ABIT AA8 DuraMAX and ASUS P5AD2 Premium- New Alderwoods From The Big Dogs

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The ASUS P5AD2 Premium Wireless Edition, Details and Specs


ASUS certainly took the proverbial high road with the bundle and design setup of their new Alderwood board.  We tested the P5AD2 Premium Wireless Edition package, which comes with just about every bonus add-on you could think of from a hardware and peripheral perspective.

The P5AD2 Premium comes with no less than 10 Serial ATA cables, four SATA power cables, two UltraDMA ATA133/100/66 cables, and four external port back-plates.  You are probably wondering, why all those SATA cables?  Because the P5AD2 Premium comes with both Intel's new ICH6 Southbridge with an integrated RAID-ready SATA controller and a Silicon Image RAID controller, both with four SATA ports hanging off them.  In addition, ASUS included an external SATA Extension plate for external SATA connections.  This is definitely a feature that could come in handy down the road, as more SATA-based external drive products come to market. Finally, as if that weren't enough, ASUS also dropped in a dual-channel, RAID-capable ITE Parallel ATA chip for legacy single ATA drives, RAID 0, and RAID 1 configurations.

Specifications and Features for the ASUS P5AD2 Premium
"Feature-rich" would be an understatement
- LGA775 socket for Intel Pentium 4/Celeron CPU
- Compatible with Intel 04B and 04A processors
- Intel Hyper-Threading Technology ready

Intel 925X, Intel ICH6R
- Frontside Bus 800 / 533MHz

- Dual-channel memory architecture
- 4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. 4GB DDR2 533/400 non-ECC memory
- Intel Performance Acceleration Technology (Intel PAT)
Expansion Slots

1 x PCI Express x16 slot for discrete graphics card
- 2 x PCI Express x1
- 3 x PCI
Storage/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 with JBOD, 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 Gigabit LAN controllers
- 2 x Marvell PCIe 88E8053 Gigabit LAN Controller, features AI NET2
Wireless LAN:

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

- C-Media High Definition Audio 8-channel CODEC
- Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out on back I/O port
- Features Dolby Digital Live technology
IEEE 1394b/a TI 1394b controller
- 2 x 1394b ports @ 800 Mbps speed
- 1 x 1394a ports @ 400 Mbps speed
USB Max. 8 USB2.0 ports
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)
Other ASUS Special Features
CrashFree BIOS 2
- Q-Fan2
- Post Reporter
- Multi-language BIOS
- MyLogo2
- BIOS 8 Mb Flash ROM,AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3
Back Panel I/O Ports 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
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
Support CD Drivers
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Accessories 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
Form Factor ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

Then, of course, there's ASUS' addition of a Wireless NIC and Access Point functionality for the P5AD2 Premium Wireless Edition.  This is a standard feature for the board, not an option. We'll touch more on the technology and functionality of this in the follow-on detail section.  ASUS includes a Wireless LAN antenna and the associated jack on the backplate I/O for boards configured with this feature.  Finally, the P5AD2 is also bundled with the usual ASUS health monitoring utilities and driver CD with Wireless Access Point and Client software, as well as an OEM copy of the latest version of InterVideo's WinDVD, which we feel is a nice addition to any software bundle.

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