ASUS P5GDC-V Deluxe Vs. Soltek SL-915GPro-FGR - Intel 915G Doubleshot

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Introduction

In recent months, Intel's i915G/P and i925X chipsets have taken center stage as the premier chipsets for the Intel P4 desktop platform.  With the new "Grantsdale" and "Alderwood" chipsets came the next major shift in computer technology.  The latest designs employ the newest Pentium 4 LGA775 packaging, while bringing PCI Express and DDR2 to the forefront of the Intel-based market. 

With so much change, making the move to Intel's latest offerings requires a little more planning and cost consideration.  Unlike previous chipset updates, the decision of migrating to the newer platform involves more than just a motherboard upgrade.  User's will need to factor in a new CPU and motherboard at the minimum, while considering a PCI-E graphics solution and possibly DDR2 memory upgrade.  When you start to run a tally on some of the outlay involved, making the move can become a costly endeavor.

Fortunately, several OEM's recognized early on that people are going to need options so they can adopt newer technology without having to scrap their current hardware altogether.  Companies like ASUS and Soltek are offering several options to help make the transition less painful by blending a little of the old with the new.  Today, we are going to look at two i915G options that aim to ease the impact on your wallet.  Each board brings a balance of features that doesn't render all of your current hardware obsolete.

The first board we'll take a look at is the ASUS P5GDC-V Deluxe that brings integrated graphics, PCI-E and DDR/DDR2 support, as well as a hefty feature set.  Then we'll look at another solution from Soltek with their SL-915GPro-FGR which is a DDR only solution with an impressive feature set and bundle that make it a compelling offering in its own right.  Before we delve deeper into each board and its relative performance, we'll cover the contents of the retail packages.  Then, we'll try to paint a clearer picture as to where each board fits in the market today based on the design, benchmarking and quality of each model.

The ASUS P5GDC-V Deluxe & Soltek SL-915GPro-FGR
Very Similar, Yet Very Different
InterVideo WinDVD Suite (OEM version)
1 x IEEE1394 ports
4 x Serial ATA cables
2 x 2-port SATA power cable
1 x 2-port USB2.0 / Game module
1 x COM Port module
2 x UUltra DMA133/100/66 cable
1 x IDE cable
1 x FDD cable
1 x I/O Shield
User's manua
l

In typical ASUS fashion, the P5GDC-V Deluxe comes packed to the gills with a broad array of hardware and software components.  The package comes with the basics, including a Setup CD and User Guide to aid in the smooth setup and installation of the board.  We were impressed to find that ASUS provided enough data cables to accommodate every open IDE, Floppy and SATA port on the board.  Two Molex-to-SATA power adapters were also included along with an IEEE1394 bracket and COM port module.  There was an additional bracket offering two more USB ports while providing a legacy DB-15 Gaming port.  Rounding out the bundle was InterVideo's WinDVD Suite that covers the gamut of DVD, from playback and recording, to full-fledged authoring. 


1 x IEEE1394 ports
4 x Serial ATA cables
2 x 2-port SATA power cable
1 x 2-port USB2.0 / Game module
1 x COM Port module
2 x UUltra DMA133/100/66 cable
1 x IDE cable
1 x FDD cable
1 x I/O Shield
User's manual

The Soltek SL-915GPro-FGR bundle wasn't quite as comprehensive as the ASUS model, but it had a lot to offer nonetheless.  Along with a Setup CD, a System Utilities disk was included with such applications as PC-Cillin 2004, Drive Image 4 and Partition Magic 6 SE, to name a few.  The titles were a bit dated, but should prove useful when migrating data to a new hard drive.  Two manuals were included, the first being the User's Guide which covered all aspects of the motherboard, whereas the other manual covered the applications on the System Utilities Disk.  When it came to data cables, Soltek provided a mix-matched combination including one round IDE cable, two flat IDE and one Floppy cable.  Additionally, four SATA cables were included as well as useful power adapters that split one Molex connection into two SATA connectors.  A single bracket offered two additional USB ports powered by the on-board header while an I/O shield made sure the board fit properly into any ATX case.

As you can see, each company brings its own flavor of retail bundle to the table. Both models offer a complete package aimed at easy installation, while providing all of the extras to explore each board's many features. Next, we'll focus our attention on each board more closely to uncover their respective salient features in greater detail. First up is the ASUS P5GDC-V Deluxe.

Tags:  Intel, Asus, LTE, GDC, SHO, UX, hot, pro, 5G, K

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