Asus P5WDG2-WS and P5WD2-E Premium - 975X Motherboard Showcase

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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.

  
The P5WDG2-WS' Box -- Notice the RoHS Compliance

Asus P5WDG2-WS Specifications & Features
Geared for High-Powered Workstations

CPU

  • Socket 775 for Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition / Pentium D / Pentium 4 / Celeron CPU
  • Intel EM64T / EIST / Hyper-Threading Technology
  • Intel Hyper-Threading technology ready

Chipset

  • North Bridge: Intel 975X (support ATi CrossFire dual Gfx technology)
  • South Bridge: Intel ICH7R
  • PCI-X Bridge: 6702 PXH

Front Side Bus

  • 1066/800 MHz

Memory

  • 4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR2 667/533, ECC and non-ECC un-buffered memory
  • Dual channel architecture
  • Native DDR2 800 Support

Expansion Slots

  • 2 x PCI-E x 16 slots
  • 2 x PCI-X
  • 2 x PCI 2.2

Storage/RAID Intel ICH7R controller:

  • 4 x SATA 150/300 (RAID 0,1,10,5)
  • 1 x ATA

Ext RAID:

  • 4 x SATA 150/300 (RAID 0,1,JBOD, RAID 10 support in the later driver release)

Audio

  • Realtek ALC882, 8 channels +2 Channel High Definition Audio codecs Multi-Streaming Jack Sensing and Enumeration Jack Retasking S/PDIF Out interface

LAN

  • Marvell 88E8066/8062 PCI-E Dual Gb LAN controller
  • WiFi AP module (Optional)

Special Features

  • ASUS AI NET 2
  • ASUS AI Overclocking
  • ASUS MyLogo2
  • ASUS CrashFree BIOS 2
  • ASUS C.P.R.
  • ASUS CPU Lock Free
  • ASUS Hyper Path 3
  • AI Quiet
  • EZ Flash
  • PEG Link
  • Precision Tweaker
  • SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection) from 133MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
  • CPU, memory, PCI-expressx16 voltage adjustable
  • ASUS Q-Fan2 (2 thermal sensor control: CPU + Chassis1)
  • Stack Cool 2
  • 8-Phase Power Design
  • TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 1.2

Back Panel I/O Ports

  • Parallel
  • PS/2 Keyboard
  • PS/2 Mouse
  • RJ45
  • S/PDIF Out (Coaxial + Optical)
  • 4 x USB
  • IEEE 1394a
  • Audio I/O
  • WLAN antenna jack (Optional)

USB

  • 8 x USB 2.0 ports

Internal I/O Connectors

  • 4 x USB
  • 8-pin ATX+12V power
  • 24-pin ATX Power connector
  • 4-pin EZ Plug
  • Chassis intrusion
  • CPU fan with PWM control
  • Chassis fan1 with Q-fan control
  • Chassis fan2 with on/off control
  • PWR fan
  • IDE connector
  • Floppy disk drive connector
  • Serial ATA connectors
  • CD audio in
  • GAME/MIDI connector
  • IEEE 1394a port
  • Front panel audio connector

BIOS

  • 8Mb flash ROM, AMI BIOS, Green, PnP, DMI, Wfm2.0, ACPI v2.0a, SMBIOS v 2.3, EZ flash, CrashFree BIOS2

Manageability

  • WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE, AI NET, Chassis Intrusion

Support CD

  • Drivers
  • BIOS flash utility under DOS
  • AI Booster
  • ASUS PC Probe II
  • RAID utility
  • Symantec NIS 2005
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader ver 7.0
  • Microsoft Direct X ver 9.0C

Accessories

  • User's manual
  • UltraDMA cable
  • FDD cable
  • 2-port USB/ Game port module
  • 1 port 1394a module
  • I/O shield
  • SATA cable
  • SATA power cable
  • WinDVD
  • WiFi Antenna (Optional)

Form Factor

  • ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

 


      

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.

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