Intel's current line-up of desktop processors based on the company's aging Netburst micro-architecture may not have the allure it once did with power users, thanks in no small part to fierce competition from arch-rival AMD, but their core logic chipsets have always been held in high regard. Intel puts an immense amount of resources into designing and qualifying their chipsets. And over the years they've built and solidified a reputation for performance, features, and rock-solid stability.
Another company with a solid reputation for building high performance, feature-rich and stable products is Asus. Over the years, we've tested and burned in a multitude of Asus-built products, and in the vast majority of circumstances, we've found them to be amongst the best in their class. Today at HotHardware.com, we're going to be shining the spotlight on two new Asus motherboards built using Intel's current flagship desktop chipset, the 975X Express. The Asus P5WD2-E Premium is targeted squarely at performance hungry enthusiasts, but the other board we'll be looking at here, the P5WDG2-WS, was built with professional workstation users in mind. Let's kick things off with a detailed look at the P5WDG2-WS. And later on, we'll shift the focus to the more mainstream P5WD2-E Premium.
Front Side Bus
Storage/RAID Intel ICH7R controller:
Back Panel I/O Ports
Internal I/O Connectors
P5WDG2-WS - Accessory Bundle: Asus included a well-balanced assortment of software and accessories with the P5WDG2-WS. Included with the board itself, we found a very complete user's manual, an easy to use driver CD, and an additional CD loaded with Intervideo's WinDVD Multimedia Ensemble, which includes WinDVD, DVDCopy 2.5, PhotoAlbum 1.0, Disc Copy 2.5, and Creator 2.0.
There were also a total of eight SATA cables thrown in, along with four Molex-to-SATA power adapters, an 80-wire IDE cable, a standard floppy cable, a custom I/O shield, and a trio of expansion brackets. One bracket housed a single Firewire connector, the other a single 9-pin serial port, and the last a pair of USB ports and a 15-pin MIDI / Game port.