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Thursday, April 28, 2005
Asus P5GD2 Premium

3. Board Layout

CPU Socket

In the socket 775 architecture, the pins have moved from the processor and onto the motherboard socket. This way, breaking one of the pins no longer results in a destroyed processor but a destroyed motherboard, which is easier and cheaper to replace.

Memory Banks

The mainboard supports Symmetric and Asymmetric Dual Channel mode and of course Single Channel access to the memory. Asymmetric Dual Channel mode is activated when two opposite channels (two yellow or two black) are populated by different capacity memories. However even Intel has admitted it offers no performance increase over Single Channel mode.


Back Panel

The rear panel input/output provides the following connections:

From left to right and top to bottom:

  • parallel connection
  • the mouse PS/2 female connection
  • the keyboard connection
  • two SPDIF ports
  • one firewire IEEE 1394a and two USB 2.0 ports
  • one gigabyte lan port and two USB 2.0
  • Rear/Side/Center Speaker Out
  • Line In/Line Out/Mic In
  • Wireless LAN led and Antenna connection

One thing to notice here is the lack of a serial COM port. However, if you are really in need of such a port, you can construct it yourself using a serial COM cable from an older computer and connecting it on the available pins located at the southeast corner of the motherboard.


Drive Connectors

The P5GD2 motherboard features 3 connectors for IDE and 8 for Serial ATA drives. The primary connector is coloured blue and is located on the edge of the motherboard.

As with the P5AD2-E, there's no distinct secondary controller on the motherboard. Instead the RAID controller should be used to install any extra devices..

The RAID controller consists of two red connectors which can be seen in the picture below and can be set up to form RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1 disk arrays or even be used as a secondary IDE.

The SATA connectors are divided into two sets of four. The first set is controlled by a Silicon Image chip and supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and software RAID 5.

The second set, being controlled by the ICH6 chipset on the southbridge, is only capable of supporting RAID 0 and RAID 1 disk arrays.


Here's another point where the P5GD2 differs from the P5AD2-E. The P5GD2 has one more PCI-Express x1 slot located in the strangest position just above the x16 PCI-E, but one less regular PCI slot.

As currently there are no PCI-E x1 compatible hardware on the market, having only two PCI slots might seem a problem. However, as the P5GD2 is a very rich in features motherboard, it is very unlikely you'll need to use a third slot.

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