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Closer Look: ASUS P5W DH Deluxe

It is very important to select the right mainboard for the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor. At least at this time, when there is not much of a choice and even the available products are not absolutely perfect. In fact, there are only two mainboards available at this time that will suit the hardware enthusiasts. They are – Intel D975XBX Bad Axe revision 304 (other modifications of this mainboard do not support Conroe processors) and ASUS P5W DH Deluxe.

I have to point out that even if you are an overclocker, you should still consider Intel mainboard as a possible option. Strange as you might think, but Intel D975XBX Bad Axe is very different from other similar mainboards designed by Intel. It boasts a few pretty decent options for CPU overclocking, including processor Vcore and Vmem adjustment as well as raising the FSB frequency to 400MHz. moreover, D975XBX Bad Axe allows performing a lot of modifications that will turn it into an even better overclocking tool.

Nevertheless, we decided to select ASUS P5W DH Deluxe for our today’s review. It offers a list of advanced overclocking-friendly features that are available immediately without any additional modifications. Besides, ASUS has well-established reputation among hardware enthusiasts. This gives us very good reason to believe that P5W DH Deluxe will prove an ideal platform for the new Intel processor.

So, let’s take a closer look at the new solution from ASUS. P5W DH Deluxe is based on a relatively old Intel 975X Express chipset that remains the fastest solution for the high-end systems in the market today. Even though the new Intel P965 Express is equipped with a more enhanced ICH8 South Bridge, it is positioned for the mainstream systems in the first place. That is why ASUS decided to go with the i975X for their top mainboard product.

We have already come across a few older ASUS solutions on the i975X chipset before. However, they were not intended to support Intel Core 2 Duo processors and didn’t have the VRM 11 compliant CPU voltage regulator circuitry. Therefore, ASUS P5W DH Deluxe can be regarded as a new revision of a well-known and beloved solution – ASUS P5WD2-E Premium, even though it might not be absolutely correct to say so. The new mainboard boasts some serious design changes and a number of new features that distinguish it clearly from the predecessor. Juts look at the official mainboard spec, and you will see the difference right away:

ASUS P5W DH Deluxe

CPU

LGA775 processors: Celeron D, Pentium 4, Pentium D,
Pentium 4 XE, Pentium XE, Core 2 Duo
and upcoming quad-core CPUs

Chipset

Intel 975X (i975X + ICH7R)

FSB frequency, MHz

100-450 (with 1MHz increment)

Overclocking-friendly fucntions

Adjustable Vcore, Vmem, North and South Bridge voltages
and FSB voltage;
Independent clocking of PCI and PCI Express busses;
NOS technology – automatic CPU overclocking

Memory

4 DDR2 DIMM slots
for dual-channel DDR2-800/667/533 SDRAM

PCI Express x16 slots

2 (with ATI Crossfire support)

PCI Express x1 slots

2

PCI expansion slots

3

USB 2.0 ports

8 (4 – on the rear panel)

IEEE1394 ports

2 IEEE1394a ports
(1 – on the rear panel, via the TI 1394 controller)

ATA-100/133

1 ATA-100 channel (in the chipset)
1 ATA-100 channel (by JMicron JMB363 controller)

Serial ATA

3 Serial ATA-300 channel
(in the chipset, with RAID support)

2 Serial ATA-300 channel
(by Silicon Image 4723 controller, with RAID support)

1 Serial ATA-300 channel
(by JMicron JMB363 controller, with RAID support)

1 Serial ATA-300/SATA-on-the-Go channel
(by JMicron JMB363 controller, with RAID support)

ATA RAID support

RAID 0, 1, 5, Matrix Storage in the chipset
RAID 0, 1 by Silicon Image 4723 controller
RAID 0, 1 by JMicron JMB363 controller

Integrated sound

8-channel HD Realtek ALC882M codec
with Dolby Master Studio support

Integrated network

2 Gigabit Ethernet Marvell 88E8053 controllers
Wireless IEEE 802.11g Realtek RTL8187L network controller

Additional features

None

BIOS

AMIBIOS v2.58

Form-factor

ATX, 305mm x 244mm

 
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