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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Friday, July 15, 2005
Asus P5WD2 Premium

1. Introduction

Asus, a manufacturer of reliable and high quality products, has one of the largest range motherboards. In 2003, Asus sold 5,000,000 motherboards which means one out of every 5 desktop computers was built using an Asus motherboard. Asus motherboards are known for their high performance and for being feature packed.

In our previous review of the P5ND2-SLI Deluxe Asus motherboard, we saw how dual VGA cards, in SLI mode, can be combined with the NForce4 Northbridge chipset and the Intel 775 CPU. This time, Asus has adopted the same technology, without the SLI certification, using the new Intel chipset, the 955X. The new Asus motherboard is the P5WD2 Premium.

- Features

AI Life Series
AI Life Series motherboards bring lifestyle and personal computing together. They entertain you with TV, radio and Dolby support, and link you to the rest of the world via wireless connection(WiFi-TV bundle edition only). To create a peaceful environment, several new and improved innovations are also included to reduce noise and temperature. Don't change your way of life for a computer. Instead let the ASUS Life Series improve the quality of your life.

Stack Cool 2
Stack Cool 2 is a fan-less and zero-noise cooling solution. 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.
AI Quiet
With PCs serving as the entertainment centerpiece and playing a bigger role in our lives, quiet operation is in high demand. No one wants to hear the cooling fan spinning when watching a movie or listening to music. The ASUS AI Quiet function dynamically controls CPU speed and reduces temperature and fan speeds when peace and quiet are what you desire.
Wifi-TV PCI Card
Connectivity and entertainment are the key words of personal computing in the 21st Century, and the AI Life Series delivers both.
(Note: Optional, the WiFi-TV card has to be purchased separately)
Total Wireless Solution
Offering IEEE 802.11a/b/g standards all in one add-on card, the WiFi-TV PCI card allows convenient wireless connection to the Internet and other digital devices. Share photos, videos and MP3 music files between the wireless devices at home without the tangling wires. Moreover, the unique setup wizard makes establishing a wireless environment a piece of cake.
- Easily sync up with Centrino notebooks and other wireless devices
- 802.11a standard offers less signal interference and better performance
- Setup wizard simplifies wireless network establishment
The Next TV Standard
Get ready for the Digital TV revolution! ASUS WiFi-TV PCI card offers not only analog TV input, but also the much talked-about Digital TV connection, which presents higher resolution and more functions than the traditional analog standard. FM radio is also supported on this multi-functional card to provide a flexible solution to enjoy your favorite television and radio shows.
- Analog TV, Digital TV (DVB-T) and FM radio
- Edit video recorded on your camcorder with bundled authoring software
- Enjoy great multimedia experience with the bundled Cyberlink PowerCinema
SATA on the Go
The motherboard supports the next-generation hard drives based on the 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 ports located at the back I/O provide smart setup and hot-plug functions. Easily backup photos, videos and other entertainment contents on external devices.

 

Intel LGA775 Pentium 4 CPU
This motherboard supports the latest Pentium 4 CPU from Intel in LGA775 package. With 1066/ 800/ 533MHz FSB, 1MB L2 cache, Hyper-Threading Technology and core-speeds up to 3.6GHz and beyond, Intel's LGA775 Pentium 4 is one of the fastest desktop processors to date.
Dual-Core CPU
Enjoy the extraordinary CPU power from the latest dual-core CPU. The advanced processing technology contains two physical CPU cores with individually dedicated L2 Caches to satisfy the rising demand for more powerful processing capability.
Intel 955X chipset
The Intel 955X is the latest chipset designed to support maximum 8GB dual-channel DDR2 667/533 architecture, 1066/800 FSB (front-side-bus), PCI Express x16 graphics and dual-core CPU. Easily build an entertainment PC or create a multimedia environment with its exceptionally high bandwidth. Together with the 4 Serial ATA ports enabled through the SATA 3Gb/s RAID controller integrated in the ICH7R Southbridge, the Intel 955X satisfies multi-task processing and data security.
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.
Native 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.
Universal PCI-E Slot
The Universal PCI Express technology offers utilization flexibility of the Southbridge PCI Express interface. It enables users to plug in an additional PCI Express graphics card to set up a dual graphics card platform on a single motherboard. ASUS’ own smart quick switch further detects how users installed their PCI Express devices, and intelligently reroutes the PCI Express lanes for optimized bandwidth allocation.
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 8-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) allow FSB tuning from 100MHz up to 450MHz at 1MHz increments.
ASUS CPU Lock Free
The P5WD2 Premium now offer the CPU Lock Free feature, which allows you to adjust CPU multiplier to 14x. The reduction of multiplier value provides more flexibility for increasing external FSB frequency to raise memory bus bandwidth. CPU Lock Free boosts overall system performance by making synchronous modification possible. Enjoy better performance at the same CPU operation speed and improve your system without pushing the CPU to the limit.

