Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe review

Price when reviewed

We last saw this board in an SLI duel with the MSI P4N Diamond three months ago. It fared slightly the worse, thanks to comparable prices and the MSI’s innovative features. But how things have changed: now that the Asus is £23 cheaper, it emerges as the winner.

Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe review

Don’t for a second think this is a budget, lightweight product, though. Far from it, the box is full of handy extras. Serial ATA cables are abundant, while backplates provide extra USB ports and FireWire. The board itself is packed with extra controller chips. There’s a Marvell chip providing a second Gigabit LAN port to complement the nForce4 firewalled port, and the ever-present Silicon Image 3132 for an extra pair of Serial ATA channels. One of these forms part of the I/O block at the rear – handy if you can track down an external drive with a SATA interface.

Being an SLI board, there are two slots for PCI Express graphics cards, especially useful as the secondary slot can also be used with PCI Express 1x cards. There are two further PCI Express 1x slots and three PCI, so there’s plenty of room for expansion. But motherboards these days do near enough everything you’ll need anyway. There’s good 7.1 surround sound from the Realtek ALC850, for example.

With a good board layout and an excellent manual, it’s hard to find much to fault with the P5ND2-SLI Deluxe beyond the nVidia chipset’s lack of support for 2.8GHz Pentium D chips. A great buy.

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