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Asus P5N32-E 680i with 8GB RAM

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May 3, 2007 8:09:31 PM

Hi there!

I'm planning on building a new system and have been considering the following configuration:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz
MB: Auss P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI
RAM: 2 x 4GB (2x2GB) Dual Kit Mushkin 996561 DDR2-800
VIDEO: 2 x Evga 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS
HDD1: WD Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache S-ATA150
HDD2: WD Caviar RE2 WD5000YS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

My main question is regarding the compatibility of the MB with this type of RAM. I haven't been able to find any info on this and don't feel like experimenting myself. Other than this, if anyone should spot any other reasons of concern regarding the system, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
May 3, 2007 8:31:17 PM

.... Vista users......


Ugh.
May 3, 2007 8:36:59 PM

That's what happens when you're force fed an OS.

I can only comment that I've heard people having problems at 8 gigs of ram. I'm sorry I can't be more specific.
Related resources
May 3, 2007 8:49:46 PM

the 64bit version of vista for consumers supports up to 16gb ram i think. I know it supports at least 8. I havent tried it out myself but thats what ive heard is that you need vista 64bit to run more than 4gb ram

ultimate and business 64bit support up to 128gb

the 32bit version only supports 4gb, and even at that the 4gb only registers as 3 cuz it does something weird with the extra gb
May 3, 2007 9:01:57 PM

I'd get one 8800 GTX instead of the two GTS. This means better performance, especially in games that demand lots of memory, only one fan making noise, and the ability to add another GTX later if/when needed.
May 3, 2007 9:18:44 PM

P5N32-E SLI's recommended ram is corsair XMS2 6400C4, i dont know what the timings are on the mem you chose

One point to note, it may have just been my luck, but my first P5N32-E SLI board died all of a sudden, then i got a new one 2 weeks ago, bios flashed, a little overclocking 2.5Ghz, returned back to stock speeds in a rush one morning, came home, wouldnt post, eventually i got it to post once, it said the bios was corrupted and hasnt posted since

Im sending it back and getting an EVGA 680i instead, at least if the EVGA doesnt post it has an LED to say what the problem is( as i ended up getting another 2 gig of XMS2 ram as before the board died the ram was damn hot ), Ive had my PC up and running with the 5N32-E sli for 2 full weeks since the middle of Feb. Also with both boards, my GPU ran 14Degrees Celcius hotter( it may be all 680 boards do this i dont know ) on this board than my old ASRock board, but it was at 92Degrees which for me is too hot, and theres no northbridge cooler

Thats just my experience, and as i said i could have been unlucky
May 3, 2007 10:09:50 PM

That motherboard seems to be somewhat of a mystery. I've been considering it for my new pc, and I not only can't I find any kind of 'official' review on it, all of the comments I've seen from users have been quite mixed. One of the main issues with this board is the memory. It's supposedly picky with memory and the stock voltages are way off which may cause a problem getting into the bios for the first time to adjust them.

I can tell you that the mushkin memory isnt on the QVL for this board, but there's a good chance it will work. I would check with mushkin about it. I bought a pair of 1 gb Crucial sticks that were at an irresistable price even though they weren't on the QVL. Crucial's memory compatibility tool on their website is quite nice and it 'guarenteed' that this memory is compatable with that board. Another good place to look for info is the ASUS forums. Though as I said, information on this board is peculiarly patchy. There is supposedly a revision out there called the P5N32-E SLI Plus, but it's not a true 680i board, but some kind of hybrid involving the 650i chipset, though most of the specs look the same which I find confusing.

