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Appeared on: Thursday, February 08, 2007
Asus P5WDH Deluxe


1. Introduction

Asus has a well established name in motherboards for both Intel and AMD platforms. The Asus P5W DH Deluxe board has been on the market for quite a while and we finally had the opportunity to test and compared it with other, latest release Asus boards for the Core2Duo platform. So how does the "older" Asus P5W DH Deluxe stack up against the newer P5B Deluxe and P5W64WS Pro motherboards? Let's find out...

- Asus P5W DH Deluxe

The Asus P5WDH Deluxe is based on Intel's 975 chipset, which supports Intel®Core™2Extreme, Core™2Duo, Pentium®4EE, Pentium®D, Pentium®4, CeleronD processors for Socket LGA775. It features 1066/800/533MHz FSB, dual-channel un-buffered DDR2 667/533/400 x 4DIMMs up to a maximum of 4GB.

- Features

The idea of the digital home has gained great momentum and is a great influence on the PC industry. To enjoy the full benefits of digital entertainment, you need an ASUS Digital Home series motherboard, a system that is designed solely for this purpose. The ASUS Digital Home series motherboard enables users to control the computer from a distance, setup a wireless network and take advantage of the wireless Skype phone, charge mobile devices even when the PC is turned off, and backup the database automatically. Enjoy the comforts of the digital home you deserve.

The ASUS P5W DH Deluxe is specially designed for Gamers, Personal Workstation, SoHo, high-end and multi-tasking PC users. The Intel 975X is Intel's most high-end desktop chipset, designed to support Intel's next generation CPU, ATI CrossFire Graphics, with a maximum 8GB dual-channel DDR2 800/667/533 architecture, 1066/800 FSB (front-side-bus). Easily build an entertainment PC or create a multimedia environment with its exceptionally high bandwidth. Together with the Serial ATA ports enabled through the SATA 3Gb/s RAID controller integrated in the ICH7R Southbridge, the Intel 975X satisfies multi-task processing and data security.

The main features are:

- Intel® Quad-core CPU Ready
- LGA775 socket for Intel Core2 Duo, Core2 Extreme
- Intel 975X +Intel ICH7R 1066/800MHz
- Dual-channel DDR2 800/667/ 533 max 8GB
- 2 x PCI-E x 16 / 2 x PCI-E x 1/ 3 x PCI
- Support ATI CrossFire graphics cards
- Intel Matrix Storage technology
- Dual Gigabit LAN
- Dolby Master Studio technology
- ASUS EZ-Backup
- ASUS Digital Home features

LGA775 Intel® Quad-core Processor Ready
This motherboard supports the latest Intel® Quad-core processors in LGA775 package. It's excellent for multi-tasking, multi-media and enthusiastic gamers with 1066/800 MHz FSB. Intel® Quad-core is one of the most powerful CPU in the world.

Intel® 65nm Dual-Core CPU support
This motherboard supports Intel Pentium D/Pentium 4/Celeron dual-core processors built on the 65-nanometer (nm) process technology with copper interconnect.


Intel® MPT (Intel® Memory Pipeline Technology)
The Intel® Memory Pipeline Technology (Intel MPT) delivers additional system-level performance by optimizing memory access between CPU and system memory, and allows increased performance at standard operating specifications.

Intel 975X chipset
The Intel 975X is the latest chipset designed to support Dual PCI Express graphics, along with the maximum 8GB dual-channel DDR2 667/533 architecture, 1066/800 FSB (front-side-bus), and Dual-core CPU. Easily build a workstation or create a multimedia environment with its exceptionally high bandwidth. Together with the Serial ATA ports enabled through the SATA 3Gb/s RAID controller integrated in the ICH7R Southbridge, the Intel 975X satisfies multi-task processing and data security.

ATI CrossFire Technology
ATI's CrossFire boosts image quality along with rendering speed, eliminating the need to crank down screen resolutions to get the high image quality you want. CrossFire ignites with the higher antialiasing, anisotropic filtering, shading, and texture settings you desire.

ASUS EZ-Backup™
Others guarantee your hard-drive, EZ-Backup guarantees your data on the hard-drive.

No driver, no configuration, just plug and play RAID to backup your data instantaneously. Exclusive to ASUS EZ-Backup™, users can utilize SATA2 technology to arrange RAID1 (default) or RAID0 system without BIOS or any other setup. EZ-Backup™ is ideal for anyone who wishes to secure the data on the hard-drive but doesn't want the hassle of complicated software configuration. EZ-Backup™ looks after your data for you.


