NB heat piped mobos: ASUS or Abit?

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Centaur
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NB heat piped mobos: ASUS or Abit?

Post by Centaur » Sun Aug 07, 2005 8:39 pm

I'm considering one of these two NB heat piped mb's for my new quiet setup:

ASUS A89 SLI Premium
Abit AN8-Ultra

At first my preference was the Abit due to the placement of the exhaust duct and that it has direct access to "outside" air (and lower price!). However, I have a device that requires a true parallel port and have verified a USB converter does not work for it so now I'm looking at the ASUS which has a built in LPT port.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience (or thoughts) regarding the ASUS and the placement of the exhaust duct being on the inside part of the MB design and no direct access to outside air. It's in the line of exhaust with a fan on the back of the case so wouldn't think it would be that big of a difference but was curious what others thought.

PC usage on the "high end" for me will be database design, video editing, and occasional games. Main usage though will be surfing the net. I'm looking at a Venice 3200+ as the processor. I won't be using the SLI feature of the ASUS board if I got it.

MajereXYU
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Post by MajereXYU » Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:59 pm

Hello!

I just bought the Asus A8N-SLI Premium and I must say I don't regret it.

I too was considering the Abit AN8 Ultra but chose the Asus due to availability issues on the Abit.

As you said, the heatsink (pretty well designed if you ask me) of the heatpipe northbridge cooler on the Asus is positioned right by the 120mm exhaust fan in my P180.

I don't think it will have any problems cooling itself...

In fact, the one on the Abit has to rely on case pressure to cool itself whereas the Asus uses the airflow from the exhaust fan.

SLI is a nice bonus in my case.
I got an Asus 6600 Silencer (vanilla 6600, non-GT) because I had to make cuts somewhere in the budget.
I'm afraid the 6600 will not be powerful enough for some future games (even current ones like HL2 etc are pretty demanding).

With SLI, I have the choice of either adding a new identical one later or just change it for something more powerful (any 7600GT news yet?).

Anyway, if the price is not too big an issue, I would go for the Asus.
One more thing: I've had Asus and Abit motherboards in the past so I'm neutral but I now tend to go more for Asus if I can because Abit seems to be having some troubles (financially) and I'm afraid they *could* go out of business in the near future (1-2years maybe).

|Romeo|
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Post by |Romeo| » Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:48 am

I'm intrigued, what do you have that is not happy with a USB parallel port?

Anyway, my first reaction would be that if you want the Abit, just put a PCI parallel port controller in and be done with it; however it might be worth testing your device with one first (they don't cost very much) in case there is some problem with that too (I'm imagining that the problems with the USB converter were related to DMA, but I might be very wide of the mark).

I think I'd try and take the Parallel port out of the equation a a decision maker.

Centaur
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Post by Centaur » Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:06 am

|Romeo| wrote:I'm intrigued, what do you have that is not happy with a USB parallel port?
Thanks for the comments. It's an EPROM programmer. I bought it about 2 years ago and use it a few times a month. The manufacturer may make a USB version one of these days but I'm not sure about that. Either way I really like this one due to it's versatility/ease of use and don't want to give it up. I considered a PCI card adaptor, which I'm pretty sure would work as it would assign a true LPT port but I hate to use up a valuable PCI slot like that... after I add my sound card and modem I won't have any left! The other poster had some great observations on the ASUS board so I think I'm going to go that direction.

Centaur
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Post by Centaur » Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:10 am

MajereXYU wrote: In fact, the one on the Abit has to rely on case pressure to cool itself whereas the Asus uses the airflow from the exhaust fan.

SLI is a nice bonus in my case.
I got an Asus 6600 Silencer (vanilla 6600, non-GT) because I had to make cuts somewhere in the budget.
I'm afraid the 6600 will not be powerful enough for some future games (even current ones like HL2 etc are pretty demanding).

With SLI, I have the choice of either adding a new identical one later or just change it for something more powerful (any 7600GT news yet?).
Thanks for the great comments, and good point about the SLI feature, it adds the potential for versatility if needed.

Going slightly off topic... how does the ASUS 6600 work in your case as far as heat goes? You running a fan on it? How's the case temps? Looks like an interesting vid card (which I still need to choose) and reasonable price.

mginou
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Post by mginou » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:02 am

I just put together a new system with the Abit AN8-Ultra. I have a few concerns with it:

1) The Q-OTES fins at the rear of the case are being used as an intake with my single 120mm exhaust fan. This is probably excellent for cooling the NB, but obviously decreases the proper airflow through the case. This could probably be solved by using a 120mm intake fan to create a positive case pressure.

