After having sold my graphic card due to a descission of not playing battlefield anymore I had little use for my athlon 64 board with an AGP socket. Actually the board was useless as I didn’t even have an old AGP card laying around. Instead of buying an already obsolete AGP graphics card I invested some money in a socket 939 PCI Express Board.
The obvious choice would have been to buy an Nvidia Nforce4 based board. That would however, have required me to buy either an expensive graphic card (tempting but would have been a personal failure as I would end up playing BF2 again).
Instead I choose the Asus A8N CSM board. Based around an Nvidia 6150 northbridge and a Nvidia 430 southbridge this board is worth every penny. Onboard everything and decent performance for $60!! The review that convinced me.
So after installing the board and playing around a bit with it I consider it my best mainboard purchase in quite a while. I was really interessted in the picture and sound quality and I have to say that I’m impressed. It is a wonder that the Analog Devices chips are not used more than they are. I have a hard time telling the difference between my Audigy 2ZS and the onboard AD1986A. Reviews has stated that this was to be expected but I thought they overhyped the chip, but this isn’t the case.
I will give it 8 out of 10. Deducting 1 point for Asus not shipping the tv-out bracket with the board and 1 point for not enabling over/underclocking and voltage in the bios.