Anyway, if you do go with this board, I'd recomend having a stick of the cheapest memory on the QVL you can find handy incase you can't get the board to post with your memory so you can fiddle with the voltages.

the QVL can be found here in .pdf format: http://usa.asus.com/100/download/products/1459/1459_10.pdf

Good luck. Let me know how it goes.
May 3, 2007 11:01:47 PM

what you speak of is the fact that the board defaults to 1.8volts, whereas it should at least be 2.1, some people have had to use an older CPU to get it to work with some memory

The P5N32-E SLI PLus is a cheaper 650i based version, although they both have the same 570 northbridge( or southbridge cant remember which one it was )

From messing around with overclocking it, it is very finiky about settings, if theyre any way out it will hang, and in 30-40% of cases requires a cmos clear, which has to be done with a jumper as opposed to a reset button on the striker and evga

Its a cheap and cheerful board, missing a few features and of course my 2 dead boards, outside of the dead boards, my main concern when it was working was the fact that the board itself runs hot, at 2.5Ghz the board would be 40degrees and i have the side of my case off and 3 internal case fans
May 3, 2007 11:13:04 PM

Yeah, I really wanted to go with this board, but the more I learn, the better EVGA sounds. Most of my friends swear by ASUS but I think this board might have more issues than I have patience for.
May 3, 2007 11:18:19 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I really wanted to go with this board, but the more I learn, the better EVGA sounds. Most of my friends swear by ASUS but I think this board might have more issues than I have patience for.

lol, well if like me you have no patience then this board is not for you, its currently assembled outside the case on the table on an anti static bag and like i said in 10 weeks ive been running an asus p5n32-e sli for 2 weeks. Asus technical support are quite good though i must say, and i do have a lot of respect for them, and quite like asus boards, but its missing some essential OC'ing tools if it stops working, if the OP is intent on an asus 680i id go for the striker, i only went with this board cos it was cheap, hopefully there wont be any such issues with the evga board( i do know it has a few, but heres hoping )
May 4, 2007 3:02:20 AM

Vista user indeed :) 
And I'm not building this system because Vista needs it, but because it allows it.

@dsidious: Good advice regarding the video card. I'll definitely consider it.

Regarding the memory choice, Mushkin's latency is 4-3-3-10, while Corsair's is 4-4-4-12.

I'm also leaning towards Asus for the MB, as I've been a long time fan and have had nothing but the best experiences with their products (which is not something I can say about other manufacturers, such as Abit or MSI - never had a EVGA MB though). I'm aware that this model is relatively new and there still may be issues with it but, in theory, it should deliver. However, should I keep hearing bad things about it, I may reconsider.

I'm not really planning on OC'ing this system so as long as everything goes well together at factory settings (or close) I should be fine.
May 4, 2007 3:24:19 AM

Quote:
...if like me you have no patience then this board is not for you, its currently assembled outside the case on the table on an anti static bag ...

If you have it plugged in there, that's not a good idea, since anti static bags are by design slightly conductive. Something like a cloth or cardboard is a better choice.
May 4, 2007 3:28:47 AM

Quote:
what you speak of is the fact that the board defaults to 1.8volts, whereas it should at least be 2.1, ...

Since the DDR2 spec requires 1.8V, the board is working as it should. The culprit with the memory is the memory manufacturers selling RAM modules as "DDR2" which don't meet the DDR2 standard by running at 1.8V. Any such modules certainly qualify for replacement as defective under the manufacturer's warranty.
a b } Memory
May 4, 2007 3:48:35 AM

Quote:
what you speak of is the fact that the board defaults to 1.8volts, whereas it should at least be 2.1, some people have had to use an older CPU to get it to work with some memory


Why don't you actually get a clue before giving advice? All motherboards are supposed to default to 1.80v because 1.80v is the standard for DDR2 DIMMs. No motherboards should ever default to 2.1v for DDR2 DIMMs.

Most overclocked memory defaults to a lower speed so it can run at 1.80V. Any memory that isn't stable at the default boot speed is manufactured defectively and shouldn't even be considered.
May 4, 2007 10:25:27 AM

Quote:

Why don't you actually get a clue before giving advice? All motherboards are supposed to default to 1.80v because 1.80v is the standard for DDR2 DIMMs. No motherboards should ever default to 2.1v for DDR2 DIMMs.

