As you can see from the table above, the manufacturer paid special attention to networking and data storage features of the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe mainboard. This platform boasts a few principally new algorithms and interfaces that allow connecting hard drives and creating RAID arrays a lot easier and faster. These features as well as the remote control unit that comes with the board allowed ASUS to announce this product within their Digital Home product category. The name of the mainboard also stresses this positioning by the “DH” abbreviation.
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe can be considered a pretty universal product in terms of supported processors and memory as well as expansion options. This board can work with any LGA775 processors, including the old 90nm models as well as the new CPUs with Core microarchitecture. I would like to specifically mention that this mainboard will also be compatible with the quad-core Kentsfield processors that are coming out in Q1 2007.
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe features four slots for DDR2 SDRAM that are located in pairs, each assigned to separate memory channels. Note that besides the officially supported DDR2-533/667/800 SDRAM, the board also allows installing faster DDR2-1067 memory, though this support is not official at this time. The memory bus, however, can only work at this frequency with the CPUs running at 266MHz FSB.
It is very nice that ASUS engineers paid special attention to the expansion slots on the board. Besides the two PCI Express x16 graphics slots (supporting ATI CrossFire technology), there is a pair of PCI Express x1 slots and three (which is a very rare thing for contemporary mainboards) PCI slots.
Among the common features of ASUS P5W DH Deluxe we should mention 8 USB 2.0 ports and two FireWire ports. The chipset ensures the functioning of the USB 2.0 bus, while the FireWire is implemented via the onboard controller from Texas Instruments. The mainboard back panel carries four High-Speed USB ports and one IEEE1394a port. All other ports have been laid out on the PCB as pin-connectors, so you can install special additional brackets with two USB and one FireWire ports that are supplied with the mainboard. Note that one of the USB ports laid out on the mainboard back panel is intended for the infra-red signal receiver that is bundled with the P5W DH Deluxe, so that you could use the remote control unit.
The integrated sound solution based on the eight-channel High Definition Realtek ALC882M codec also has its peculiarities. Thanks to the MP3-In technology, the mainboard allows you using its Line-In even when the system is shut down. The signal will anyway be transferred to the acoustic system. Moreover, this codec boasts one more remarkable feature: it can play two different sound streams independently. In this case one stream will go through 7.1 acoustic system, while the other one will go through the stereo headphones. The codec enabled 6 audio-jack connectors on the mainboard back panel, as well as optical and coaxial SPDIF Outs.
The mainboard engineers paid special attention to the networking capabilities of this product. As we have already mentioned, P5W DH Deluxe features two Gigabit network controllers from Marvell, however ASUS engineers have also implemented a wireless WiFi controller from Realtek that supports IEEE 802.11g standard. This controller is physically laid out on a small add-on daughter card that accommodates an antenna also bundled with the board. The controller comes with special software that allows using it as an access point as well as a station.