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ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus vs. MSI P6N SLI Platinum

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  • Asus
  • SLI
  • MSI
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July 10, 2007 4:32:36 PM

I have not been able to get the search page to work since the new forums came online so forgive me if this has been covered.

I am trying to decide on a MB for my new system. I unfortunately can not afford the i680/975 chipset boards so the i650 seemed like a nice price/feature compromise since they can run SLI and their performance is decent for gaming.

I think I have narrowed my choices to either the ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus or the MSI P6N SLI Platinum boards. Does anyone have opinions on these boards? Obviously both got good ratings from THG - and the ASUS' ability to run duel 16x SLI puts it slightly ahead in my book, but I've had MSI boards in the past and they have been reliable.

From a price perspective MSI wins - and they also have an extra PCI slot and IDE controller which would be nice for my legacy drives I still have around. I have also read that the Asus onboard audio sucks .... but it's performance is better from tests and it has the duel 16x SLI which for future expansion would be really nice.....

So I'm torn ... any advice or insight into either of these boards? I plan on running the E6600 and most likely Crucial Ballistix PC-6400. Any boards I'm missing that should be in consideration?

Thanks in advance!

More about : asus p5n32 sli msi p6n sli platinum

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July 10, 2007 11:31:05 PM

ravx said:
I have not been able to get the search page to work since the new forums came online so forgive me if this has been covered.

I am trying to decide on a MB for my new system. I unfortunately can not afford the i680/975 chipset boards so the i650 seemed like a nice price/feature compromise since they can run SLI and their performance is decent for gaming.

I think I have narrowed my choices to either the ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus or the MSI P6N SLI Platinum boards. Does anyone have opinions on these boards? Obviously both got good ratings from THG - and the ASUS' ability to run duel 16x SLI puts it slightly ahead in my book, but I've had MSI boards in the past and they have been reliable.

From a price perspective MSI wins - and they also have an extra PCI slot and IDE controller which would be nice for my legacy drives I still have around. I have also read that the Asus onboard audio sucks .... but it's performance is better from tests and it has the duel 16x SLI which for future expansion would be really nice.....

So I'm torn ... any advice or insight into either of these boards? I plan on running the E6600 and most likely Crucial Ballistix PC-6400. Any boards I'm missing that should be in consideration?

Thanks in advance!


The ASUS board will have an American Megatrends BIOS while the MSI board will have the Award BIOS I believe. The 650i performs as good or better than the 680i from the reviews I have read.
July 11, 2007 3:19:57 AM

As far as I know, the 650i chipset does not run both PCIe16 slots at x16. If you have one card, it will run it at x16, but if you run SLI, it will run both slots at x8. I've also read that isn't that much of a performance hindrance (yet) as current cards don't currently flood the x16 lanes yet. I think I read that somewhere on Toms or Anandtech.

To run both slots at x16, you need the 680i chipset. Please feel free to double-check me on that!
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July 11, 2007 3:56:03 AM

First off, if you don't plan on going SLI, get a P35 board. If you do plan on going SLI the X16,X8,X16 will benefit you in the long run. Also if you can wait a while, the x38 boards will be out later this year and probably the 700 series Nvidia boards. However the 600's already support 45nm and 1333fsb.

The Asus P5N32-E SLI PLUS DOES run at x16, x8, x16. It ends up being the same thing as the P5N32-E SLI which is a full on 680i chipset but the PLUS version is better in many ways. 1 it has all solid caps, 2 it's newer, and 3 it's cheaper. It runs at x16, x8, and x16 just like the 680i chipset but it's a hybrid with a 570 southbridge instead of the standard 430i allowing more SATA connections and the extra PCI-e bandwidth.

The MSI is a very good board but only runs at x8, x8 or just x16(single card) so if you intend on going SLI with anything more than a 8800GTS you'll be bottlenecked by the x8, x8 bandwidth.

I will say since I own the Asus board that it does have it's issues, but nothing too bad. I've never used the MSI board but I hear it's a very good one I still have to assume that it has it's issues too. In my opinion if you're NOT going to go SLI, get a P35. If you are going to go SLI then spend the extra dough and get the x16, x8, x16.
July 11, 2007 1:53:52 PM

Thanks for the responses - I do plan on running SLI in the future which is why I wanted the capability to upgrade to that. My funds are not large enough to run it from the start but the plan is to upgrade to it. I plan on running the GTS8800 640MB card - will that card be hampered by the MSI x8 x8 you mentioned above?