Asus DH Remote™
It's finally here, the convenient remote controller for your PC!

Introducing DH Remote™, a convenient PC remote controller that gives users unprecedented control over their PCs from the comfort of their couches. With the touch of a button, users can quickly power their PCs on/off, put the computer into suspend mode, and turn the computer noise down.

Moreover, revolutionary ASUS technology allows users to run wireless devices such as Skype and wireless AP while the computer is still sleeping. Of course the remote gives you all of the features of a more traditional remote as well, such as volume control, play, pause, fast-forward or rewind. Users can also customize the buttons to suit specific needs. Have DH Remote™ in your hand and do more with your PC at a distance away!


ASUS WiFi-AP Solo
Why buy wireless AP off the store when you can have it on board?

WiFi AP Solo allows a new level of versatility for your PC, enabling it to create a complete wireless home network in either AP or wireless client mode. Users will be able to play LAN games, connect to the Internet, access and share printers, and use Skype from anywhere within range. WiFi-AP Solo can provide these functions even when the PC is in sleep mode, so users can use Skype as a true replacement for tradition long distance telephone service. WiFi-AP Solo is an on-board feature, which means that user will save the extra WiFi AP cost.


ASUS MP3-In™
Turn your mp3 player into a stereo system!

You can turn off your PC, and still use your computer speakers for any of your portable music players. Better sound quality without further stereo equipment cost.


ASUS Q-Connector

The ASUS Q-Connector allows you to connect or disconnect chassis front panel cables in one easy step with one complete module. This unique adapter eliminates the trouble of plugging in one cable at a time, making connection quick and accurate.


ASUS has devoted special efforts to address the thermal issues across the motherboard, and most notably the areas that reside the CPU, power, VGA, Northbridge and Southbridge.

Stack Cool 2

Stack Cool 2 is a fan-less and zero-noise cooling solution offered exclusively by ASUS. It effectively transfers heat generated by the critical components to the other side of the specially designed PCB (printed circuit board) for effective heat dissipation.


8 Phase Power Design

ASUS 8-Phase Power Design keeps CPU and power module away from suffering risk of high power stress, which makes CPU lifetime much longer and system more stable. Furthermore, It provides high efficiency operation to generate less heat than conventional power solutions and consequently achieve cool system environment. With this strong power pump, this motherboard is made for overclocking.


Fanless Design: Heat-pipe Thermal solution

Cooling fans, though a popular thermal solution, also come with noise and malfunction likelihood. ASUS Motherboard's fanless concept is specifically created to provide a cool environment without all the baggage. The heat pipe, heat sinks and strategic board layout were tailor made to dissipate heat in the most efficient manner.


ASUS two-slot thermal design (ASUS exclusive)

ASUS two-slot thermal design provides better air-flow and lower VGA cards temperature than other brands one-slot design, which also ensures better system stability and longer component life cycle.


DDR2 800 Support

To attain top performance, ASUS engineers successfully unleashed the true potential of DDR2 memory. Native DDR2 800 maximizes system performance by eliminating the bottleneck when overclocking both the CPU and memory, providing great performance for 3D graphics and other memory demanding applications.


ASUS Hyper Path3

Data transfers within the system are made possible by various mechanisms that synchronize the sending and receiving of commends among components. Unfortunately, these mechanisms cause data transfer delays known as latency time. This unique feature significantly shortens latency time during data transfers, allowing users to experience the real power of their computers.


AI NOS™
Applications such as 3D games and video editing demand a huge chunk of system resource.

Inject "nitrous oxide" into your CPU! The patented AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System) technology intelligently detects system load and automatically boosts performance for the most demanding tasks. Unlike other dynamic overclocking techniques, AI NOS™ reacts much faster to satisfy your unending need for speeds.


PEG Link
This latest technology, PEG (PCI Express Graphics) Link Mode, is a unique feature that enables users to boost graphics card performance for superior video quality.

PEG Link allows users to raise GPU and VGA memory throughput via the motherboard BIOS the same way system bus and memory bus are tweaked. PEG Link Mode enables powerful video performance on DX8 and DX9 applications. ASUS engineers carefully fine-tuned the parameters for every single PCI-Express card to provide system stability during high-speed graphics operation.


