The battle between AMD and NVIDIA for chipset supremacy has heated up with AMD really starting to put as much research into developing the top chipset for their own CPUs. After all, if you're not going to do a good job, don't bother at all, especially if you're the one doing the CPUs at the same time. AMD has delivered a fantastic chipset in the case of the 790FX.
The Northbridge setup is far superior to the 780a thanks to its quad graphics card support, and while it may not be a high priority right now, AMD has the leg up for the bragging rights. So far they are the only ones to have quad graphics support for their own CPUs, where NVIDIA has started to fall behind on the technology market. While SB600 is somewhat outdated as a Southbridge, the SB700 is due very soon and will increase the functionality of the 790FX chipset to the top level.
NVIDIA's 780a managed to impress us despite its lack for Quad SLI setups, as well as having to use a separate PCI Express hub to give the platform PCI-E 2.0 compliancy. This is certainly not the way to design things, since the link between the 780a MCP and the nForce 200 will result in latency issues when CPU to GPU communications occur.
ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe
Overall, the ASUS M3A32-VMP Deluxe motherboard managed to impress us immensely, which is why AMD decided to supply it with the Phenom test kit. Its feature set is extremely rich, its performance is tops and its eye candy rating is extremely high. While it does have the older SB600 chip, we hope to see the Premium version come out with SB700 when it's released.
ASUS M3N-HT Deluxe
The ASUS M3N-HT Deluxe board also managed to impress us. Designed around the same high quality PCB design the 790FX used, the board's performance was slightly better than that of the 790FX due to a superior storage controller and USB system. So at this stage for single GPU based setups, the M3N-HT is the slightly better option. However, if you're a Crossfire fan, this board won't help you. As for SLI, NVIDIA won't licence SLI to Intel, so it's not going to give it to AMD. SLI users will be forced to this chipset instead.
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