Asus P5N7A-VM: Geforce 9300 IGP

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Asus P5N7A-VM: Geforce 9300 IGP

Dec 1, 2008 by Lawrence Lee

Product Asus P5N7A-VM
Intel LGA775 Motherboard
Manufacturer ASUSTeK
Street Price US$130

For awhile there it seemed like nVidia was stuck in the bargain-basement chipset market when it came to the Intel platform. Budget users looking for an Intel-chipset had to choose between aging motherboards based on the 945G/GC chipset, which had spotty CPU support, and the G31 boards, which had limited features and a relatively high price-tag. nVidia's GeForce 7 boards, by comparison, were a bargain, delivering plenty of features at affordable prices, though at the cost of having only a single memory controller.

When more advanced integrated chipsets like Intel's G33 and G35 were released, Intel pretty much had free-reign, despite offering poor 3D performance. Their only real competition came from nVidia whose GeForce 8, for whatever reason, never materialized in LGA775 form. For Core 2 users seeking a top-end motherboard, Intel was the only game in town and they paid a premium for it. Now, Intel finally has a little competition — their latest G45 chipset may have a worthy opponent in nVidia's GeForce 9300 chipset. We have an Asus P5N7A-VM GeForce 9300 motherboard on the test bench today and we're hoping it can break Intel's virtual monopoly.

GeForce 9300 block diagram.

The star of GeForce 9300 is its integrated graphics processor. It is nVidia's first DirectX 10 capable IGP and comes complete with Shader Model 4.0 support as well as 16 shader processors. It also supports Hybrid Power/SLI, CUDA, and PhysX just like the discrete versions of the GeForce 9 series.

Another glossy blue Intel motherboard box from Asus.

Accessories are sparse.

Asus P5N7A-VM: Specifications (from the product web page)
CPU Intel® Socket 775 Core™2 Quad/Core™2 Extreme/Core™2 Duo/Pentium® D/Celeron dual-core/Celeron Processors Compatible with Intel® 05B/05A/06 processors
Support Intel® 45nm CPU
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology ready
* Refer to for Intel CPU support list
Chipset NVIDIA GeForce 9300/nForce 730i
Front Side Bus 1333/1066/800 MHz
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR2 800/667 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
*When installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Hence, a total installed memory of less than 3GB is recommended.
** Refer to or user manual for Memory QVL (Qualify Vendor List)
Expansion Slots 1 x PCIe x16
1 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI
VGA Integrated GeForce 9300 GPU
Hybrid SLI support (support Windows Vista only)
CUDA support
PhysX support
Maximus shared memory of 512MB
Integrated GeForce Series DirectX 10 Shader Model 4.0 graphics processor
Supports HDMI interface with HDCP compliant with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 (1080p) @70Hz
Supports DVI interface with HDCP compliant with max. resolution up to 1600x1200 @60Hz
Supports D-Sub with max. resolution up to 2048x1536, Horizontal:115KHz Vertical:75Hz
Supports DP with max. resolution up to 2560x1600 @60Hz
Storage Southbridge
- 5 x SATA 3 Gb/s ports ,1 x External SATA
- Support RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD
JMicron® JMB368 PATA controller
- 1 x UltraDMA 133/100 (RED)
LAN Gigabit LAN
Audio Realtek ALC1200 8 -Channel High-Definition Audio CODEC
USB 12 USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
ASUS Unique Features EPU-4 Engine
Express Gate
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
ASUS Q-Fan 2
ASUS EZ Flash 2
ASUS MyLogo 2
ASUS O.C. Profile
ASUS Q-connector
Overclocking Features Precision Tweaker
- vDIMM: 64 -step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0625V increment
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- FSB tuning from 133MHz up to 600MHz at 1MHz increments
Overclocking Protection
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 KB/MS Combo
1 x Optical SPDIF
1 x DP
1 x HDMI port
1 x VGA port
1 x DVI port
1 x eSATA port
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0
8 Channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors 3 x USB connectors support additional 6 USB ports
3 x Fan Connectors: CPU / Chassis / Power Fan
Front panel High Definition audio connector
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
1 x CD audio in connector
1 x 24-pin EPS Power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
System Panel
BIOS 8 Mb Flash ROM
AMI BIOS, Green, PnP, DMI v2.0, Wfm2.0, ACPI v2.0a, SMBIOS v2.5
Manageability WOL, PXE, WOR by Ring, PME Wake Up
Accessories UltraDMA 133/100 cable
SATA cables
I/O Shield
2 in 1 Q-connector
User's manual
Support Disc Express Gate
ASUS Update
Image-Editing suite
Anti-virus software
Form Factor uATX Form Factor
9.6 inch x 9.2 inch ( 24.4 cm x 23.4 cm )

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