Athlon Hit Parade: 10 mobos with the nForce2 Ultra400

Asus A7N8X 2.0 Deluxe

Board Revision: 2.0

BIOS Version: 1005

The A7N8X was already featured in earlier nForce2 tests. The new deluxe version with a reengineered chipset is also suitable for 200 MHz FSB clock rates. The version we tested came very well equipped - it has the maximum amount of features boasted by nVIDIA (MCP-T with Dolby Digital, two FireWire ports, two 100-Mbit network ports), plus a few added extras including the serial ATA controller Sil3112 from Silicon Image (the first among equals and so far offers the best performance ).

The motherboard's layout makes it possible to use all five PCI slots with long plug-in cards. But the more additional components, the greater the cable jungle at the lower edge of the motherboard - practically all of the ancillary ports are located here.

Asus has dispensed with not only a Northbridge fan but also an ACR slot at the lower edge of the motherboard, neither of which would have offered the home user any added benefits but would have involved additional material costs instead.