Most overclocked memory defaults to a lower speed so it can run at 1.80V. Any memory that isn't stable at the default boot speed is manufactured defectively and shouldn't even be considered.

jez, who rattled your cage?, too many goons like youself around, the recommended memory for this board is the corsair one which runs @ 2.1v, runnign at 4-4-4-12 2T, also the board supports SLI memory, which if you read up on - "EPP goes some steps further, using the SPD ROM storage space and hijacking a 160 byte range in the ROM to store extra information. That information will include operating voltage, even more timing parameters and, most importantly for NVIDIA, what amounts to overclocking information. "

So, now tell me why it shouldnt set it to 2.1v by default for the Corsair memory and also why it doesnt reconfigure the bios settings to use the EPP info?

were your other 41690 posts written in the same manner? if so maybe you should go get a clue, and a truckload of cop on while your at it

Quote:
Quote:
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If you have it plugged in there, that's not a good idea, since anti static bags are by design slightly conductive. Something like a cloth or cardboard is a better choice.

sorry, i didnt mean plugged into the wall, i only tried it a few times just to remove the possibility of it shorting in the case, its on an antistatic bag just to try and post, but ill keep your cardboard idea in mind, or buy myself a rubber table at this stage :twisted:

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a b } Memory
May 4, 2007 10:44:43 AM

You rattled my cage because I've been over this so many times. Heck, if you'd even bother to read Tom's Hardware Guide (god forbid!) you'd know all this.

EPP is an optional value for overclocking RAM automatically. If RAM isn't programmed to operate at SOME speed and SOME latency while running 1.80V, then it's defective. Simple as that. That's the reason my old SuperTalent PC2-6400 CAS4 has SPD values for 533MHz and no higher.

Before EPP there was one major brand known for making RAM that didn't boot at it's SPD values: OCZ. But OCZ fixed its stuff, so seeing brand 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 repeating this mistake is an outrage.
May 4, 2007 11:05:15 AM

Quote:
You rattled my cage because I've been over this so many times. Heck, if you'd even bother to read Tom's Hardware Guide (god forbid!) you'd know all this.

well if i had a requirement to read it i would definately read it as i do with most things, going over it so many times, you neednt be bringing out your frustrations on me

Quote:
EPP is an optional value for overclocking RAM automatically. If RAM isn't programmed to operate at SOME speed and SOME latency while running 1.80V, then it's defective. Simple as that. That's the reason my old SuperTalent PC2-6400 CAS4 has SPD values for 533MHz and no higher.

Before EPP there was one major brand known for making RAM that didn't boot at it's SPD values: OCZ. But OCZ fixed its stuff, so seeing brand 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 repeating this mistake is an outrage.

I agree with you on ram not running @ 1.8 should be considered defective, i was only pointing out what i read on other forums about some people saying they had to change the processor to get their ram working and highlighting it to the OP so they could do some research, i dont know if it was OCZ ram or not as i read it about 6 or 7 weeks ago.
Hell my own ram wouldnt run at 4-4-4-12 @ 2.5 on this board stable, id get the usual lockup as i had only one board to test those timings on properly i couldnt conclusively say that it was my ram

Also just to bring it up, my 2nd P5N32-E SLI would lose the CPU fan speed( reading the speed as 0 ) and start making alert noises( would sometimes happen on boot also ), the CPU fan was fine as it worked fine in the previous board and running orthos getting the error the temps stayed the same( i.e. if it was 0 the temp should increase slightly )
a b } Memory
May 4, 2007 11:17:32 AM

Ouch, I've seen the fan speed issue on several other Asus motherboards, I thought it was in the past now!
May 4, 2007 12:05:56 PM

I have the same board and 2*1gb set of Mushkin XP2-6400. Boots and works without any problems or workarounds. I will receive another set of 2*1gb in a week or so.

