Until NVIDIA releases its nForce 680a chipset for Athlon processors, this is probably as good as it gets for AMD Athlon motherboards.

It's NVIDIA's range-topping nForce 590 that does the chipset duties, so the full complement of 32 PCI-E lanes is available for maximum multi-GPU rendering performance.

But if the spec-for-spec fisticuffs between the M2N32 and its nForce 590-powered competitor the Foxconn C51XEM2AA are too close to call, in terms of overclocking ability it really is no contest. With the CPU multiplier on our Athlon 64 FX- 62 cranked down, the M2N32 posted a huge bus speed of 350MHz.

Add in a great range of BIOS overclocking options and you can be sure whatever Athlon 64 X2 CPU you plump for, this motherboard will beat every last drop of performance out of it.