From hardcore gaming to everyday use, there’s a new MSI laptop for everybody
ASUS P5ND2-SLI Deluxe
- Accepts wide range of processors, excellent performance, automatic overclocking, excellent connectivity,
- Nothing to speak of.
If you're thinking about building a high-end machine for gaming and intensive processing tasks, this board is a sure bet.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The ASUS P5ND2-SLI Deluxe is a motherboard for Pentium 4 processors and is equipped to handle the latest and greatest components you throw at it.
It will handle 64-bit, Extreme Edition and even dual-core processors in its LGA775 CPU socket. In addition, it's also one of the few current Pentium 4 motherboards to support SLI.
This feature has been brought to the Pentium 4 platform courtesy of Nvidia and its nForce4 SLI chipset. The nForce4 chipset also delivers integrated Gigabit Ethernet, plenty of RAID solutions (RAID 0, 1, 0+1, JBOD and even RAID 5) and it also supports SATA2.
We tried the P5ND2-SLI Deluxe motherboard with several processors: Intel's Pentium 4 660 64-bit, 3.46GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition and Pentium Extreme Edition 840 dual-core. The board accepted all these CPUs without a hitch.
Our main test configuration during productivity and game testing included two ASUS N6600GT Extreme graphics cards in SLI configuration, one 80GB Samsung SATA drive and 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 memory, along with a Pentium 4 660 processor (3.6GHz).
This configuration achieved a score of 100 in PC WorldBench 5, which was one of the best scores we had seen at the time of testing from of a Pentium 4-based system. We also obtained a score of 6414 in 3DMark2005. Doom 3 testing (at 1280 x 1024 in high quality mode), returned an average frame rate of 123fps with SLI enabled, and 86fps with SLI disabled. Overall, gaming performance on this board was exemplary.
It's fair to say that if you purchase this board now you'll likely not need to upgrade for at least a few years. This is due to the board's wide CPU support, as well as its dual PCI Express 16X graphics slots, SATA2 support and also the fact that it can run DDR2 memory at up to 720MHz (with CPUs that support a 1066MHz frontside bus).
DDR2 667MHz memory is supported natively as well, with ASUS recommending Corsair memory for use with this board, especially if you plan to investigate its overclocking features--of which there are plenty.
It's also worth noting that this motherboard supports ASUS's AI NOS (Artificial Intelligent Non-delay Overclocking System), which automatically boosts a system's performance when a high workload is detected. We did record a slight gain in performance with this feature enabled. This is configured through a graphical interface in Windows, which also allows you to manually tweak your CPU settings.
As for connectivity, this board has everything from legacy ports to an external Serial ATA (SATA) port. Up to ten USB 2.0 ports and two FireWire ports are supported, and the package includes D-brackets with one FireWire and two USB 2.0 ports, respectively. A game/MIDI port is also included.
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Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
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