In this section we take the Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe and install it in a standard, very popular ATX case in order to see if any of the design decisions made by the Asus engineers will affect the installation process or accessory usage. This section was started with my Asus A8R32-MVP motherboard review and received a lot of positive feedback.
You can see that even with our large Zalman heatsink, the fins on the heat pipe cooling solution don’t interfere with anything. The heat pipe does take up a lot of space though as is evident from this view on our board installation.
Connecting the power cables and data cables to the motherboard you can see that the secondary ATX power connection makes us have to stretch the cable across the processor heatsink. Definitely not the optimal solution.
Adding the first graphics card (a dual slot 7950 GX2 card) shows that we have no problems with SATA connections or anything on the heat pipe.
Installing our second card isn’t as easy though — our installation of the SATA cable into the first port definitely interferes with the installation of the 7950 GX2 card; it simply won’t go with the SATA cable installed.
I thought I was going to let them off the hook for this one after I realized the SATA cables they included were right-angle neck connections. Surely one of these would keep the profile low enough that we could install the second video card.
Not the case though, as even with the right angle cable, we still couldn’t install the card. Well, moving the SATA cable back closer to the primary card got around the issue, but this is something that just shouldn’t have happened. Surely Asus knew users were going use the M2N32-SLI motherboard SLI configurations?
One more issue cropped up too with SLI cards installed. Whatever dongle you put at the top of the case (above the primary video card) will not reach the header on the bottom of the motherboard!
Finally, here is what the back of your case is going to look like with a fully decked out system like we had in our installation test. The wireless antennae and microphone are attached for effect.