However, my memory:

Voltage: 1.9V - 2.1V

And 2gb set:

Voltage: 2.2V - 2.25V

You may need to boot with some other memory, change the voltage in bios, and then install your real memory.
May 5, 2007 1:11:13 AM

Quote:
...
You may need to boot with some other memory, change the voltage in bios, and then install your real memory.

As noted above, this means that your "real memory" is defective and should be returned for refund or replacement under warranty.
May 5, 2007 1:19:04 AM

Quote:
..., the recommended memory for this board is the corsair one which runs @ 2.1v, runnign at 4-4-4-12 2T, also the board supports SLI memory,...
... why it shouldnt set it to 2.1v by default for the Corsair memory and also why it doesnt reconfigure the bios settings to use the EPP info?

Because EPP/SLI memory mode should not be enabled by default (like other non-standard settings) -- if the Corsair memory won't work at 1.8V, it's defective. There shouldn't be any problem booting with the Corsair at 1.8V, going into the BIOS and enabling EPP mode, then saving the changes and rebooting.
May 5, 2007 2:51:36 AM

Quote:
I have the same board and 2*1gb set of Mushkin XP2-6400. Boots and works without any problems or workarounds.

That's good news as I imagine these are basically very similar memory kits (apart from the voltage and size difference).
May 5, 2007 5:23:37 AM

Quote:
..., the recommended memory for this board is the corsair one which runs @ 2.1v, runnign at 4-4-4-12 2T, also the board supports SLI memory,...
... why it shouldnt set it to 2.1v by default for the Corsair memory and also why it doesnt reconfigure the bios settings to use the EPP info?

Because EPP/SLI memory mode should not be enabled by default (like other non-standard settings) -- if the Corsair memory won't work at 1.8V, it's defective. There shouldn't be any problem booting with the Corsair at 1.8V, going into the BIOS and enabling EPP mode, then saving the changes and rebooting.
enabling SLI on my board would cause a hang 8O
May 6, 2007 3:09:03 AM

I was also considering 2 sets of G.Skill F2-6400CL5D as a 'safe' (and cheaper) choice for my memory. What do you think?
May 6, 2007 9:44:45 PM

Most newer 6-series nvidia mobos will run almost any memory as long as it can boot at the default settings.

I have used ega a1, striker, p5n32-esli plus, and lots of p5n-e's

they mobos all run a wide variety of ram: muskin 4-3-4-10 ddr800, patriot cl5 ddr667- cl4 ddr800, G skill ddr 800 cl4, ocz ddr800 and ddr667 and of coarse corsair cl5 ddr667-dominator ddr800 - the 2 problems you have are:

a) high voltage memory that mobo can not boot into due too being inflexible - high volt memory will not run high latency low voltage
b) high voltage memory burning up - this seem to be a major issue with 680i and seems worse with the eVGA mobos.

i limit my voltage to 2.15v - probably since i build systems and buy the lower end ddr 800 4-4-4-12 and lower memory sets. No problems with any memory booting or burning up.

If you have the money then: you best choice is setting the ram at ddr800 to ddr900 at low low latencies 3-4-3-6 if you can. Or even ddr725-ddr800 with a matching fsb of 1550-1600mhz. As low as possible at 2.2v or lower.

The burning up problem is no limited to both high speed and high voltage but either one.

For most people plain old vanilla ddr 800 4-4-4-12 should work great with little risk of Nvida's deadly of "smokin" disease.

E6600 3.37ghz at 1500fsb with 750 ram running tigher 4-3-4-10 at 2.1-2.2v
May 6, 2007 10:30:53 PM

Quote:
...
a) high voltage memory that mobo can not boot into due too being inflexible - high volt memory will not run high latency low voltage

Not sure what you mean by this -- any DDR2 RAM that won't boot at 1.8V is by definition defective.

Quote:
...
The burning up problem is no limited to both high speed and high voltage but either one.

Again, not sure what you mean by this -- I've never heard of DDR2 running at 1.8V "burning up".
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