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ASUS M3N-HT Deluxe/Mempipe Motherboard

A decent gaming PC foundation for NVIDIA fans.

September 1, 2008



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System monitoring (ITE IT8716F-S, BIOS Setup)

  • CPU voltage, +3.3 V, +5 V, and +12 V
  • RPM of four fans
  • CPU and board temperatures (by the corresponding embedded sensors)
  • Smart Q-Fan Function -- automatic rpm control of the CPU fan and chassis fan depending on CPU and system temperatures. Users can adjust two parameters -- control method (PWM for 4-pin fans or voltage control) and cooling/noise priority (Optimal, Silent, and Performance). Performance and Optimal modes employ similar algorithms --almost maximum rpm is reached at 40°C, Silent sets half of the speed at this temperature, the fan speeds up to maximum at 55°C.

Onboard ports, sockets, and connectors

  • Processor socket (Socket AM2, Socket AM2+ compatible, officially supports Phenom, Athlon 64/X2, and Sempron processors for Socket AM2 and Socket AM2+ with TDP up to 140 W, the list of products, tested for compatibility, is published on the web site)
  • 4 x DDR2 SDRAM DIMM (up to 8 GB of DDR2-533/667/800/1066, dual-channel mode, the list of compatible devices is published on the web site)
  • 2 x PCIEx16 2.0 (operating in x16 mode with two graphics cards, and in x8 mode with three cards installed)
  • 1 x PCIEx16 2.0 (operating in x1 mode; when a graphics card is installed into this slot, it's reconfigured to x8)
  • 1 x PCIEx1 2.0
  • 2 x PCI
  • Power connectors: standard ATX 2.2 (24 pins) and an 8-pin EPS12V connector for a processor (you can also use a standard 4-pin ATX12V)
  • 1 x FDD
  • IDE (Parallel ATA) for two ATA133 devices -- chipset-based
  • 6 x chipset-based SATA-II (Serial ATA II) for six SATA300 devices, connected disks can form RAID 0, 1, and 0+1
  • 3 connectors for rear panel brackets with 6 x USB
  • 2 connectors for brackets with 2 x FireWire
  • Connector for a bracket with a COM port
  • S/PDIF-Out connector
  • 1 x CD/DVD audio connector
  • Connectors for analog audio ins and outs on the front panel
  • Connector for a Chassis Intrusion sensor
  • Four fan headers with rpm control, the 4-pin header for a CPU fan supports fine speed control and provides backward compatibility with 3-pin fans

Back panel (left to right, blockwise)



Click for the isometric view.

  • PS/2 keyboard, 2 x USB
  • Coaxial and optical S/PDIF-Outs
  • VGA, HDMI
  • 2 x USB and 1 x RJ-45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • eSATA II
  • 6 x Analog Audio (Center/Sub, Side-Out, Rear-Out, Line-In, Front-Out, Mic-In).

Package Contents



  • Package: a relatively small box for such a motherboard
  • Documentation: User Manual in English
  • 3-Way SLI Bridge
  • 6 x Serial ATA cables and a power splitter for two devices
  • 1 x ATA66, 1 x FDD
  • Rear panel bracket with 2 x USB and 1 x FireWire
  • ASUS Cool Mempipe
  • A fan for the chipset heat sink, if you use liquid or passive CPU cooling
  • HDMI-DVI adapter
  • Rear I/O shield
  • Q-Connectors
  • CD with drivers and ASUS utilities

The bundle of proprietary utilities includes: ASUS Update (to flash BIOS in Windows, to search and download the latest version from the official web site), PC Probe II (to monitor system parameters), AI Suite (to overclock and tweak the system), Norton Internet Security 2006, and WinDVD Copy 5 Trial.

Integrated Controllers

  • Audio, based on the Analog Devices AD1988 HDA codec, 7.1-ch audio, front line-ins/outs, CD-In, and 3 x S/PDIF-Out jacks
  • Gigabit Ethernet supporting 10/100/1000 Mbps based on the chipset support and Atheros F1 PHY controller, AI NET (BIOS monitors a cable connection and detects the distance to a cable break)
  • SATA-II controller: based on the Marvell 6111 chip (PCI-Express) supporting eSATA devices to be plugged to the rear panel
  • FireWire, based on the Agere FW322 chip, supporting two FireWire IEEE1394a ports

The integrated audio quality was tested in 16 bit 44 kHz mode using RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.0.5 and the ESI Juli@ sound card:


Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.17, -0.04 Very good
Noise level, dB (A): -85.6 Good
Dynamic range, dB (A): 85.2 Good
THD, %: 0.0085 Very good
THD + Noise, %: -68.9 Average
Intermodulation distortion + Noise, %: 0.052 Good
Channel crosstalk, dB: -90.0 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.032 Good

General performance: Very good. Audio codecs from Analog Devices are notable for nice analog audio quality and strange behaviour of digital audio outputs. It's not the best choice for such a motherboard these days. If we use RMAA results, it's similar to Realtek ALC888.

Proprietary technologies and peculiarities

  • Stack Cool 2 -- an additional layer of the PCB, which allows to channel the heat away from the main chips
  • AI Clock Skew -- choosing a memory clocking mode to provide maximum operating stability at increased frequencies
  • AI Net 2 -- both network controllers automatically detect a damaged cable - LAN Cable Status option in BIOS
  • EZ Flash 2 and CrashFree BIOS 3 -- flashing BIOS using a built-in utility (it allows to read BIOS image from a floppy, flash drive, or compact disc, and to restore BIOS automatically from the above listed media after an unsuccessful flash attempt
  • O.C. Profile -- you can store BIOS settings in CMOS memory (two profiles) or in a file on a hard drive to make it convenient to restore a "good" profile in the process of overclocking or even to exchange settings between users
  • Crystal Sound, includes Noise Filter -- removing noises (generated by system fans, air conditioners, etc) in the process of sound recording. AI Audio 2 -- filtering human voice frequencies into the virtual central channel for higher effect on a listener in movies. It's a function of SoundStorm software for the integrated audio codec.

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Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Interfaces, package, controllers

Page 3: BIOS, overclocking, performance



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