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

ASUS P5AD2 Premium BIOS and Software Utilities


We tested version 1004 of the ASUS P5AD2 Premium BIOS, which is currently up on ASUS' site as a publicly released BIOS.  Like the product bundle and board itself, the AMI BIOS utility that ASUS developed for this board has an amazing array of features.

BIOS and Software - ASUS P5AD2 Premium
Ai Proatctive and Ai NOS?

ASUS is now pushing their AI Proactive/AI NOS technology with this board, and the features do have some interesting functionality.  Users can set "Turbo NOS" and "Twin Turbo NOS" settings in their BIOS up to 30% overclock.  "NOS," a play on nitrous oxide speed boosts, actually stands for Non-delay Overclocking System.  This utility senses when the system is put under load and then kicks the clock speeds and voltages up according to user-level settings in the BIOS. 

We tested the feature out, loaded up a Sandra CPU Test run, and quickly switched to a CPU-Z timing check to witness a solid and stable 10% overclock at 3.7GHz but not the 30% or 20% overclock that we set in the BIOS.  Perhaps it was that the system wasn't loaded down enough with this test, but we can't be entirely sure.  Regardless, this is a nice innovation for the average user who wants to control heat while maximizing performance.  AI NOS is a dynamic overclocking feature that, as long as it is stable, is a great way to keep heat in check at low system loads, only driving up clock speeds and related heat output as required.

The rest of the ASUS P5AD2 BIOS setup menus have all that you could possibly want to tweak and more, even including new features such as "FSB Termination Voltage." We are told this feature adds to stability during overclocks, but frankly, we didn't experience any real advantage with the setting either way.  What's more interesting to us is the P5AD2's extra Memory divisor setting, which allows the user to click up memory timings a notch at default FSB speeds and less aggressive overclocks.

P5AD2 Premium PC Probe and Wireless AP Software

PC Probe

Wireless NIC

Wireless Signal

Access Point

ASUS PC Probe is nothing new to the ASUS Motherboard product line, and it works relatively well for health monitoring functions and other vital stats.  Although we were a bit perplexed on its reporting of our 3.4GHz LGA775PrescottCPU temp of 23C at idle.  That number couldn't possibly be accurate. 

What is more impressive, however, is ASUS' bundled Wi-Fi Client and Soft AP software that drives the Marvell 54g Wi-Fi chipset on the board.  As you can see, there are user configurations for "Station" and "AP" or Access Point mode.  In addition, the Premium version of the P5AD2 that we tested comes with Dual Gigabit Ethernet wired NICs, so in combination with the AP software, you could turn a workstation into a combination workstation/server setup with full Wireless Access Point and WEP encryption functionality, along with a hub port for a nearby client. The 54g radio worked as expected, offering excellent file transfer and Internet downloadspeeds throughour lab's wireless router and cable connection in our quick functionality tests.  

Tags:  Asus, RAM, Pre, EMI, DS, Premium, ium, AA, Abit, Dog, rom, AMA, AM, and

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