FireWire has been removed from the back panel and moved on to a blanking plate instead, but an extra Gigabit LAN connection has been added. As well as the four USB ports on the back panel, there is also a blanking plate with an extra two USB ports.
The rest of the details are mainly cosmetic, but the one that makes a big difference is change in position of the PCI Express slots. Instead of being crowded right next to each other which can cause heat issues, they are now further apart with the second slot swapped around with the first PCI slot. The number of slots is still the same, with three PCI, one PCI Express x1 and naturally two PCI Express x16.
Whereas the A8R-MVP board has a molex connector to supply extra power to the board when running in CrossFire, this has been removed on the A8R32-MVP Deluxe. We can only assume this removal is the reason we had problems using our Silverstone 650W power supply with the newer motherboard, despite it working fine with an identical set up on the A8R-MVP. We were surprised to see that this board is still only using a four phase power setup instead of the eight phase configuration that we have seen on the equivalent Asus SLI motherboard.
As already mentioned, one of the major aspects of this chipset upgrade is that of overclocking. The BIOS is feature packed, as we have come to expect from Asus. It uses a rather non-standard layout which takes a little getting used to, and the more you look around the more options seem to unravel. As well as FSB adjustment up to 400MHz, there is full adjustment of memory, HyperTransport, FID/VID and voltages to almost every aspect of the motherboard – including an extra 200mv boost to the CPU Vcore. At first glance, the BIOS on the A8R-MVP is very similar, but is lacking some of the extra tweaks such as north bridge voltage control.
With a lowered multiplier, the A8R32-MVP had a stable speed all the way up to 380MHz putting it easily on par with an nForce 4 motherboard. The A8R-MVP on the other hand was a huge disappointment being stable at a maximum of 220MHz FSB, even with a lowered CPU and memory multiplier. Kudos to Macci for a job well done.