ATI's RD580: ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe

Written by Tim Smalley

March 1, 2006 | 14:00

Tags: #3200 #benchmark #crossfire #deluxe #mainboard #motherboard #mvp #radeon #rd580 #review #stability #x16 #xpress

Companies: #asus #ati #test

ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe:

The ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe comes with a selection of features that weren't included on the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe, the most notable being the inclusion of the Realtek ALC882 High Defintion Azalia audio codec. The design remains fanless, but doesn't have the same extravagant heatpipe design that was on the A8N32 - a feature that we quite liked. Having said that, the board doesn't really need an extravagant cooling solution, because this chipset is capable of running well out of specification without the need for anything more than the rather small standard passive cooler.

Overview:

  • ASUS AI Overclocking, ASUS CrashFree BIOS & ASUS Stack Cool technologies;
  • Supports all socket 939 AMD Athlon 64/FX/X2 CPUs with Cool 'n' Quiet technology;
  • Four DDR memory slots supporting up to 4GB of DDR400;
  • ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 North Bridge (RD580), ULi M1575 South Bridge;
  • Two PCI-Express x16 slots with CrossFire support at full x16, x16 mode, one PCI-Express x1 slot and three PCI expansion slots;
  • 7.1 Channel Realtek ALC882 High Definition Azalia audio with jack sensing, multi-streaming and coaxial/optical S/PDIF out;
  • Four ULi M1575 SATA II ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD configurations;
  • Silicon Image 3132 SATA controller with one Internal and External (SATA On-the-Go) SATA port;
  • Support for eight USB 2.0 ports (four on back I/O panel and four via on-board pins/expansion brackets);
  • Two IEEE 1394a connectors via an expansion bracket;
  • Two IDE ATA133 connectors;
  • One floppy drive connector.
ATI's RD580: ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe ASUS A8R32-MVP: Bundle ATI's RD580: ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe ASUS A8R32-MVP: Bundle

Box Contents:

  • Five red SATA cables;
  • Five SATA power cables (via three four-pin molex plugs);
  • One grey ATA133 connector;
  • One grey ATA33 CD/DVD drive cable;
  • One grey single ended floppy cable;
  • Three expansion brackets: one with a serial connector, one with two USB2.0 ports and a Game port and the third with IEEE 1394a and mini IEEE 1394a Firewire ports;
  • Rear I/O bracket;
  • User guide, motherboard support CD and Intervideo WinDVD Suite.
ATI's RD580: ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe ASUS A8R32-MVP: Bundle ATI's RD580: ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe ASUS A8R32-MVP: Bundle
ASUS has included a very comprehensive bundle of extras with the A8R32-MVP Deluxe, but there are a couple of improvements that we would have liked to see to make this a complete bundle. There is a complete complement of SATA cables for the internal ports, including five four-pin molex to SATA power adapters too, but they've missed out an external SATA cable. We've not seen any external SATA devices yet, but we suspect that they may come with all cables required if this bundle and the one that comes with the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe are anything to go by.

There are also enough ribbon cables for the two IDE ports and floppy port. They're not rounded cables, and they're not ASUS-branded like the cables that came with their flagship SLI motherboard. The cables that came with the A8N32-SLI Deluxe were black and had pull tabs to make system dismantling a little bit easier - these are standard OEM grey cables and don't look as good as the cables we've come to expect in ASUS motherboard bundles.

Along with that, there isn't a full complement of USB2.0 ports on the expansion bracket, but its possible to use six out of the eight supported by the chipset. The lone USB2.0 expansion bracket also comes with a game port for those of you still using legacy joysticks or game pads. There are also expansion brackets for IEEE 1394a Firewire and serial.

There is no CrossFire compositing cable, because this comes included with the CrossFire Edition video card, so we can't say that it's missing from the bundle. On the whole, the bundle is good - it ticks most of the boxes, as we've come to expect from ASUS these days. The SATA cables could be the new clip-lock style, the IDE cables would be branded and fitted with pull-tabs and there could be a full complement of USB2.0 connectors; other than that, there's little to find fault with.
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