2) Abit will not release the specifications for their proprietary uGuru hardware monitoring system. This means that you will have to use the supplied uGuru program for system monitoring. This may not be problematic for Windows users, but for those using other platforms, it is important (There IS a linux program out there that will read some limited temperature data, but the standard linux hardware monitoring software, lm-sensors, will not work).

3) The floppy controller is located in a really dumb spot. It is really far from where the floppy drive is located in most cases. In my case, a SonataII, the provided Abit cable is simply not long enough to reach (and that's *before* I tried any fancy cable routing).

4) Lots of annoying red LEDs. Some may find them cool, I find them irritating. What's the point of having a quiet PC that announces itself with bright lights?

Having said all of that let me mention some of the reasons I wanted this board in the first place:

a) I liked the lower positioning of the VGA card, feeling that would interfere less with case airflow.

b) The bios allows you to control the voltage of SIX different fans. I don't remember how low the voltage can go (check the online manual at the Abit download site), it's at least 8V though, maybe as low as 6V (but I don't think so).
Edit: I've put the emphasis on the wrong thing here! I certainly don't want six fans! I believe the Abit board allows for a lower voltage though. Also I believe the Assus board is limited to controlling only two fans (though it has more three pin headers and can monitor more than two fans).

c) I like the sideways mounting of the IDE cables, it makes cable routing a little bit neater.

Overall, if I had to do it over again, I'd go with an Assus board primarily because of #2 (though I'm not entirely sure that Assus is any better). For me that's a make-or-break issue.
Last edited by mginou on Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

mginou
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Post by mginou » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:09 am

Going slightly off topic... how does the ASUS 6600 work in your case as far as heat goes? You running a fan on it?
Just thought I'd note that my Assus 6200 PCIe card will not run without a fan :( . And even worse, it uses a proprietary two pin connector :shock:.

It's not the same card, but I thought it might be relevant.

dfrost
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Post by dfrost » Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:12 am

mginou,

Have you tried MBM5 with your Abit motherboard? It's working fine with my Abit AI7, but for stable temp readings uGuru should be disabled. Or is MBM5 not Linux-capable?

FanEQ still works through BIOS (and my uGuru adjustments inWindows never worked quite right). I never could get the BIOS flash to work in uGuru.

MBM5 is able to read all the fan headers as well as HDD temps, unlike my older version of uGuru.

|Romeo|
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Post by |Romeo| » Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:48 pm

Centaur wrote:
|Romeo| wrote:I'm intrigued, what do you have that is not happy with a USB parallel port?
Thanks for the comments. It's an EPROM programmer.
Thanks. I've only ever seen RS232 ones.

For what it's worth, I generally prefer Asus boards

Freelancer77
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Post by Freelancer77 » Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:11 pm

Going slightly off topic... how does the ASUS 6600 work in your case as far as heat goes? You running a fan on it? How's the case temps? Looks like an interesting vid card (which I still need to choose) and reasonable price.
I have the ASUS EN6600GT/TOP, and it runs quite well. Even before I swapped in a Zalman VF700CU, it never got very hot. Now, the VF700 even helps cool the northbridge heatsink (NB47J) and is much quieter than the stock GPU fan. I personally see the 6600GT as the price/performance breakpoint right now for video, until 6800 prices start coming down due to 7800 introduction.

~El~Jefe~
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:39 am

This is a very nice motherboard.

too bad it has no "com port" or regular serial port.

i hate when board people dont add these, it's so l33t and kiddie styled.

I actually use them for external high quality modems, and I use linux as well, its all configured for it all, so.... just add the 20 cent part would ya?

noac
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Post by noac » Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:14 pm

MajereXYU wrote:Hello!

I just bought the Asus A8N-SLI Premium and I must say I don't regret it.

As you said, the heatsink (pretty well designed if you ask me) of the heatpipe northbridge cooler on the Asus is positioned right by the 120mm exhaust fan in my P180.
Hi, Im struggling to devide between A8N-SLI premium and the Gigabyte K8N Ultra SLI.

