Folks shopping for the latest Phenom II processors from AMD have a new motherboard to consider—and more could follow soon. An Asus mobo based on Nvidia's nForce 980a SLI chipset has quietly appeared at Newegg.
Nvidia hasn't made much noise about the nForce 980a SLI, but it's listed on the company's website right now. Specifications look pretty much the same as for the older nForce 780a SLI, with one notable exception: Socket AM3 with DDR3 memory support. Strangely enough, though, this particular motherboard only supports DDR2 memory.
Otherwise, the Asus M4N82 has many of the features one would expert from a $170 enthusiast mobo. You'll find three PCI Express x16 slots, six Serial ATA ports (including one external port), FireWire, an "8+1 Phase" power design, and a network of fancy heatsinks connected by heat pipes.
This motherboard's quiet debut suggests nForce 980a SLI mobos with DDR3 memory slots could soon see the light of day. That's good news for users who want to build Phenom II-based setups with multiple Nvidia graphics cards.