Precision Tweaker
Precision Tweaker is designed for serious overclockers. It offers ways to raise system performance inch-by-inch and step-by-step to achieve maximum performance! This is about getting the most out of your machine, and taking pride in your customized computer. Precision Tweaker provides overclocking options for all major parts of the system: CPU, Memory, PCI-Express, and Front Side Bus.

vDIMM
Take control of how much power is going into the memory modules. ASUS gives you 12-step voltage control to the DIMM
vCore
Find out "exactly" how much power your CPU needs. Fine-tune it with 0.0125 volts at a time!
PCI-Express x16 Frequency
Explore the frequency options of your PCI-Express x16 graphics card
SFS
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection) allows FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increments.

Dolby Master Studio

A person who truly knows good entertainment appreciates good acoustic presence. AI Lifestyle Series motherboards offer 8-channel audio output and sound spec higher than that of DVD. Enjoy true home theatre experience with the supreme Dolby Master Studio and hear your movies in 7.1 surround sound. With the P5W DH Deluxe , appreciate the quality of sound, and indulge your sense of hearing.
-Dolby Prologic IIx -Dolby Virtual speaker
-Dolby Headphone -Dolby Digital Live


CrashFree BIOS 3

The ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3 allows users to restore corrupted BIOS data from a USB flash disk containing the BIOS file. This utility saves users the cost and hassle of buying a replacement BIOS chip.


EZ-Flash2

EZ Flash 2 is a user-friendly BIOS update utility. Simply press the predefined hotkey to launch the utility and update the BIOS without entering the OS. Update your BIOS easily without preparing a bootable diskette or using an OS-based flash utility.


SATA on the Go

The motherboard supports Serial ATA (SATA) 3Gb/s storage specification, delivering enhanced scalability and doubling the bus bandwidth for high-speed data retrieval and saves. The external SATA port located at the back I/O provides smart setup and hot-plug functions. Easily backup photos, videos and other entertainment contents on external devices.


Dual Gigabit LAN

The integrated dual Gigabit LAN design allows a PC to serve as a network gateway for managing traffic between two separate networks. This capability ensures rapid transfer of data from WAN to LAN without any added arbitration or latency. No more bottleneck to handle large amounts of data such as video, audio, and voice.


IEEE 1394a

IEEE 1394a interface provides high speed digital interface for audio / video appliances such as digital television, digital video camcorders, storage peripherals & other PC portable devices.


S/PDIF-out on Back I/O Port

This motherboard provides convenient connectivity to external home theater audio systems via an optical or coaxial S/PDIF-out (SONY-PHILIPS Digital Interface) jack. It allows to transfer digital audio without converting to analog format and keeps the best signal quality.

