Starting our tour of the ASUS P5N-E SLI in the upper right hand corner, we begin with four DIMM slots. These memory slots support DDR2-800/667/533 along with supporting EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles) memory. Nearing the bottom of the motherboard are two ATA-133 IDE slots, four Serial ATA 2.0 ports, one USB 2.0 header, one IEEE-1394a Firewire header, and the front panel header. Near these components is also the NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI MCP, which also provides up to five PCI slots and one Gigabit Ethernet connection with NVIDIA's FirstPacket Technology. The NVIDIA MCP for the 650i is not cooled by a heatsink, but in two of the corners are holes into the P5N-E SLI PCB if you wish to mount a pushpin heatsink. There is also a VIA VT6308P ASIC on the south side of the motherboard, which provides two IEEE-1394a Firewire ports. One of these ports is implemented as a header right below the chip, while the other is on the rear of the motherboard.
Moving onto the expansion slots are two PCI Express x16, one PCI Express x1, and two PCI slots. With the NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI Chipset being the budget version of the nForce 680i, the P5N-E SLI can only offer a PCI-E x16 signal to one of the slots, or can divide the signal in half so that each of the PCI Express x16 sized slots will have an x8 signal for SLI. Like the original NVIDIA SLI motherboards, a paddle between the two slots controls the PCI Express signal. To provide extra ventilation between and allowing room for the PCI-E paddle, the PCI Express x1 slot is positioned between the two graphics card slots.
Moving above the expansion slots is a hefty-sized aluminum heatsink. This passive heatsink covers the NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI SPP, which provides the PCI Express x16 signal (or two PCI-E x8), dual channel DDR2-800, two PCI-E x1 signals, and support for Intel LGA-775 Intel Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, and Pentium class processors. This heatsink is larger than normal, but it shouldn't obstruct any retail heatsinks or water cooling blocks from being mounted on the processor. The P5N-E SLI socket supports processors with a front side bus of up to 1333MHz. At the rear of the motherboard are the six channel audio ports along with one eSATA, four USB 2.0, one 10/100/1000 Ethernet, PS/2, one S/PDIF coaxial out, one IEEE-1394a Firewire, and one parallel port. The layout of the ASUS P5N-E SLI is not perfect, but it is definitely workable for being a $130 ASUS motherboard.