ASUS and MSI have produced what can only be said as probably the best A64 socket 754 motherboards around. The MSI K8N Neo Platinum which we have awarded 9.5 out of 10 and the TweakTown "MUST HAVE" Performance Award would have to be the fastest out of the lot, there is no denying that as the results speak for themselves.
The ASUS K8N-E Deluxe we have given 9 out of 10 since it constantly just trailed behind it with coming just ahead sometimes. From a performance perspective you really couldn't go past either this motherboard or the ASUS. With this said though, when it comes down to the package, it is quite limited and not all that exciting.
The Gigabyte K8NSNXP which received 8.5 out of 10 and our TweakTown "MUST HAVE" Best Features Award has got an excellent bundle happening with their motherboard and if you wanted to use features like the external Serial ATA connectors or dual LAN ports, you couldn't look pass this motherboard. With DPS2, the motherboard is able to supply a constant steady flow of power but we must say that we had no issues with power on any of the other motherboards while testing them. We can understand the DPS2 will be useful when you start plugging in more devices and pushing for more performance.
The Shuttle AN51R which received 7 out of 10 has got a product that is quite basic, the package is quite small and the performance on the motherboard isn't the best which does make it hard to recommend. We wouldn't turn around and say don't buy this motherboard, but if you have the extra money to spend on something from ASUS or MSI we would highly recommend that you look down that path as you'll get better performance and a better package.
While we would have probably liked to give both the ASUS and MSI the performance award, we do have to choose one and can honestly say that the MSI motherboard was consistently that little bit faster then ASUS. Due to performance being so close it will come down to price and what people prefer as far as brands go when it comes to purchasing their next or first Socket 754 motherboard.
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