- Full specifications

CPU
Intel® Quad-core CPU Ready
LGA775 socket for Intel® Pentium 4/Celeron CPU
Support Intel Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition & Intel Pentium® D Processor
Support Intel 65nm, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme
Compatible with Intel 05B/ 05A and 04B/04A processors
Intel EM64T and Hyper-Threading Technology ready
* Please update the latest BIOS to support Intel Quad-core CPU
Chipset
Intel 975X
Intel ICH7R
Front Side Bus
1066/ 800 MHz
Memory
Dual channel memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. 8GB DDR2 800/ 667/ 533 ECC and non-ECC memory
Intel MPT (Intel Memory Pipeline Technology)
ASUS Hyper Path3
Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express x 16 slot for discrete graphics card
2 x PCI Express x 1
3 x PCI
CrossFire
Support ATI CrossFire graphics cards (both @ x8 mode)
ASUS two-slot thermal design
ASUS PEG Link
Advanced Thermal Design
ASUS 8-Phase Power Design
ASUS Stack Cool2
ASUS Fanless Design: Heat-pipe Thermal solution
Storage/RAID
Intel ICH7R South Bridge:
  * 1 x UltraDMA 100/66/33
  * 3 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s with Intel® Matrix Storage Technology with RAID 0, 1, 5 support
Jmicron JMB363 controller
  * 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66
  * 1x Serial SATA 3.0Gb/s
  * 1x External Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s (ASUS SATA-on-the-Go)
  * Support SATA RAID 0, 1 and JBOD (by 1x External SATA & 1x Internal SATA)
Silicon Image 4723 Hardware RAID controller (ASUS EZ-Backup)
  * 2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s with RAID 0, 1 support
  * Support RAID 10 cross Intel® ICH7R and Silicon Image 4723 controller
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers
  *2 x Marvell 88E8053 Gigabit LAN Controller, both featuring AI NET2
Wireless LAN: 54Mbps IEEE 802.11g (ASUS WiFi-AP Solo™)
Audio
Realtek ALC882M High Definition Audio 8-channel CODEC
Support Multi-streaming, Jack-sensing and Jack-retasking functions
Anti Pop Function
Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out on back I/O port
Features Dolby Master Studio technology
- Dolby Prologic IIX
- Dolby Headphone 
- Dolby Virtual Speaker
- Dolby Digital Live
IEEE 1394a
TI 1394 controller supports 2 x 1394a ports
USB
Max. 8 USB2.0/1.1 ports
ASUS Digital Home Accessories
1 x Asus DH Remote™
1 x ASUS DH Remote™ Receiver
1 x ASUS MP3-In™ module
1 x ASUS WiFi-AP Solo Antenna
2 x ASUS EZ-Backup™ SATA cables
ASUS AI Lifestyle Features
Stack Cool 2 patented fanless cooling system
"SATA on the Go" External SATA connector
AI Quiet
Overclocking Features
AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System)
ASUS PEG Link
Precision Tweaker: 
- vDIMM: 12-step DRAM voltage control 
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125 increment 
- SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection): allowing FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment 
- PCIe x16 Frequency: allowing PCIe x16 frequency from 90MHz up to 150MHz at 1MHz increment"
AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio. Fixed PCI/PCIe frequencies.
ASUS AI Booster utility
ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Other ASUS Special Features
CrashFree BIOS 3
EZ-Flash2
Q-Fan2
Multi-language BIOS
MyLogo2
BIOS
8 Mb Flash ROM,AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3
Manageability
WOL by PME, WOR by PME, Chassis Intrusion, PXE & RPL
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x Serial Port
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
2 x RJ45
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x IEEE1394a
1 x External SATA port
1 x WiFi-AP Solo™ antenna jack
8-Channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
1 x IEEE1394a connector
CPU /  2 x Chassis(system) / 2 x Power Fan connectors
Front panel Audio connector
ASUS EZ-Backup jumpers
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD audio-in connector
MP3-In connector (Red)
SPDIF out connector
System panel connector
Azalia Digital Header
24-pin ATX Power connector
4-pin EATX12V Power connector
Support CD
Drivers
Make RAID driver Disk for Intel ICH7R and JMB 363
ASUS DH Remote Application
ASUS WiFi-AP Solo™ Wizard
ASUS PC Probe 2
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
ASUS Digital Home Features
ASUS EZ-Backup™  
-  2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s support hardware RAID 0 or RAID 1 mode 
-  Plug and play: Default setting in RAID 1 mode, no driver, no BIOS configuration required

ASUS WiFi-AP Solo  
54 Mbps IEEE 802.11g and backwards compatible with 11 Mbps IEEE 802.11b 
- Software Access point mode  
- Station mode : Infrastructure mode and Ad-Hoc mode

Asus DH Remote™  
- Power 
- Quick Power 
- Noise Off 
- EZ WiFi 
- Full Screen 
- AP Launch 
- Media Control Zone

ASUS MP3-In™
Accessories

1 x ASUS Q-Connector set (USB, 1394, system panel; Retail version only)
1 x Optional Fan
1 x IEEE1394a port module
2 x SATA cables
1 x SATA power cable for 2 devices
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x IDE cable
1 x FDD cable
1 x I/O Shield
1 x 2-port USB2.0 module
User's manual

Form Factor
ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

2. The Package

The Asus P5WDH Deluxe costs around US$219.99 - US$259.00 (€220~250), making it an affordable solution for medium level users. Of course, its unique features make it an appealing choice for all enthusiast users:

The package includes all the information about the board's design and special features. Below is a list of what's included at the retail package

The included remote control can be used for the main functions of the PC, while the included AP antenna will improve the reception:

The board is densely packed with components but most parts can be identified easily:

Asus uses a passive cooling solution for the southbridge and northbridge chipsets. Capacitors adjacent to the CPU socket are low profile so there shouldn't be any problem with some of the larger, 3rd party cooling solutions. The board has four banks for the memory modules, colour coded for dual-channel operation:

Click to Enlarge!

Moving to the southbridge area of the board, we can see the passive heatsink and the five SATA2 connectors

The Asus P5W DH Deluxe supports ATI's Crossfire. There are two PCI-E x16 slots for that purpose. The two PCI-E slots have plenty of space so there shouldn't be any problem with large sized VGA cards.

