Asus P5N-T Deluxe 780i Motherboard

Test Setup and Overclocking

Test Setup
 
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
 
 
Asus Maximus Formula (X38)
 Asus P5E3 Deluxe
Asus P5N-T Deluxe
DFI LANPARTY UT P35-T2R (P35)
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q6600 "G0" 2.4GHz 2x4MB
Memory Cellshock PC2-6400 DDR2-800 (4-4-4-12)
Graphics Card  Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E
Hard Disk Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb
CPU Cooling Noctua NH-U12P
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (Latest Updates)
Graphics Drivers ATI Catalyst 7.4.44981
Motherboard Drivers Intel INF 8.300.1013
 
Unfortunately I could not include the results from the Asus Striker II in this review as it was being completed concurrently.
 
During the testing of the boards above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used between switching boards, preventing any possible performance issues due to left-over drivers from the previous motherboard install.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach 3.0.4.0
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark05
• 3DMark06

3D Games
• Quake 4
• Bioshock
• F.E.A.R
 
test rig 
 
Overclocking
 
Overclocking was something I always look forward to with a certain amount of both excitement and trepidation. Sometimes boards give an easy, trouble-free overclocking experience and sometimes it really is quite a chore. With Nvidia's 680i  in mind I was a bit uneasy of the prospects of the P5N-T Deluxe. Let's see how the board does.
 
maximum oc
 
To ensure that every motherboard was given an equal chance to show how far it could overclock our Intel Q6600 "G0" retail processor, a standard VCore of 1.5v was set on all three of the boards. In addition to this, the memory divider setting was also adjusted to ensure that the Cellshock kit used in today's review would not hinder the results in any way.
 
The P5N-T Deluxe was a little disappointing in the results it achieved on the 780i motherboard. Clocking in at around 200MHz lower than the competition it doesn't stand out for overclocking. I have to also add that overclocking was only achieved once the boards BIOS had been flashed to the latest beta BIOS on offer from Asus and that the board would not achieve an overclock over 3100Mhz beforehand.
 
max fsb
 
The maximum front-side bus speed for all three boards was obtained by dropping the CPU multiplier down to x6 and slowly increasing the FSB speed from within the BIOS. With each increment in speed, the PC was booted into Windows and tested for stability. As with the "Maximum Overclock" testing, the memory divider setting was also adjusted to ensure that memory stability did not factor in the results.
 
Again the Asus P5N-T Deluxe failed to deliver in the overclocking department, managing only to boot at 420MHz. This is well below the 475Mhz achieved with the P5E3 and below most boards we've taken a look at since Core2 came out.
 
Note on Overclocking Experience
 
I have to add as an addendum that the P5N-T Deluxe was very unstable throughout the overclocking process. Often after a bad overclock I would have to reset CMOS two or three times before I managed to get the motherboard to boot into the BIOS and flashing did not help. This was an experience I am not used to with most boards, never mind Asus. Whilst everything is stable at stock, this is disappointing in an enthusiast board.
 
Asus - Manufacturers reply
 
As always on Overclock3D, manufacturers have 8 UK working hours to respond to reviews (essentially 24 hours on a working day) and Asus asked us to test a new BIOS they had for the P5N-T Deluxe. This BIOS unfortunately did not help in my quest to overclock, but please bear in mind that further BIOS updates may improve performance. I'll make the point later on again, but I have to state now that the boards "foibles" don't seem to be the fault of Asus, rather of the chipset manufacturer, Nvidia.
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Most Recent Comments

15-01-2008, 04:58:46

FarFarAway
We check Asus latest 780i board

See how it does

15-01-2008, 14:32:40

Brooksie
Good review, shame about the board..

What a stupid idea to stick a IDE connector in front of the ATX connector though =/

15-01-2008, 14:44:52

ionicle
i was thinking that, terrible...

the chipset doesnt seem the best ever either...

Nvidia have failed every time after the Nforce 4 chipset..

15-01-2008, 15:13:49

darkorb
nForce 4 ftw!

Great review, although lacking board.

15-01-2008, 15:15:42

FarFarAway
Asus are writing a new BIOS after reading about the issues in this review so hopefully we can revisit it and perhaps it will show some better potential

Thanks for the comments

15-01-2008, 16:29:36

Thanh55
Very nice review, but the board just under 680i I think, like Kempez said hope the new BIOS help.

15-01-2008, 17:57:18

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
Asus are writing a new BIOS after reading about the issues in this review so hopefully we can revisit it and perhaps it will show some better potential

Thanks for the comments
I love that... Thats seriously taking customers feedback into consideration!!

