by October 1, 2005 0 comments

ASUS A8N-SLI Premium

Overall 
Ranking
100
86 100
Feature Performance
Price:
9550

Remember the features you should look for? Well, this board has almost all of them! It has the highest feature scores, the highest performance s cores. The board features all the usual stuff like 4GB of DDR RAM, 8 channel audio and similar such stuff but it has some pretty useful additions not found in many other boards such as an onboard firewire and 8 SATA ports. The performance of the board was unmatched and it even scored an unbelievable 71 in the multimedia content creation test signifying that if you have any graphic or encoding, decoding intensive work, this is your board.

The only drawback that this board has is the lay out. We have generally seen ASUS boards being very well designed but this one had the problem that when you put in a graphics card, it fits inside the free space behind the RAM lock so every time you need to take out the RAM, you need to first take your graphics card out, so it lost out a bit on layout but boy oh boy did it make up for it in performance! Overall, this is a great board suited for those looking for the absolute best in performance and the icing on the cake is that it sells for just 9550! RQS# E20 or SMS 131020 to 9811800601

Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI

Overall 
Ranking
97
87 84
Feature Performance
Price:
12000

The runner up in our tests, this board scored an overall score of 97 and equaled the A8N-SLI board in terms of sheer features. However, as we analyzed the scores, we realised that this board had a slight edge over the previous board as it had some optional accessories like a Wi-Fi card and something called a dual power system which is extremely useful for providing reliable power when you overclock a board.
Gigabyte has also provided a PCI Wi-Fi card which allows you to easily set up a home network without additional investment. The layout has problems similar to the ASUS A8N-SLI, the memory slots are too close to the CPU fan and one of the graphics slots is just about 1 mm above it!.Other than the layout, the board primarily lost out on the price and performance. It was considerably slower in all our performance tests but is still priced 2500 higher than the ASUS board because of the extra goodies bundled in so if you want the extra fanfare and think you can over-clock and wring better performance out of this board, we would highly recommend it. RQS# E21 or SMS 131021 to 9811800601


MSI K8N Diamond

Overall 
Ranking
91
82 91
Feature Performance
Price:
17900

This board scored a decent 91 overall and is a great balance of features, performance and price. It scored 91 on our performance and though this board will not give you the best performance, it will do quite adequately. It has some interesting features that others don’t have, such as a Bluetooth card. In fact, it has a single PCI card which makes your PC both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled! If you do regular synching with your smart phone then you will find this feature very helpful as it gives you a clutter free desk by removing the myriad wires and stuff.

A really amazing feature that we saw on this board was that it uses a Creative Soundblaster 24 bit chip which will give you better sound quality than any other onboard audio solution in the market bar none!

The place this board really lost out on was price and some features which we would consider to be standard in all other boards we got. This board did not have a single PCI express x1 slot while almost every other board had 2 of them! Another place where the board lost out was the graphics slot lock which was pretty shoddy and if you put in heavy cards like the 7800GTX then it might not hold it as solidly as we would like it to.

If you can live with the tiny gripes and want a feature rich board with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the best on-board sound on the market, get this one. RQS# E22 or SMS 131022 to 9811800601

MSI K8N-SLI Platinum

Overall 
Ranking
91
73 95
Feature Performance
Price:
9600

This board tied for third spot with the MSI K8N Diamond at an overall score of 91. But we feel it is slightly low on features with only one Ethernet port, doesn’t have any PCI-E x1 slots, only 4 SATA ports which seems like a lot but then every board is giving you this much and more so why should you buy this one.

Yes the board has firewire, S/PDIF, 4 SATA ports and scores 1 point more in performance than our second placed Gigabyte K8-NXP-SLI but all these features are pretty much standard on all the boards we have seen in this shoot out. Also, the Gigabyte board has a whole host of features and added goodies that this board doesn’t ship with like
Wi-Fi. 

The board has a PCI-E slot between the SLI slots which is left redundant the minute you put in two cards hence this board lost out a little bit on the lay out from as well.

The board has been priced very similar to our winner, the ASUS A8N-SLI and if you are shelling out that much money, you are much better off buying the ASUS board than this. RQS# E23 or SMS 131023 to 9811800601


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