There are extra connections for USB, Front Panel Audio, COM2 and Firewire. Asus has activated all ports in the retail package. The back I/O panel has the usual array of connections


3. BIOS

The BIOS is that typically found on ASUS motherboards. The first tab includes the system time/date and storage devices:

The second tab includes the Advanced configurations for the board.

Below we can see the settings under JumperFree Configuration. FSB can be raised up to 550, a rather un-realistic number as we will see later on:

The DRAM Frequency has 8 settings ranging from Auto to DDR2-1067MHz.

Each setting represents a different FSB:RAM ratio, so be careful what to select:

If you decide to overclock, increasing the FSB changes the DRAM Frequency automatically, a very useful feature. Memory, CPU, FSB, NB, SB and ICH voltages can be set according to the following table.

BIOS Setting Feature:
CPU bus frequency
100 to 550MHz in 1MHz steps
CPU voltage
1.2875V to 1.7000V in 0.0125V steps
DRAM voltage
1.80V to 2.40V in 0.5V steps
PCI Express frequency
90 to 104MHz in 1MHz steps
i975X MCH voltage
1.50V to 1.80V in 0.10V steps
FSB voltage
1.20V to 1.50V in 0.10V steps
ICH7R voltage
1.05V and 1.20V only

From the Advanced CPU settings, we can set important parameters for our processor. If you install a Core2Duo CPU, you can set the Ratio status (set Ratio Support to Enabled) and disable SpeedStep Technology (set C1 Support to Disabled):

The North Bridge chipset controls DRAM. By default, all settings are left at Auto. Of course, users can take control and adjust the memory timings. There are two settings for higher memory performance (Hyper Path 3 and DRAM Throttling Threshold):

Hardware monitor allows you to see how hot your CPU runs:


4. Installation

Using Everest Ultimate Edition 2006, we can get detailed information about the board:

Both North Bridge and South Bridge chipsets unveiled:

For our review, we had the latest available BIOS (1801 release). What troubled us is that with our default setup (memory modules installed are two 1GB Crucial PC2-8000), the board couldn't get a stable memory divider at 1:2 (1067MHz). The same behaviour had been witnessed with the P5W64WSPro board. In contrast, the P5B Deluxe could handle a 1:2 memory divider without any problem. We assume that either it is a BIOS problem or an Intel's 975X chipset problem. Let's now see how our CPU was identified with CPU-Z:

The board's main information is available from the 3rd tab in CPU-Z:

For comparison, we post test results from:


5. Everest Ultimate Edition 2006

Click for official website!EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC. The software has build-in several tests for memory and CPU/FPU.

The fastest motherboard in the Everest Ultimate Edition Memory Tests was the Asus P5B Deluxe. This reason is that you can set the memory to operate at FSB:RAM 1:2, resulting in higher running speeds than that offered on the other two motherboards. Both the P5W64 WS Pro and P5W DH Deluxe had the same "Memory Copy" performance, while the P5W64WS Pro was faster in the Memory Write and Read operations.

In the CPU tests, the Asus P5W64WS Pro is faster than the P5WDH Deluxe in the majority of the sub-tests.

SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software. It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what's really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCIe, ODBC Connections, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc. Sisoft Sandra offers a variety of tests for Memory and CPU.

In Sisoft Sandra 2007 SP1 CPU tests, the Asus P5W64WS Pro was faster than the P5WDH Deluxe in the Floating Point/Integer tests, but was slower in the CPU Whetstone/Dhrystone tests.

The Asus P5W DH Deluxe had the faster in the Cache and Memory Index and of course RAM Bandwidth, as would be expected due to lower memory timings.


6. PCMARK - 3DMARK

Click for homepage!PCMark®05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses. Below you can see all three available scores, memory, CPU and total.

Looking at the CPU score, the Asus P5W DH Deluxe had the highest score with 6167 points.

Click for homepage!3DMark®06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.

3D Mar06 tests both CPU/RAM and the VGA card. The Asus P5W64WS Pro had the highest CPU performance, compared with both the Asus P5W DH Deluxe and P5B Deluxe.


7. Science Mark - Nero Digital

Science Mark 2.0 is an attempt to put the truth behind benchmarking. In an attempt to model real world demands and performance, SM2 is a suite of high-performance benchmarks that realistically stress system performance without architectural bias.  Science Mark 2.0 is comprised of 7 benchmarks, each of which measures a different aspect of real world system performance.