Nice one on the review anyway Matt.. Shame ya didn't have more to work with. Hope that 790i will be better.

17-01-2008, 08:09:27

Paradisos
i am only waiting for the new mobo 780i to buy a new pc. Such a shame that asus didn't make it, else i would go and buy it now. Now i have to wait even longer. Hope better ones will come out soon

17-01-2008, 08:12:36

PV5150
Do you need SLI? The Intel X48's should be starting to make an appearance shortly, and I'm betting they'll provide better performance than the Nvidia 780i. However, it will be interesting to see if ASUS' new BIOS rectifies this board's issues.

17-01-2008, 09:14:30

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PV5150'
Do you need SLI? The Intel X48's should be starting to make an appearance shortly, and I'm betting they'll provide better performance than the Nvidia 780i. However, it will be interesting to see if ASUS' new BIOS rectifies this board's issues.
Do we have any idea on roughly when the X48's will be about.. Next month or two?

17-01-2008, 09:26:18

PV5150
Well Gigabyte has officially launched their X48 range (GA-X48T-DQ6, GA-X48-DQ6, GA-X48-DS5) so I can't imagine that it will be very long before ASUS and other manufacturers have them on the shelves.

17-01-2008, 10:21:27

Paradisos
I was thinking about SLI, maybe buy an other 8800 GT when the price drops, so i was thinking about the 780i, or 790i maybe. It's painful to wait an other 15 days or so, to see the new stuff. And to buy a mobo that needs a bios update so soon doesn't seem like a good idea.

17-01-2008, 17:36:26

FarFarAway
Try a Striker II?

17-01-2008, 19:11:43

Hatman
Tbh 790i is becoming to appear more appealing to me. DDR3 is becoming much better value.

Check this out.

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=644789

Scan.co.uk DDR3, 2x 1gb rated at 1600mhz at "just" 140 is pre-ordered, getting much better value.

Pretty soon it'll be overtaking DDR2 withe the 790i's and X48 releases.

17-01-2008, 20:44:02

darkorb
only diff between 780i/790i and x38/x48 is the support of DDR3?

Then i would buy now.. No diff between DDR2/3, well not worth the cost

18-01-2008, 10:09:00

Paradisos
Well as you said it's one of the most expensive mobos till now. I think it's a bit too much to give for a mobo for me and also i don't see many other mobos in the market, so i think its better to wait maybe 15 more days and then deside...

18-01-2008, 10:25:24

Paradisos
There is also the EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX that is out, and as i can see, users are more satisfied with this mobo. Maybe you will test it out later, but thanks to everyone for your help and thoughts !

19-01-2008, 10:19:23

dwarry
Hi Guys, I am a complete newb to overclocking, I have built several systems but never delved into the Dark Art...! (Not with any success anyway!)

I bought this Mobo as I got fed up of waiting for the Striker II Formula to appear at scan despite having pre ordered it ages ago.

I am really struggling to get anywhere with it, I am quite pleased with the stock performance (compared to my ageing AMD FX 55, A8N Sli Deluxe combo) but would appreciate some tips / BOIS settings to help me get going. The best I have done so far is get a 10% increase with Asus' AI overclock setting in the BIOS if I try to adjust things manually it wont POST....

HELP........Please.

Great Site by the way.....

Cheers, Dave Warry.

19-01-2008, 10:29:14

FarFarAway
I'd suggest updating to the latest BIOS before you even try overclocking.

Set the CPU volts a little higher and al;so set the CPU VTT a little higher

19-01-2008, 12:19:27

dwarry
Thanks for the quick reply, I have updated to the latest BIOS (0502) and tweaked the voltages slightly but I am worried about frying stuff...! I am unsure what voltages are reasonable for the various settings. Is there a list of the voltages and tweaks that were used in the review of this board?

I will crack it, I just need to get over the initial fears....!

Cheers, D W

21-01-2008, 14:07:32

dwarry
Hey guys, Asus have released a new BIOS for the P5N-T Deluxe Nforce 780i. 0602.

I have used Asus, AI overclock option and got it up to 20% overclock with no problems this means a FSB of 320mhz and a core speed of 2.88ghz, I know that this is peanuts but previously the board wouldn't POST with an overclock of 10%...!

I now need to try adjusting the settings manually but could do with some advice on what voltage adjustments should be safe, or do I leave the voltage settings on "Auto"

It would be interesting to see what an expert Overclocker could get from this board with the new BIOS, seeing as the performance was "lacking" during its review...!

