Package and Accessories
The box should first of all protect the mainboard against physical damage, and all packaging copes with this task quite well, I should say. At the same time, the packaging should attract potential customers with its design and inform them about the peculiarities and advantages of the product inside.
The design of ASUS P5N-D mainboard package will hardly attract that many users, although theoretically, there is everything a package should have to be appealing: company name, mainboard model name, logos. However, in my humble opinion, the front side of it turned out pretty gloomy and dark.
We were also disappointed with the information on the back of the box. There is only a small mainboard photo, specifications and supported technologies are listed as icons, and two of them – ASUS EPU and Precision Tweaker 2 – deserved one phrase each in seven languages. By the way, ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit) that allows changing the number of active phases in the processor voltage regulator circuitry depending on the workload is also mentioned on the front of the box.
While we were working on this review we had to go back to our last year’s article called Nvidia nForce 650i SLI Chipset and only $130: ASUS P5N-E SLI Mainboard Review. Turned out that its box was designed in exactly the same way. The list of bundled accessories also barely changed since then. ASUS P5N-D mainboard comes with the following items:
- IDE and FDD cables with ASUS logos;
- Four Serial ATA cables;
- SATA power splitter;
- A bracket with two USB 2.0 ports;
- Asus Q-Connector Kit for convenient connection of separate cables to USB, IEEE1394 and front panel;
- SLI bridge;
- I/O Shields for the rear panel.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that two SATA cables are L-shaped and the other two – regular, so the user can pick the ones he likes. The same attention to small but useful conveniences has already been demonstrated by Gigabyte and discussed I our article called Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 Mainboard: a Short Step Away from Ideal.
ASUS P5N-D mainboard boasts another feature of the sort. From the description of ASUS Q-Shield technology I couldn’t understand what “fingers” they were talking about and what the idea behind it was. In fact, all I had to do was look at the icon on the right:
Anyone who has assembled a system at least once will understand everything right away. The rear panel I/O Shield has a few “fingers” on the back of it that provide electrical contact with the connectors thus taking off the EMI. However, these “fingers” need to be bent accordingly otherwise they tend to catch into the connectors. ASUS Q-Shield solves the problem. It has no “fingers” but its entire back surface is covered with porous material topped with a conducting layer.
You no longer have to bend and watch all those “fingers”, assembly gets way simpler, as the shield just needs to be put in place. The conducting layer will provide electrical contact and porous material will ensure that it is pressed firmly against the connectors. Nice and easy.