Pov-Ray s a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports. We used Pov-Ray 3.7beta15 for all tests, since it supports Dual Core CPUs. We used the built-in benchmark as suggested by the developers.

In both ScienceMark & PovRay, the Asus P5W DH Deluxe had the best performance.

- Nero Digital

Nero Digital is one of the best known Digital formats, offering both ASP and AVC encoder profiles.

For our tests, we used the latest version of Nero Recode v2.3.1.8 as packaged with Nero Reloaded v7.5.0.1. As a source we used a VOB file, of 5 mins duration. We encoded for each processor in two modes (ASP, AVC) with exactly the same preferences (Same bitrate and Dual pass). The encoding time displayed below, is what Nero Recode reported. The lower the time taken, the better. All results are displayed in seconds.

All three tested motherboards have similar performance with Nero Recode.


8. CINEBENCH -SuperPI

CINEBENCH is the free benchmarking tool for Windows and Mac OS based on the powerful 3D software CINEMA 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using CINEBENCH 9.5 carry significant weight when analyzing a computer’s performance in everyday use.

Especially a system’s CPU and the OpenGL capabilities of its graphics card are put through their paces (even multiprocessor systems with up to 16 dedicated CPUs or processor cores). During the testing procedure, all relevant data is ascertained with which the performance of different computers can subsequently be compared, regardless of operating system. All tests were done with the latest available build (R9.5), and the sum of each subtest is displayed at the following chart, except OpenGL Software & Hardware Lighting tests, since both depend on the installed VGA card.

In CineBench, the Asus P5W DH Deluxe had the highest overall score.

 

SuperPI has become an utility to benchmark modern systems. In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi and he collaborated with Dr. Y.Kanada at the computer center, the University of Tokyo. This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95 and called Super PI.

The software offers up to 32M calculations of PI numbers. For all CPUs, we tested up to 8M calculations and summed the scores for a total score.

The Asus P5B Deluxe, due to its better memory performance, required the least amount of time, with the Asus P5W DH Deluxe very close behind.


9. F.E.A.R - Prey

The story begins as an unidentified paramilitary force infiltrates a multi-billion dollar aerospace compound. The government responds by sending in Special Forces, but loses contact as an eerie signal interrupts radio communications. When the interference subsides moments later, the team has been literally torn apart. As part of a classified strike team created to deal with threats no one else can handle, your mission is simple: Eliminate the intruders at any cost. Determine the origin of the signal. And contain this crisis before it spirals out of control.

The game offers up to 1280x960 resolution, which was used for all tests. We maxed all details for CPU and VGA card, except for AA/AF and Soft Shadows which are enabled as indicated in each graph. Below are the results after using the built-in benchmark test:

Really nothing in it, with the Asus P5W64WS Pro being just 1 fps faster.

- Prey

Prey tells the story of Tommy, a Cherokee garage mechanic stuck on a reservation going nowhere. His life changes when an otherworldly crisis forces him to awaken spiritual powers from his long-forgotten birthright. Abducted along with his people to a menacing mothership orbiting Earth, he sets out to save himself and his girlfriend and eventually his planet.

Prey is serious, dark story, based on authentic Cherokee mythology. Themes of sacrifice, love and responsibility are explored and the story dives into emotional territory not yet explored by similar games. Prey is based on Quake 3 engine and for sure will keep you awake many nights...

For all tests, we used hocbench which offers all benchmarking options through a GUI. We used the built-in Guru3D timedemo and all results are posted below:

Prey is based on the Quake3 engine making it CPU dependent. Again, very little between the three motherboards.


10. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory - Half Life

A Japanese Information Defense Force is formed to help face modern threats. Deemed a violation of international law and of the Japanese Post-War Constitution, Korea and China become outraged. Secretly, the head of the IDF begins launching information-warfare attacks against Japan and blaming the attacks on North Korea. When the U.S. intervenes, as they are obligated to under Article 9 of the Japanese Post-War Constitution, the U.S. is attacked as well, forcing North Korea to escalate the situation with a pre-emptive invasion of South Korea.

As war erupts on the Korean Peninsula, Sam Fisher must thwart the alliance between the Japanese Admiral, a neurotic computer hacker, and the head of an international paramilitary company in order to prevent the rekindling of a massive world war in the Pacific.