ANY advice would be very gratefully received....Cheers Guys

D W

21-01-2008, 14:16:35

FarFarAway
Remember overclocking is based on a chip per chip basis so no one person will get the exact same results

Anyone can become a good overclocker, it just takes patience and research mate and a lot of trying again.

Stay whithin safe CPU voltages (1.55v for air cooling for example) and watch the temps alla round

21-01-2008, 14:30:44

dwarry
Cheers Mate,

I will try and push the FSB up slowly, my target is 3.0ghz (unless I get hooked and start watercooling etc...!). My RAM is rated at 1000mhz so that shouldn't pose a problem.

You mentioned the CPU VTT voltage in your last reply, what would be a safe limit for this setting?

Cheers, D W

21-01-2008, 15:06:03

FarFarAway
Only bump up CPU VTT if you get stuck, do it in small increments

24-01-2008, 13:07:25

Paradisos
Now that there is a new bios update for this mobo, did it become any better, and how about the overclocking, can it reach 3.0Ghz with the build in cooler ?

24-01-2008, 15:35:06

FarFarAway
I was waiting for the BIOS release to try again but due to review time constraints I've had to take it out.

I may get some time to try again but it won't be for a while

24-01-2008, 15:38:06

dwarry
I managed to get it up to 3.375gig (FSB of 1500 in BIOS) and I could run 3Dmark 06 comfortably with a score of 19,448. However when I was playing stalker all maxed out it threw up BSOD's after about half an hour. I didn't try to push it any more than this and this was with my Thermaltake Big Typ 120 air cooler turned right down to silent levels. I am now running at 3.038gig (FSB 1350 in BIOS) with all the fans on Silent and it is Solid as a rock, (No problems playing Crysis last night for 3 hours, wife is at work...!, with all the settings at HIGH inc. AA & AF, Res 1600x1050 on 22" screen) 3Dmark score is still over 1700, So I personally am well impressed with the new BIOS it has helped me overcome my NewB overclocking fears....!

It would be good to see what an expert OC'er could do.....HINT HINT.....!

Cheers, DW

24-01-2008, 15:43:58

FarFarAway
I simply don't have time right now. If I get some (unlikely) I will update the review

24-01-2008, 16:41:10

dwarry
Thanks dood, you can only try :-)

02-02-2008, 07:34:50

steelkane
I think the benchmarks would be better, if a Nvidia card was used on a sli board. using an ati card makes no sense to me. very bad review.

02-02-2008, 07:51:00

Ham
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='steelkane'
I think the benchmarks would be better, if a Nvidia card was used on a sli board. using an ati card makes no sense to me. very bad review.
The fact that nvidia and ATI cards perform nigh on identically on any chipset not crossed your mind?

Also the ATI card was used on other boards review, so it there as a control. Using an 8800GT vs the X1950 pro and then saying the motherboard is fantastic for gaming isnt exactly a fair test is it.

And intel dont make graphics cards to test with intel chips.

02-02-2008, 09:44:56

Rastalovich
That`s the thing. There are a fair few reviewers out there that would switch out cards, cpus or memory, but where is the fairness in the comparison ? Or the consistancy really.

U have to try and keep the playing field for all the boards ur going to compare as even as possible. Components, to an extent don`t matter that much as long as they`re the same. A choice of decent proven stuff in this case I think, don`t want to overcomplicate things either and take ur eye of what ur really reviewing, which is the mobo.

06-02-2008, 15:39:58

sinephase
Not a bad review, definitely not a "very" bad review. There are many benchmarks that were taken that don't rely on video at all. I do agree to an extent about the video card, but mainly because it wasn't tested with a PCIe 2.0 card, which is what the board is supposed to be for.

I'm sure it's quite hard to keep everything accurate because, for instance, in a lot of benchmarks a 8800 with 256bit memory vs. one with a 345bit (or whatever it is) doesn't look like much now, but once games, etc. utilize it better, there will be a growing difference between the two. Same with the wolfdale vs. conroe, because the wolfdale is using new instructions, and once those are used in apps, there will be more of a difference.

Would really like to see a comparison between PCIe 2.0 and 1.0(1) performance on this site.

17-02-2009, 05:50:39

Sleekit
I bought this board, sadly jumped into it without reading any reviews, i've been planning on overclocking my cpu for ages now, i've read many guides on overclocking (including the ones on here) but i'm still clueless, does anyone know this board well who could help me please?

17-02-2009, 10:58:51

w3bbo
Probably best asking in the overclocking section m8.

HERE
Reply
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