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The mobo
Those Quad FX kits I was talking about are bound to come with an Asus L1N64-SLI WS motherboard, because, well, that's the only Quad FX board available at this point. AMD chose Asus as its exclusive launch partner for this platform, so this one Asus motherboard is the lone Quad FX mobo option. That's not necessarily a bad thing for many reasons. The L1N64-SLI WS is definitely a worthy board, with a full suite of features, overclocking options, and BIOS tweaks like any high-end, enthusiast-class board from Asus.


I have those three chipset coolers mounted on the board because I was using the board on an open test bench with no extra forced airflow. In a properly cooled case, they may not be necessary. Then again, I wouldn't bet on it.

The thing has two CPU sockets, four DIMM slots, four PCIe x16 graphics slots, one PCI slot, one PCIe x1 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a disturbing and wrong 12 SATA ports.


Yes, that's 12 SATA ports, all clumped together on the corner of the board.



Here's a look at one of the CPU sockets, which has 1207 pins in it, arranged much like an Intel Core 2 Duo's socket.

I am a big fan of Asus' recent high-end mobos. I think they get nearly everything important right, and the L1N64-SLI WS follows that successful formula quite closely. I could nitpick, but for the most part, I'd have few qualms about making this mobo the heart of a Quad FX system for myself—save for two things.

First, like most dual-socket mobos, the L1N64-SLI WS doesn't quite fit into a standard ATX form factor. Asus has heroically crammed an awful lot into a small space, but it's not quite enough to meet the standard. The max dimensions for full-sized ATX board are 12" by 9.6". The L1N64-SLI WS is 12" by 10.5", nearly an inch deeper. On top of that, you have an IDE port facing off of the inside edge of the board. You will want to measure the space in your chosen enclosure carefully before trying to install this board in it. I expect the L1N64-SLI WS to fit into some of the better enclosures out there, but definitely not all of them.

Second, there's the price. Asus says the L1N64-SLI WS will list for $349.99, and I wouldn't be shocked to see it selling at a premium initially. AMD has gone a long way toward making the Quad FX platform somewhat affordable with its $599 pricing of FX-70 pairs, but the price tag on this puppy raises the cost of entry significantly—especially compared to some of the boards that support the Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme QX6700. AMD couldn't give us any timetable for the arrival of additional Quad FX motherboards, so the L1N64-SLI WS will probably be the only option for some time yet.