The graphics engine supports Pixel Shader 3 and HDR along with other new effects. We used hocbench which offers all benchmarking options through a GUI. We used the built-in "Guru3D 2" timedemo and all results are posted below:

- Half Life 2 Episode 1

The world of Half-Life 2 has amazed everyone with its great story, graphics and Valve's great support. Half-Life 2: Episode One is the first in a series of new adventures created by Valve that extend the Half-Life 2 single player experience. It details the aftermath of Half Life 2 and launches a journey beyond City 17.

Stepping into the hazard suit of Dr. Gordon Freeman, you face the immediate repercussions of your actions in City 17 and the Citadel. Rejoin Alyx Vance and her robot, Dog, to once again aid the human resistance in their desperate battle against the totalitarian alien menace of the Combine.

Episode One exposes Alyx's combat skills and knowledge of City 17. Battle side-by-side with her through Valve's first episodic game, a four-to-six hour adventure of greater density and detail than non-episodic releases.

We recorded a timedemo and used the console to run each motherboard with different visual quality settings. For all tests, we enabled 1280x1024 resolution with HDR shadows fully enabled.


11. Overclocking

The Asus P5W DH Deluxe has been very popular among users for its overclocking capabilities. Asus provides from within the BIOS, all the necessary options for users to tweak their system and push it to its limits. As we saw in the BIOS page, the Asus P5W DH Deluxe can set the FSB up to 550MHz. Our first experiment was to find out how high we could push the FSB, without any voltage tweaks. Therefore, we set Intel's E6600 internal CPU multiplier to x6 and had a stable system at 390MHz.

Is that high? No, if you consider that the P5B Deluxe reached 430MHz with exactly the same components and the P5W64WS Pro reached 395MHz. Of course, overclocking depends on the CPU, cooling system and RAM. Despite our efforts, we couldn't break the the 395MHz FSB barrier, the system simply refused to boot, even with voltage tweaking. We have seen some reports from other reviewers reaching 435MHz FSB, so we assume it is a CPU limitation. In any case, the P5B Deluxe and P5W64 WSPro can reach up to 500MHz FSB, so they may be be a better solution for serious overclockers.


12. Conclusion

The Asus P5W DH Deluxe has been on the market for quite a while now and has certainly made an impact. We tested the board's performance and in general we are satisfied with what it has to offer. First of all, this motherboard supports all currently sold Intel processors for 775 socket, Intel® Core™ 2 Duo/ Intel® Pentium® D/Intel® Pentium® 4/ Intel® Celeron® D processor. In some tests, it was faster than the P5W64WS Pro/ P5B Deluxe, especially in CPU benchmarks. The Asus P5B Deluxe was faster in the memory tests, since the P5W DH Deluxe failed to set our Crucial PC2-8000 modules to run at 1:2 (FSB:RAM). We hope that this "problem" will be fixed with a newer BIOS revision.

The board itself is of a good overall design. There's plenty of space around the CPU area, allowing for installation of large 3rd party fans. There are both IDE and floppy connections as well as five SATA II connections for HDD and optical storage devices. Asus has included all the needed cables in the retail package.

In overclocking, the board proved to be easy to overclock and with very little effort reached a top of 390MHz FSB, without voltage tweaks. Despite the fact that we also raised voltages, we couldn't go any higher. Both the Asus P5B Deluxe and P5W64WSPro appear to offer better overclocking capabilities, reaching up to ~500MHz FSB, with of course a different cooling system, CPU and memory modules.

The DH Remote, WiFi-AP Solo and MP3-In features are very enticing. The WiFi-AP Solo in particular could prove invaluable to anyone using the P5W DH Deluxe as a central hub for their home wireless network.

We should note that as with the P5B Deluxe, there might be some bootup problems when you are using a SATA HDD and an IDE CD-ROM drive. We are not aware of a possible workaround, but Asus knows the problem and hopefully will fix it ASAP.

Overall, the Asus P5W DH Deluxe is a very good board for the Core2Duo platform. Its CPU performance confirmed this and with a very good price (US$219.99 ~ $259.00). We should indicate that the Asus P5B Deluxe is somewhat cheaper at $193.99 ~ $243.6, while the Asus P5W64WS Pro is at US$295.00 ~ $337.48. If money is not an issue, then it really comes down to features/bundle of each board. If you are thinking of putting together a home entertainment system, then the Asus P5W DH Deluxe may just be the ticket.



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