Extreme, despite the fact that the Athlon 64 FX-74 CPUs have a higher clock speed. It took just 43sec for the Core 2 Extreme to finish this task and CPU usage peaked at 67 percent. The quad-core AMD platform took 50sec to encode 53min worth of WAV files to 56Kbps MP3 files using iTunes and CPU usage peaked at 74 percent. The CPU usage for both the Intel and AMD platforms indicated that at least three of the cores were used to complete the task. When compared to the AMD Athlon 64 X2 system, which is only a dual-core system, the same task took 92sec, with up to 95 percent of the dual-core CPU getting used.
In the Neat Image test, the Intel Core 2 Extreme cleaned up our digital photo in less than a second, while the quad-core AMD platform took slightly longer -- 1.1sec. Neat Image can use all four CPU cores and CPU usage peaked at 100 percent on both platforms during this test. The dual-core Athlon 64 5000+ took 2.8sec -- 1.7sec slower than the quad-core.
The slower results against the Core 2 chip are a little surprising as the Athlon 64 FX resembles an Opteron server chip more than a typical Athlon 64 X2 desktop chip, and should've put up a better showing. In saying that, it didn't get clobbered by the Core 2; in fact, it managed to keep up nicely, despite having only 1MB of Level 2 cache for each of its cores (the Core 2 has a shared 4MB Level 2 cache for each pair of its cores). AMD will be releasing a new chip in August, called Phenom, which will include single-chip quad-core CPUs, and we're looking forward to seeing if it can bridge this gap in performance. For now though, Intel's Core 2 Extreme QX6800 is the fastest quad-core chip we've tested. It beat the quad-core AMD platform in all our workloads.
While AMD's quad-core solution may not currently be faster than a quad-core solution based on an Intel CPU, the L1N64-SLI-WS does have redeeming factors when compared against an equivalent quad-core-capable Intel motherboard. For starters, it has the potential to be upgraded to run eight cores in the future. It has double the amount of SATA ports (12 compared to 6), ten USB 2.0 ports, it has two gigabit Ethernet connections, and it has four PCI Express graphics slots, two of which can be used for a full-speed SLI configuration (the P5B Premium supports an ATI CrossFire configuration).
The final word: If you're in the market for a high-end quad-core configuration, the ASUS L1N64-SLI-WS is well worth a look. Even though the Athlon 64 FX-74 CPUs that run on this board are slower than Intel's high-end Core 2 Extreme QX6800, ASUS says the board will run AMD's set to be released Phenom CPUs, which give this board the potential to run up to eight CPUs cores.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Apple iPhone X
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
cloudandco Smart Cane
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Crucial Launches Highest Density 128GB DDR4 LRDIMM Server Memory
- The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Will Now Resist the Elements
- Logitech Unveils MX ERGO, their first trackball in nearly a decade
- MSI's new Ryzen-ready motherboard coming to Oz
- Seagate Expands Portfolio with 12TB Drives for NAS and Desktop Computing
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Western Digital My Cloud Home review: Take back the cloud
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCCloud Test EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer (RUN-BAU)VIC
- FTManagement Consultant - ConsultancyOther
- CCAnalyst Programmer / DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Change ManagerVIC
- CCRelease Management LeadNSW
- TPPrincipal Business Analyst - ServiceNow | ITSMQLD
- FTOffice 365 SpecialistOther
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperWA
- FTBusiness Analyst | Gold CoastQLD
- FTApplication Consultant - SWIFTOther
- CC.net developerNSW
- FTDisaster Recovery Technical Business AnalystOther
- FTIT Audit & BCM AnalystNSW
- TPCommunicatons and Change AdvisorQLD
- FTDevelopment manager - Product and PlanningOther
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTInsights AnalystOther
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCM204 Developers - Federal GovernmentSA
- TPDigital Project Manager - SalesforceNSW
- FTSenior DevOps LeadVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Data and Information MangementQLD