Im wondering about how the GPU tunnel/duct works with the position of the GPU on the A8N. Does help cooling the card or does it not align with it? Im asking bcos I read at this forum that the K8N didnt and that the tunnel was a waste in the p180.

Freelancer77
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Post by Freelancer77 » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 am

noac wrote:
MajereXYU wrote:Hello!

I just bought the Asus A8N-SLI Premium and I must say I don't regret it.

As you said, the heatsink (pretty well designed if you ask me) of the heatpipe northbridge cooler on the Asus is positioned right by the 120mm exhaust fan in my P180.
Hi, Im struggling to devide between A8N-SLI premium and the Gigabyte K8N Ultra SLI.

Im wondering about how the GPU tunnel/duct works with the position of the GPU on the A8N. Does help cooling the card or does it not align with it? Im asking bcos I read at this forum that the K8N didnt and that the tunnel was a waste in the p180.
The value of the VGA duct in the P180 is quite subjective. It is employed to good benefit in my A8N SLI-based system, others have left it out. Oversized GPU cards or cooling devices make it impossible to fit the VGA duct.

MajereXYU
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Post by MajereXYU » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:10 am

@Centaur:

My 6600 runs quite cool.
I didnt' figure out how to have it report temps yet (didn't have time) but the heatsink only gets warm, not hot.

It comes factory-passively cooled and I don't use the VGA duct yet, as my 80mm L1A Panaflo only fits "inside" the duct and is way too noisy in there.
I'll have to 5V it to get it to a bearable level.

The fan in the duct is perfectly aligned with the PCI-E x16 port on my A8N-SLI.

Overall, I am really impressed with this motherboard (and my expectations were high, given the price tag).
It is really well designed, stable and full featured.

Small details are what sets it apart.
The heatpiped NB, the generous spacing between the 2 x16 ports, so video cards can breathe better/fit bigger coolers without problems etc

I would buy the A8N-SLI Premium again in a heartbeat if I had to choose another motherboard.

And that 6600 is really nice. I only tested it in Final Fantasy XI (which is about the only game I play these days) and I will report when I test it in FPS'. So far, it is faster than my ATi All-in-Wonder 9600PRO AGP 8X 128MB. And being an Asus, I can only expect high reliability from it (and passively cooled with a 3 years warranty).

Hope that helps.

zoob
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Post by zoob » Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:55 am

Does anyone who owns one of these NB heatpiped boards also use an Antec P180 or a similarly upside-down placed motherboard mount? Does Asus or Abit specify the mounting direction?

Ackelind
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Post by Ackelind » Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:44 pm

I've heart from other peoples experiences at other forums that the A8N-SLI premium can NOT be mounted upside down, like in some Lian-Li cases. The chipset will run hot, and the heatsink will still be cold :(

Luckily, the P180 mounts the motherboard the normal way.

ronrem
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Post by ronrem » Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:58 pm

Centaur wrote:
|Romeo| wrote:I'm intrigued, what do you have that is not happy with a USB parallel port?
Thanks for the comments. It's an EPROM programmer. I bought it about 2 years ago and use it a few times a month. The manufacturer may make a USB version one of these days but I'm not sure about that. Either way I really like this one due to it's versatility/ease of use and don't want to give it up. I considered a PCI card adaptor, which I'm pretty sure would work as it would assign a true LPT port but I hate to use up a valuable PCI slot like that... after I add my sound card and modem I won't have any left! The other poster had some great observations on the ASUS board so I think I'm going to go that direction.
I switched to a USB modem-a good idea as you get beyond the conflicts,since then-went DSL-an even better idea-that frees a pci slot either way

As to the Abit board-love the layout-sortoff-would open up a rear hole big enough to mount a 120mm on the back...through that NB heatsink. As the fan would be in a mount built onto the back,the fangard on that heatsink can get removed for better airflow. That is also a great spot to draw CPU heat out of the case.

daremo
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Post by daremo » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:08 am

I have had nothing but boot problems with my Abit An8 Ultra. I agree with mginou in that I wish I had gone with Asus. (I need a board that my Thermalright XP-120 will fit, though)

MajereXYU
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Post by MajereXYU » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:26 am

the Asus A8N-SLI Premium fits the XP-120 perfectly, even with room to spare...

UnitedConfusion
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Post by UnitedConfusion » Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:09 pm

Does the Scythe Ninja fit without issue on the Asus A8N-SLi board?

