Motherboard: ASUS P5N-T Deluxe
The mid-range PC is not just about great performance, it's about expandability and extra features. All of these goals are met in the ASUS P5N-T Deluxe.
Nvidia's 780i chipset is an update of the 680i chipset, known to be a solid overclocker and good performer. The P5N-T should demonstrate great performance in conjunction with the Q6700 processor.
The expandability of the P5N-T is evident in the three PCIe x16 ports which will accommodate up to three Nvidia cards in SLI mode.
Extra features are always well covered in ASUS Deluxe boards, and the P5N-T doesn't disappoint in this regard. The board offers an 8-phase power design resulting in extremely high efficiency and lower temperatures, an effective silent heatpipe system to cool the chipset and board components, 8-channel HD Audio with coaxial and optical S/PDIF outputs, exclusive use of high-quality polymer capacitors, gigabit LAN , two firewire connectors, ten USB ports, and more.
The unknown quantity: will the P5N-T Deluxe take us to acceptable overclocking heights so that we can match the high-end machine? We will see when we reach the overclocking portion of the marathon.