Asus P5AD2-E i925XE Motherboard

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Refinements and performance optimizations in PC motherboard designs often track chipset re-spins and tweaks, as a new base architecture matures.  Intel is absolutely famous (or shall we say infamous) for releasing a new chipset only to set sail with a re-spin or further characterization of the product, just a few months later.  Such was the case for Intel's i925X chipset.  PC Motherboard OEMs first to market with new i925X "Alderwood" offerings are now trying to shift gears and react to Intel's characterization and branding of the chip at 1066MHz Front Side Bus speeds.  The i925X now has an "E" revision denoting "official" support for this new higher speed system bus, only its the exact same die in that Northbridge package, just validated to perform at 1066MHz. 

The i925XE, as it is known now, is another step down Intel's roadmap and any user looking at a motherboard based on the i925X chipset would be advised to seriously consider only motherboards based on the "E" flavor of the chip.  Next generation high end CPUs from Intel will be running on a 1066MHz FSB, so it makes little sense going with a "non-E" version motherboard.  Having said that, we're sure some motherboard manufacturers are planning on releasing BIOS updates that allow for overclocking bus speeds to this level, even on a standard i925X chipset design.  But why run "unofficially" when i925XE offerings are right around the corner?  Our sentiments exactly...

Asus steps up to the plate today with one of the first i925XE boards to hit our labs, the P5AD2-E Premium.  We're fairly certain you couldn't tell the difference physically in the "E" version versus the "non-E" version of this motherboard that we tested here not long ago, save for the model number silk screened on the PCB.  However, it will be very interesting to see what a little maturity in the chipset and BIOS revisions of the past few months, bring us in terms of performance improvements.  Not to mention faster, lower latency DDR2 memory that is available now as well.  We'll give you some insight into all of these areas in the pages ahead.  

Specifications & Features of The Asus P5AD2-E Motherboard
Everything but the kitchen sink
Processor
_Designed for Intel 90nm Pentium 4 LGA775 processors
_Supports 1066/800MHz FSB
_Supports Intel Hyper-Threading Technology

Chipset
_Intel 925XE/Intel ICH6R Express Chipset

Memory
_Four 240-pin DIMM sockets
_Supports Dual channel DDR2 533/400 Unbuffered Non-ECC memory
_Supports maximum memory capacity up to 4GB

Asus AI Proactive Features
AI NOS (Non-delay Overclocking System)
_AI NET2 network diagnosis before entering OS
_WiFi-g powered by WiFi@HOME technology
_Stack Cool patented fanless cooling system

Overclocking Features
AI NOS (Non-delay Overclocking System)
_AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
_CPU, Memory, and PCIe x16 voltage adjustable
_SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection) from
100MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
_Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio. Fixed PCI/PCIe frequencies.
_ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
_CrashFree BIOS 2
_Q-Fan2
_Post Reporter
_Multi-language BIOS
 MyLogo2

PCI-E X16 graphic
_Delivers up to 8GB/s per direction for 3.5 times more bandwidth than AGP8X

SATA RAID
Intel ICH6R South Bridge:
- 1 x UltraDMA 100/66/33
- 4 x Serial ATA with Intel Matrix Storage Technology with RAID 0, 1 support
_Silicon Image 3114R RAID controller:
- 4 x Serial ATA, RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 (RAID 5 software patch available, no WHQL)
_ITE IDE RAID controller:
- 2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 with JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 0+1 support


Dual LAN
2 x Marvell PCIe 88E8053 Gigabit LAN Controller, features AI NET2

Wireless LAN: WiFi-g
54 Mbps IEEE 802.11g and backwards compatible with 11 Mbps 802.11b
- Access Point function (under WinXP, 2003)
- Bundle an external antenna
- One-touch wizard
- Wireless bridge, a.k.a. WDS or wireless repeater (under WinXP, 2003)


IEEE1394
_TI 1394b controller supports
- 2 x 1394b ports @ 800 Mbps speed
- 1 x 1394a ports @ 400 Mbps speed


Audio (Dolby Digital Live support)
_C-Media High Definition Audio 8-channel CODEC
_Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out on back I/O port
_Features Dolby Digital Live technology
Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 4 USB _2.0 ports
_1 x LAN connector
_2 x IEEE1394 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 ATX 12V Power connector

Back Panel I/O
_1 x Parallel
_1 x WLAN antenna jack (optional)
_1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
_1 x PS/2 Keyboard
_1 x PS/2 Mouse
_1 x RJ45
_4 x USB 2.0/1.1
_1 x IEEE1394a
_8-Channel Audio I/O


Packaging Content
InterVideo WinDVD Suite (OEM version)
_1 x Wireless LAN antenna (optional)
_1 x 2-port IEEE1394b / 1-port RJ45 module
_10 x Serial ATA cables
_1 x SATA Extension module for external devices
_4 x 2-port SATA power cable
_1 x 2-port USB2.0 / Game module
_1 x COM Port module
_2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
_1 x IDE cable
_1 x FDD cable
_1 x I/O Shield
_User's manual


Dimension
_ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

 


    

Asus bundles in quite an offering with their "Premium" line of motherboards.  Asus sent in their P5AD2-E Premium Wireless Edition bundle, which among a myriad of other features has integrated 802.11g /b wireless LAN connectivity with supported software enabled Access Point features.  Pictured above is the P5AD2-E's WiFi antenna that screws on to a small co-ax connector on the IO back-plate of the board.  The board also comes with Dual Gigabit Ethernet controllers one of which is made available through a slot bracket that also has two Firewire ports on it.  In addition, Asus also bundled in an external 2 port SATA extension bracket with a Molex power connector, for external Serial ATA hard drive support.  The board also comes with 10 SATA cables which almost seems like overkill but we're not levying any complaints.

Of course the P5AD2-E also brings with it all the benefits of Intel's i925XE chipset, including support for a 1066MHz Front Side Bus speed, DDR2 System Memory, PCI Express Graphics and High Definition 8 channel Audio, which is supported by C-Media's High-Def Audio Codec on this motherboard in particular.

Tags:  Asus, Motherboard, board, AR

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