ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review :: ASUS P5WD2-E Premium

05-16-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

The 975 chipset supports all current Socket 775 CPUs including the Core Duo CPUs, the 955 CPUs, the 840 Extreme Edition, the 600 series and the Celeron D CPUs. The 975X chipset supports up to 1066MHz FSB, providing up to 3.2GB of bandwidth between the CPU and the system.


ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review Memory Slots

Memory Slots


The P5WD2-E Premium has four DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) slots. Dual channel mode is enabled by installing memory into two like-colored slots. The board supports up to 8GB of non-ECC DDR2 memory. With DDR 667, this provides a memory bandwidth of about 10.3GB/second of memory bandwidth. Windows 64-bit or Linux is required for 8GB of memory, as 32-bit can only address 4GB of memory.


Expansion Slots


ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review PCI

PCI

ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review Dual PCI-E x16

Dual PCI-E x16

ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review PCI-E x1 and x2

PCI-E x1 and x2


Device expansion on the board is dominated by the fact that there are two PCI Express x16 slots present. The Intel 975 chipset supports ATI's Crossfire, but NVIDIA is preventing chipset manufacturers from using SLI on their chipsets. ATI Crossfire requires a Crossfire Master Edition card unless you are using X1600XTs, which can be used without it. Also on the board is a Universal PCI Express slot, taking up to x2 devices, a PCI Express x1 slot, and 3 PCI V2.3 slots.


Storage Connections


ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review ATA ports

ATA ports

ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review IDE connector

IDE connector

ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review Floppy drive controller

Floppy drive controller


Intel's ICH7R South Bridge controls four of the SATA ports on the board. Intel's Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 modes. RAID 0 is Stripping where the two or more drives contain part of the information, speeding up transfer rates between two or more drivers. Asus also includes a Marvell 88SE6141 SATA/ATA controller to control the other four SATA ports and the External SATA port. The RAID4 controller cannot be used at the same time as the External SATA port.

Onboard audio is provided by a Realtek ALC882M High Definition 8-channel CODEC. HDA replaced the AC'97 standard about two years ago with the introduction of Intel's 925x chipset. The advantages of HDA over Ac'97 include 7.1 surround sound, Dolby Master Studio technology and the ability to play back high quality audio is nearly equivalent to standalone sound cards.


ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard Review Back Panel I/O

Back Panel I/O


The back panel I/O on the board consists of 4 USB 2.0 ports, an External SATA port, 6 jacks for the onboard audio, a PS/2 Mouse and Keyboard port, S/PDIF In and Out ports, a Parallel port, and 2 RJ45 jacks for the onboard LAN. ASUS decided to have a Texas Instruments controller for the IEEE-1394 ports, a Marvell controller for each LAN controller.