I'm not sure what the P35 board is you mentioned but I definiely want the ability to SLI later on.

T8RR8R - Can you elaborate on the issues you have had with the ASUS so far?

Any MSI owners that can weigh in on the Platinum?
July 11, 2007 2:10:24 PM

The P35 chipsets are the newest ones from Intel, but they don't support SLI. Since you want to go SLI with the GTS 640 I'd recommend flipping a coin to figure it out. Believe me I was in the same place you were last month. Another recommendation is instead of the 640mb version I'd get the 320mb and save $100 on that and put it towards the Asus motherboard. The 320mb won't hamper your performance at all unless you're gaming 1600x1200+ resolutions and even at that resolution there isn't much of a difference. Also there isn't much of a performance difference between x8, x8 and x16, x16 with the GTS cards but the $30 difference in mobo price is worth the satisfaction of knowing you didn't cut yourself short.

If I were you I'd get the Asus board, and a 320mb 8800GTS. In the long run you'll end up with the same if not better performance and you'll save ~$70 overall. I am curious though, have you looked at the 680i LT boards? What PSU are you getting/using? What CPU are you going to use in this build?
July 11, 2007 3:13:47 PM

Here are the components I've penciled in so far:

CPU: E6600 Core 2 Duo
PSU: Corsair 620HX
MB: Asus P5N32-E Plus -or- MSI P6N Plat.
RAM: Most likely 2GB Corsair Ballistix PC2-6400
HSF: Zalman 9700 LED
GPU: GTS 8800 640
Case: Antec 900 most likely - though if I can stretch the budget maybe TT Armor FT - cant decide on this either ....

Actually - I just noticed your sig in typingI this out and my potential system is not very far from what you currently have.

I was definitely going back and forth on the 640 vs. 320 GTS however I run a Dell 2407WFP widescreen at max resolution (1900x1200 i believe - never good with resolutions) when I play, so in reading the other forums (and as you mentioned above) I figured I should go for the 640.

I have to admit I have not done much research on the 680i LT boards - they are the scaled down 680i boards right? I remember reading about them. I guess once I read that the 650i's were preforming at thte same level as the 680i's it was a no brainer based on my budget to go with the 650i.
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July 11, 2007 3:38:45 PM

I have three SLI rigs. The one 16 x 16 A8N32-SLI with two 7800GTs is by far the best performer. The two boards I have that do 8 x 8 are inferior and do not perform better than my single ASUS P5B-Deluxe 965 with one 16x 7900GTO 512 MB. I have four wiidescreen monitors the largest being a BenQ 22" I would look closer at the Intel P35 and the soon to be released P38 chips and running a single 8800GTS. $800 for a video card solution (two 8800GTS's) is stressing anyone's 'budget' for a new system. I've been there before. If your heart is set on the Nvidia SLI chips, here are some articles

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2958&p=5

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2894&p=1

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2946&p=10
July 11, 2007 6:24:11 PM

Thanks for the input Badge - I checked out THG's P35 on DDR2 article and it does indeed seem that the P35 boards outperformed the 650i board they had in their benchmarks. The only thing I was unsure of is whether they were actually running SLI on the board for the benchmarks or not? Granted it wouldn't help the application side so much but for the game benchmarks - if the P35 outperformed an active SLI configuration - that would be impressive.

With P35 being "new" - I am wondering how many board issues are still out there as well. Price is the other consideration - though most of the P35 boards seemed to be resonably priced on newegg around $150. The Foxconn board that impressed the guys at THG was only $100 which seems to be an excellent "bang for the buck" based on that article.

As I mentioned earlier - I am not going to be running SLI immmediately but perhaps when the GTS idprices come down a bit had planned on picking up a second one ... I am sure that a single card 650i system will definitely not beat out the P35 but I have to imagine SLI on dual x16 would be hard to beat down the road even with the emerging technology of P38?
July 12, 2007 2:12:35 AM

You're right 640mb for that 1900x1200 is what you'll want over the 320. As far as P35 and X38 chipsets go you always have to bite the bullet in the end because something newer is ALWAYS right around the corner. Just wait for July 22nd. Happy building :hello: 
July 12, 2007 12:08:18 PM

OK - I'll probably get flamed for this but - what happens on July 22nd? :pt1cable: 

July 12, 2007 1:03:55 PM

Intel is having a HUGE CPU price drop across the board. For example the Q6600 is going to be about the same price as the current e6600 price.
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