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

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Our Summary & Conlcusion

Benchmark Summary: Asus' P5WDG2-WS and P5WD2-E Premium 975X Express based motherboards both performed very well throughout out entire battery of benchmarks. The workstation class P5WDG2-WS slightly outperformed the Intel-built D975XBX in the majority of the tests we ran, and the enthusiast class P5WD2-E Premium performed better still.  The P5WD2-E Premium nudged ahead of the P5WDG2-WS in the synthetic, gaming and desktop application tests, but the P5WDG2-WS took the top spot in a couple of the 3D rendering tests.

P5WDG2-WS:
The Asus P5WDG2-WS is an interesting product. After working with this board for an extended period of time, we can say with conviction that it is well designed, user friendly and extremely stable. The PCI-X support should appeal to professionals who need the added bandwidth offered by these slots, and the flexible storage options should also be a welcomed feature.  We also think the board's 8-phase power design is a definite plus.  Keeping input and output current and voltage ripple to a minimum with the 8-phase power circuit is certainly a major factor to this board's rock-solid, long term stability. The board was a decent overclocker, it has an impressive feature set, and the P5WDG2-WS' overall performance was very good. The only real "issue" we have with the P5WDG2-WS is its price. This board is currently selling for about $320; roughly $90 higher than most other 975X Express based products.  The 8-phase power design, Intel 6702PXH chipset, Marvell 88E8062 PCI Express dual-Gigabit controller, and the accessory bundle are the major reasons for the somewhat elevated price. Overall though, if the unique features offered by the P5WDG2-WS appeal to you, the board's price will likely not be a show-stopper. The bottom line is this is a killer motherboard.  We're giving it a solid 8.5 on the Heat Meter.

  • 8-Phase Power
  • Multiple RAID Controllers
  • PCI-X Support
  • Good Overclocker
  • Silent Solution
  • Rock-Solid Stable
  • CrossFire Support
  • Good Layout
  • Expensive
  • Limited Audience
  • Minor Layout Issues

 

P5WD2-E Premium:
Looking at its feature set and performance, it's obvious Asus engineered the P5WD2-E Premium with performance enthusiasts in mind. Although its margins of victory weren't very large, the P5WD2-E Premium was technically the fastest 975X Express based motherboard we tested here.  On top of its great performance, the P5WD2-E Premium was also a great overclocker, and it too was completely stable throughout our testing. In addition, the P5WD2-E Premium is one of the few motherboards available today that features a pair of PEG slots, along with three standard PCI slots. With the introductions of PhysX add-in cards, and the desire for most enthusiasts to have dedicated sound cards and perhaps even a TV-Tuner, we think having three usable PCI slots is a definite plus. We do wish, however, that Asus had incorporated their 8-phase power design into this board and perhaps better organized the SATA, IDE, and expansion headers in the corner of the PCB, but these wants aren't deal breakers by any means. Finally, with a current price hovering around $220, the P5WD2-E Premium is priced in-line with other enthusiast-class 975X Express powered motherboards.  Potential consumers looking for a high-end LGA775 based mobo can't do much better than the P5WD2-E Premium.  We're giving the P5WD2-E Premium an 8 on the Heat Meter. 

  • Great Overclocker
  • Best-of-Class Performance
  • Expandability Options
  • CrossFire Support
  • Very Stable
  • Silent Cooling
  • No 8-Phase Power Array
  • Minor Layout Issues

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