Articles: Mainboards

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Closer Look

Let’s now take a closer look at the PCB design and features of ASUS P5W64 WS Professional mainboard.

Eight-phase processor voltage regulator has become a traditional feature of top ASUS mainboards. However, only half of MOSFET transistors are covered with the heatsink. Anyway, the main goal of this heatsink is to help cool down the chipset North Bridge, as it receives the heat from the chip via the heatpipe.

Of course, a mainboard that is ready to support multi-core processors as well as four graphics cards at a time should have an 8-pin CPU power supply connector and a 24-pin ATX connector onboard. The board will work with a 4-pin processor connector and a 20-pin ATX connector as well, but in this case you should better ensure additional power on the EZ-Plug connector.

The lower part of the PCB is stuffed with all sorts of additional controllers and ports.

ASUS used IDT 89HA0324 switch to ensure the support of four PCI-E x16 slots. It is covered with a Quartet heatsink. The ICH7R South Bridge also gets pretty warm at work and uses a small needle-shaped heatsink.

The mainboard supports two Parallel ATA and four Serial ATA devices thanks to the chipset South Bridge. The very bottom edge of the board is packed with connectors and ports: sound connectors, COM-port (a corresponding bracket comes with the board, although the specs do not mention any COM ports), USB, IEEE 1394 and three SATA connectors serviced by the Marvell 88SE6145 controller. The fourth eSATA connector implemented via the same controller is laid out on the back panel of the board, which also carries keyboard and mouse connectors, coaxial and optical S/PDIF connectors, six audio-jacks (ADI 1988B), LPT-port, 4 USB and 2 network RJ45 connectors (Marvell 88E8052 and 88E8001).

In conclusion to our visual inspection of ASUS P5W64 WS Professional mainboard I would like to mention that there are four fan connectors, three of which offer rotation speed management ability, and a TPM-connector in the lower right corner of the PCB above the front panel connectors. It is designed for the TPM-module (Trusted Platform Module) that stores safely all your passwords, keys, certificates and data. This module can be purchased separately.

As you see, the layout of ASUS P5W64 WS Professional mainboard is very compact and smart, despite the tremendous amount of different controllers and connectors.

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