 

PCI Express Architecture
PCI Express is the latest I/O interconnect technology that will replace the existing PCI. With a bus bandwidth 4 times higher than that of AGP 8X interface, PCI Express x16 bus performs much better than AGP 8X in applications such as 3D gaming. PCI Express x1 also outperforms PCI interface with its exceptional high bandwidth up to 500MB/s. The high speed PCI Express interface creates new usages on desktop PCs e.g., Gigabit LAN, 1394b, and high-speed RAID systems.
Theatre-Level Audio
A person who truly knows good entertainment appreciates good acoustic presence. AI Life Series motherboards offer theatre-level 7.1 surround sound and audio spec higher than that of DVD. Enjoy true home theatre experience with Dolby Digital Live (Dolby Home Theatre), appreciate the quality of sound, and indulge your sense of hearing.
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.
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.
Dual RAID
The onboard Silicon Image Sil3132 and the Intel ICH7R southbridge provide the best solution to your RAID requirements on different storage standards. The Intel ICH7R supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and Intel Matrix RAID Technology on 4 Serial ATA ports. The Silicon Image Sil3132 controller offers 2 additional SATA interfaces and allows RAID 0 and RAID 1 functions for best data security.
IEEE 1394
IEEE 1394 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.
WinDVD Suite
ASUS motherboards, intensifying leadership in the IT industry, now bundle the versatile InterVideo WinDVD Suite. This multifaceted software set includes the latest multimedia software, bringing forth the multimedia features of ASUS motherboards to the best! (OEM version)

You can see the full, detailed specification table below:

CPU
- LGA775 socket for Intel® Pentium 4/Celeron CPU
- Intel Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition & Intel
Pentium® D Processor ready
- Compatible with Intel® 05B/ 05A and 04B/04A processors
- Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology ready
Chipset
Intel 955X
Intel ICH7R
Front Side Bus
1066/ 800/ 533 MHz
Memory
Dual channel memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. 8GB DDR2 800/ 667/ 533 ECC and non-ECC memory
Native DDR2 800 Support
Intel MPT (Intel Memory Pipeline Technology)
Expansion Slots
1 x PCI Express x16 slot for discrete graphics card
1 x Universal PCI-E Slot ( x4 mode)
1 x PCI Express x1
3 x PCI
Storage/RAID
Intel ICH7R South Bridge:
*1 x UltraDMA 100/66/33
*4 x Serial ATA I/II 3.0Gb/s with Intel Matrix Storage Technology with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support

Silicon Image 3132 SATA controller:
*1 x Internal Serial ATA I/II
*1 x External Serial ATA

ITE IDE controller:
* 2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers:
*1 x Intel PCIe Gigabit LAN Controller
*1 x Marvell 88E8001 Gigabit LAN Controller, featuring AI NET2
Audio
Realtek ALC882D High Definition Audio 8-channel CODEC
Support Multi-streaming, Jack-sensing and Jack-retasking functions
Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out on back I/O port
Features Dolby Digital Live technology
IEEE 1394
TI 1394a controller supports 2 x 1394a ports
USB
Max. 8 USB2.0/1.1 ports
ASUS AI Life Features
WiFi-TV PCI card (optional)
(Optional, for WiFi-TV Edition only)
-Digital TV(DVB-T only), Analog TV, FM
-WiFi@home 802.11a/b/g
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 CPU Lock Free
Precision Tweaker:
- vDIMM: 8-step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125 increment
- SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection): allowing FSB tuning from 100MHz up to 450MHz 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 2
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
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x Parallel
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
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 connectors
1 x COM connector
1 x GAME/MIDI connector
CPU / 2 x Chassis / Power Fan connectors
Front panel High Definition Audio connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD audio-in connector
24-pin ATX Power connector
4-pin ASUS EZ Plug connector
Support CD
Drivers
ASUS PC Probe 2
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Accessories
InterVideo WinDVD Suite (OEM version)
1 x IEEE1394a port module
5 x SATA cables
SATA power cable for 5 devices
1 x 2-port USB2.0 / Game module
1 x COM Port module
1 x GT Soft Bridge for future upgrade
2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x IDE cable
1 x FDD cable
1 x I/O Shield
User' s manual
WiFi-TV Accessories (bundle version only)
CyberLink PowerCinema (OEM version)
PAL to NTSC Adapter
1 x Omnidirectional dual-band wireless antenna
1 x FM Antenna
1 x Remote control + USB Receiver
WiFi-TV User's Manual
CyberLink PowerDirector
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)




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