ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review :: ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Features

11-30-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
ASUS P5W64-WS Professional Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberP5W64-WS Professional
ManufacturerASUS
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetIntel 975X Express ICH7R
North BridgeIntel 82975X MCH
SocketLGA775 Socket
Processor TypesQuad Core, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo, Pentium 4, Pentium D
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1066/800MHz
Memory TypeDDR2
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory8GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeIntel 82801GR ICH7R
Audio8-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10
LAN10/100/1000 x2
FirewireIEEE 1394a
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
BIOSAMI
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

The first thing that catches your eyes on the P5W64 WS Professional board is that there are not one, not two, but four PCI Express x16 slots on the board. This allows for up to four graphics cards to be installed at the same time. Intel chipsets do not support NVIDIA's SLI technology, but do support ATI's Crossfire technology. At the moment there is no way to enable four-way Crossfire on any motherboard, but you can use the four PCI Express x16 slots to support 8 monitors.


ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review 4 PCI Express x16 slots

4 PCI Express x16 slots

ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review IDT PCI Express switch

IDT PCI Express switch


The Intel 975X chipset only provides support for 22 PCI Express lanes, meaning ASUS had to include a PCI Express switch to handle the extra lanes. The IDT 89HA0324PS PCI Express switch has a x8 connection to the 975X Northbridge and adds 2 x8 connections to two of the four PCI Express slots. This brings the total PCI Express lanes on the motherboard to 30. The 30 PCI Express lanes are split into x8 x8 x4 x8 among the four slots with two PCI Express lanes taken up by the onboard LAN. You can also configure the slots into a x16 x0 x4 x0 configuration allowing for the full x16 lanes on one card but limiting the other slot capabilities. Also present on the board are two regular PCI v2.2 compliant slots for device expansion.


ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket


ASUS's P5W64 WS Professional board is based upon Intel's 975X chipset. This chipset supports all of the latest Intel CPUs including the Celeron D, the Pentium 4, the Pentium 6xx series, the 8xx series, the 9xx series and the Core2 series CPUs that were recently launched. The board also supports the new Quad Core QX6700 CPU. I was able to successfully boot with one of the new Quad Core CPUs.


ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review DIMM Slots

DIMM Slots


The ASUS board has four DIMM slots, providing support for up to 8GB of DDR2 667/533/400 MHz ECC and non-ECC unbuffered memory. The board also supports DDR2 800 natively. If you wish to install more than 4 GB, a 64-bit operating system like Linux or Windows Vista is required, as 32-bit can only address 4GB of memory. Notice the support for ECC memory on the board, this is one feature that workstation boards tend to support that non-workstation boards do not.


ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review 4 SATA ports

4 SATA ports

ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review 3 SATA ports

3 SATA ports

ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review e-SATA port

e-SATA port

ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review PATA port

PATA port

ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review FDD port

FDD port


Two SATA controllers are present on the P5W64 WS Professional board, supporting a total of 7 SATA ports on the board itself. An additional eSATA port is on the back panel IO. Four of the SATA ports are controlled by the Intel ICH7R South Bridge. The three other SATA ports on the board are controlled by a Marvell 88SE6145 chip. Intel's Matrix Storage Technology supports RIAD 0, 1, 10, 5 modes. The Marvell chip supports RAID 0, 1, 10 modes. A single UltraDMA connector is controlled by the ICH7R SB.


ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review SoundMAX

SoundMAX

ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review General

General

ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review Listening Environment

Listening Environment


Onboard sound is provided by an ADI 1988B 8-channel High Definition CODEC. This CODEC is fully compliant with the High Definition Audio standard set by audio manufacturers with the release of the 925X motherboard chipset in 2004. Key new features of the HDA standard include simultaneous multiple audio streams, 7.1 surround sound native support and support for the major APIs including EAX 1.0 and 2.0. ADI sound is superior in my opinion to that of the Realtek sound, and I use it in my home computer.


ASUS P5W64 WS Professional Motherboard Review Rear IO

Rear IO


The rear IO panel on the board defines what the board will support out of the box in terms of LAN and USB. There are four USB ports on the rear IO, the standard PS/2 keyboard, PS/2 mouse ports, Parallel port, Dual RJ-45 jacks for the onboard Gigabit LAN which is controlled by a Marvell 88E805+88E8001PCI-E Dual GB LAN controller. The onboard LANs support Teaming, allowing the two ports to act as one. Also on the rear IO are 6 audio jacks for the onboard sound and a Coaxial Optical out S/PDIF port.