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Asus Shows Off Dual Socket 1366 Motherboard

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

Photo courtesy: SoftpediaPhoto courtesy: SoftpediaAsus is shaking things up in the netbook world, but it hasn't forgotten about the enthusiast crowd.

During CeBIT Germany today, the Taiwanese computer giant showed off its newest motherboard. Dubbed the Z8NA-D6, this newest mainboard will allow for two LGA1366 processors to be used in the same system.

Asus also claims that at 12-inches by 9.6-inches, the Z8NA-D6 is the world's first dual socket ATX motherboard, which allows for it to be used in virtually any ATX computer case (note: Intel's Skulltrail is an Extended ATX mobo). The power connector is another point of interest. The 24+8 pin connection allows for both ATX and SSI power supplies to be used, the latter of which is traditionally used in servers.

The motherboard is based on Intel's 5500+ICH10R chipset, and can support all 1366 processors, including the upcoming Xeon 5500s. Supported memory includes up to 48 GB of RDIMM or 24 GB of UDIMM, with ECC support. The one shortcoming of this board is the lack of PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. With only one on the Z8NA-D6, you can forget about any sort of SLI or Crossfire setup. As for other expansion slots, the Z8NA-D6 comes with two PCIe x8 slots, one PIKE slot, and a PCIe x1 slot, which will likely be used for a soundcard. Like any other Asus mobo, expect this one to come with RAID software already included on the board.

The Z8NA-D6 may be the first dual socket 1366 motherboard spotted (no price or release date yet), but we doubt it's the last. 1366 Skulltrail, anybody?

Discuss
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  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2009 9:07 PM
    How do I keep this thing cool? This looks like generating a lot of heat!
  • 4 Hide
    AndyYankee17 , March 6, 2009 9:39 PM
    raid software included on the board? don't you mean raid hardware? for anybody that uses raid that's a big difference
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2009 10:59 PM
    software raid emulation....
  • 0 Hide
    ravenware , March 6, 2009 11:37 PM
    Be interesting to see how it performs in games and other apps, maybe games have evolved?

    The Skull trail and quadFX setups from the past were not very impressive.
  • 3 Hide
    AndyYankee17 , March 6, 2009 11:39 PM
    wow, just realized this, 16 virtual CPUs, that keep rendering and encoding apps happy, albeit for a very time lol
  • -5 Hide
    Gazz , March 7, 2009 12:19 AM
    But you still only have 6 ram slots
    What happened to the 8 or 12 you have two cpu's you should have doubble the ram slots only half baked if you ask me
  • 4 Hide
    dconnors , March 7, 2009 12:43 AM
    GazzBut you still only have 6 ram slotsWhat happened to the 8 or 12 you have two cpu's you should have doubble the ram slots only half baked if you ask me


    My bet is that they went with six RAM slots due to space constraints. There isn't exactly a lot open real estate on that board. Besides, 24 GB over six slots is more than enough for anything, as evidenced by our VM story yesterday: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/kingston-core-i7-crysis,7194.html

    -Devin
  • 2 Hide
    Pei-chen , March 7, 2009 1:39 AM
    At least it will be cheaper than the $16,000 AMD rendering machine featured recently. I bet it is cooler too.
  • -4 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 7, 2009 1:58 AM
    The lack of a second PCIe hurts it as a gaming platform though..
  • 3 Hide
    AndyYankee17 , March 7, 2009 2:13 AM
    eddieroolzThe lack of a second PCIe hurts it as a gaming platform though..

    makes it nice for 3d animation as those cards (fireGL, and the nvidea equivalent, forget what it's called) don't used sli/crossfire. meaning you can use the other slots for raid controller cards and other workstation type things
  • 4 Hide
    EQPlayer , March 7, 2009 4:41 AM
    Actually nVidia workstation cards can use SLI.
  • -4 Hide
    pocketdrummer , March 7, 2009 5:29 AM
    Why is it cost so much more money to add a second CPU socket to the board? I would see many more people interested in this if the performance advantage actually reflected the cost.
  • 0 Hide
    thejerk , March 7, 2009 7:15 AM
    the performance advantage is handicapped less by diminishing returns and more by apps which aren't programmed to be multi-threaded.

    factor in the cost of r&d spread out over fewer units sold, and you've got yourself a bigger price tag.
  • 0 Hide
    WINTERLORD , March 7, 2009 9:00 AM
    prolly not much R&D to it. looks like a basic server board with 2x 1366 sockets stuck on it to boost asus stock in a time of depression
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , March 7, 2009 7:49 PM
    If this board is only $100 more then the normal 1366 boards I would get it for sure… the i7 920 itself is not too expensive…. Be awesome to have 8 cores!

    I do suspect overclocking heat would be an issue as it would be difficult to fit two aftermarket heatsinks … Watercooling I guess.

    All this sounds rather pricey, but damn it be sweet if ya had the cash!
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 7, 2009 8:18 PM
    winterlordprolly not much R&D to it. looks like a basic server board with 2x 1366 sockets stuck on it to boost asus stock in a time of depression

    You need to realize this is a new socket/architecture so quite a bit of money must have been spent on the R&D.
  • 0 Hide
    hairycat101 , March 7, 2009 11:13 PM
    Shadow703793You need to realize this is a new socket/architecture so quite a bit of money must have been spent on the R&D.

    Shadow, please don't assume that anyone posting here has applied any reasoned thought to their posts. I know I don't.
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , March 8, 2009 1:22 PM
    hairycat101Shadow, please don't assume that anyone posting here has applied any reasoned thought to their posts. I know I don't.

    Lol, I guess that sets shadow appart as one of the good guys on this forum. :p 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2009 4:40 AM
    Actually if anyone care to really look the picture closely, that one memory slot next to the PCIe-16 is a bit too close to comfort to me.

    Also after I saw the other boards in the family, I kinda felt that Asus had not put much effort into the design of this board. I mean if they basically just cut down the memory slot and by doing so reduce the overall footprint of the board.

    Personally I would rather see they drop that hardware (RAID?) controller that add those extra SATA ports on the bottom left, and instead use that spot for the SATA ports provided by the chipset, and since from the looks of things they have dropped both floppy and IDE connector, they can move the chipset (assuming the chipset is indeed the one that is covered by that huge heatsink) further away, and thus providing more space a second (or even third) PCIe-16 as well as moving the first PCIe-16 further away from that memory slot.

    Honestly even if this is somewhat a breakthrough, it's not really a very well designed board in my opinion. Not nearly close to what Supermicro has done with X7DCA-L, grated that's still use the older Core based Xeons but you get the idea.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 9, 2009 8:00 AM
    Cool ! 14 sata ports, and possibly a version with floppy connector available too .... too bad it's asus .... I imagine if it'd been a quality brand board, it'd be worth the investment. If it supports crossfire at least.

    What are the lower two slots - below the last pcie slot?
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