From these pictures, I believe it would be a non-issue. Any experiences?

Thanks.

UnitedConfusion
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Post by UnitedConfusion » Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:00 pm

For those interested, the Ninja will indeed fit without issue; it's a tighter squeeze compared to the Abit board, of course.

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:34 pm

zoob wrote:Does anyone who owns one of these NB heatpiped boards also use an Antec P180 or a similarly upside-down placed motherboard mount? Does Asus or Abit specify the mounting direction?
P180 doesn't have an upside down motherboard mount. Its the same orientation as the majority of ATX tower cases. I've think you got confused because the PSU is below the motherboard compartment.

Rory Buszka
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Post by Rory Buszka » Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:45 pm

daremo - you didn't happen to be using an Antec NeoHE power supply, did you? If so, it's seriously not the board's fault.

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Post by JVM » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:34 pm

Freelancer77 wrote:
Going slightly off topic... how does the ASUS 6600 work in your case as far as heat goes? You running a fan on it? How's the case temps? Looks like an interesting vid card (which I still need to choose) and reasonable price.
I have the ASUS EN6600GT/TOP, and it runs quite well. Even before I swapped in a Zalman VF700CU, it never got very hot. Now, the VF700 even helps cool the northbridge heatsink (NB47J) and is much quieter than the stock GPU fan. I personally see the 6600GT as the price/performance breakpoint right now for video, until 6800 prices start coming down due to 7800 introduction.
I was considering the ASUS EN6600GT/TOP but the comments on Newegg about the card getting hot scares me. Are you saying the card didn't run hot without a fan blowing on it? What kind of case fans are you using, and what cooler? Also, what is your cpu?

ronrem
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Post by ronrem » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:21 am

Abit,it what seems a triumph of stupidity,has discontinued the AN8-Ultra so now its pay extra for SLI you don't want....or maybe go Via :idea:

kkzz
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Post by kkzz » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:52 am

Another vote for the Asus Premium from me, I've used one for six months without a single crash, lockup or problem. Bios are rock solid and with sufficient options. Temperatures are absolutely fine, no problems plugging things into it, my Thermalright SI-120 was easy to fit and left me room to remove my RAM without dismounting the cooler. Only slight issue was remembering to plug the 4 pin ATX lead in first as its covered by the Thermalright cooler. I thought about upgrading to the Asus A8N32 but I didn't see the point. I'll probably keep this board until the time comes when M2 boards are worthwhile. You also get a large amount of extra attachments with it
_____________________________________________________________
Asus A8N Sli Premium, 2GB Dual Channel OCZ Platinum, AMD 3500+, Thermalright SI 120 with Nexus fan, Seasonic 600w, Hitachi SATA 2 in Zalman cage, Creative X-fi Elite Pro, Asus 7800GTX Top, 2xAcousti Dustproof 120mm with gaskets, Akasa Fan Control Pro, Akasa Eclipse case, Plextor Premium CDRW, Samsung DVD

JVM
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Post by JVM » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:06 am

kkzz wrote:Another vote for the Asus Premium from me, I've used one for six months without a single crash, lockup or problem. Bios are rock solid and with sufficient options. Temperatures are absolutely fine, no problems plugging things into it, my Thermalright SI-120 was easy to fit and left me room to remove my RAM without dismounting the cooler. Only slight issue was remembering to plug the 4 pin ATX lead in first as its covered by the Thermalright cooler. I thought about upgrading to the Asus A8N32 but I didn't see the point. I'll probably keep this board until the time comes when M2 boards are worthwhile. You also get a large amount of extra attachments with it
_____________________________________________________________
Asus A8N Sli Premium, 2GB Dual Channel OCZ Platinum, AMD 3500+, Thermalright SI 120 with Nexus fan, Seasonic 600w, Hitachi SATA 2 in Zalman cage, Creative X-fi Elite Pro, Asus 7800GTX Top, 2xAcousti Dustproof 120mm with gaskets, Akasa Fan Control Pro, Akasa Eclipse case, Plextor Premium CDRW, Samsung DVD
How are you cooling that Asus 7800GTX Top?

kkzz
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Post by kkzz » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:28 am

Its factory fitted with an Arctic Cooler (which runs quietly) If I ever figure out the Asus Smartdoctor utility I'll be able me to alter the fan speed if I ever need to

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