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ASUS P5GD2 Premium Mainboard
(Wireless Edition)
Based on Intel 915P

October 8, 2004



It looks like ASUS decided to launch "deluxe" versions of every mainboard of the ATX form factor, no matter what it is based on. Thus, a Platinum version of the mainboard based on i915P (remember that it's not the "coolest" in the 900 chipset series, but actually i925X) is equipped not simply gorgeously, but "to the eyeballs". Who may need a solution based not on the top chipset bus equipped with three (!) network interfaces (two Gigabit Ethernet, and the third is Wi-Fi «g») and with two RAID-controllers (SATA and PATA) - God knows we don't. However, if the product has been launched then there must be such people. But where are they? Yet, we could have been too pessimistic.


The PCB layout is common and not that convenient (it basically concerns the connectors along the left side of the board), but this is the price for the excellent equipment. Access to jumpers may be hampered when the mainboard is in a case, their description is provided on the PCB. +5 V Standby on the mainboard is indicated by a green LED. The 4-phase switching voltage regulator of the processor incorporates one 1500 uF capacitor, four 1000 uF capacitors, and several ones of a lesser capacity. The PCB also contains voltage regulators for the PCI-E x16 bus (2x1000 uF) and for memory (4x1000 uF).

The PCB contains no empty seats for chips and connectors. Mainboard dimensions - 305x245 mm ("wide" ATX, nine-screw mount, all mainboard edges are firmly fixed). The Winbond W83627EHF-A chip is used to monitor:

  • CPU and memory voltage, +3.3 and +/-12 V
  • RPM of 4 fans
  • CPU temperature (by the embedded CPU sensor)
  • Board temperature (by the on-board sensor)

Onboard ports, sockets, and connectors

  • CPU socket (Socket 775)
  • 4 x DDR2 SDRAM DIMM (differ by color, grouped in pairs)
  • 1 x PCI-E x16 (with a latch)
  • 3 x PCI-E x1
  • 2 x PCI 32-bit / 33 MHz
  • Power supply: standard EPS12V (24 pins) and 4-pin connector for 12 V
  • 1 x FDD
  • 1 x IDE (Parallel ATA) - in the chipset
  • 2 x IDE (Parallel ATA) - in the additional controller
  • 4 x SATA (Serial ATA) - all in the chipset
  • 4 x SATA (Serial ATA) - in the additional controller
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (for additional brackets)
  • 2 x FireWire-800 (for the additional bracket)
  • Connector for a network adapter bracket
  • Game-port connector
  • COM-port connector
  • Connector for a case open sensor
  • 1 x CD/DVD audio connector
  • Headers for the bracket with additional Audio-Outs
  • 4 fan headers (each with rpm control).

Back panel (left to right, blockwise)




  • PS/2 mouse, keyboard, LPT, S/PDIF-Out (Coaxial and TosLink)
  • 2 x USB and FireWire
  • 2 x USB and 1 x RJ-45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • 3 x Audio (Center/Sub, Rear, Side)
  • 3 x Audio (Mic-In, Line-In, Front)
  • Jack for a WiFi-b/g adapter antenna


Package Contents

  • Standard design box
  • Documentation:
    • User's manual in English
    • WiFi-b/g manual (in English)
    • Mainboard installation and setup guide (in 5 languages, including Russian)
  • Cables:
    • 2 x ATA66/100/133 (black, with company logo)
    • 1 x ATA33 (black, with company logo)
    • 1 x FDD (black, with company logo)
    • 10 x SATA (with 3 PCPlug-SATA power converters)
  • Rear panel brackets
    • with external SATA connectors
    • with 2 FireWire-800 ports and the RJ-45 jack
    • with 2 USB ports and a Game port
    • with a COM-port
  • WiFi-b/g adapter antenna
  • Rear panel bracket
  • 2 CDs with software:
    • mainboard drivers
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • PC-Cillin 2002
    • ASUS AI Booster
    • ASUS Live Update
    • ASUS PCProbe
    • ASUS Screensaver
    • Winbond Voice Editor
    • Intervideo WinDVD Platinum 5
    • Intervideo WinDVD Creator Platinum 2
    • Intervideo WinRip 2
    • DirectX 9.0B

The number of Serial ATA cables is impressive (they even exceed the number of hard disks, which can be connected to the mainboard!) On the other hand, it seems that the software package has not been updated for a long time it's high time to provide DirectX 9.0x

However, two issues in the equipment of the mainboard should be noted specially: a copper heatsink covering MOSFET's in the supply circuits and an aluminium plate on the back side of the PCB. This combination is called "ASUS Stack Cool". It provides good and noiseless cooling of supply circuits and of the area under the CPU socket. Overclockers will obviously become the main group interested in this new mainboard :).







Integrated Controllers

The integrated audio quality was tested in 16bit, 44 kHz using the RightMark Audio Analyzer 5.1 test application and the Terratec DMX 6fire sound card:

General results

FR passband ripple (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.18, -0.71 Good
Noise level, dB (A): -90.7 Very good
Dynamic range, dB (A): 90.6 Very good
THD, %: 0.022 Good
Intermodulation distortions, %: 0.031 Good
Channel crosstalk, dB: -88.9 Excellent

General performance: Very good.

Proprietary technologies

  • ASUS AI Net2 (detecting cable damages by a network controller using a diagnostics utility)
  • ASUS CrashFree2 BIOS (restoring BIOS from a floppy or a bootable CD)
  • ASUS Q-Fan2 Technology (controlling the fan speed depending on the temperature)
  • ASUS POST Reporter (voice messaging about system startup problems, custom voice messages)
  • ASUS EZ Flash (updating BIOS without loading the OS)
  • ASUS MyLogo 2 (displaying a graphical logo instead of a regular BIOS logo)
  • ASUS Stack Cool (passive cooling of electronic components of the mainboard)
  • ASUS NOS (dynamic overclocking)
  • ASUS WiFi-g (on-board WiFi adapter)

Settings

Jumpers and switches Clear CMOS jumper
Jumpers to enable system wake up on keyboard or USB devices
PS/2 keyboard power jumper
In BIOS v2.51 from AMI Memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge, Write Recovery Time
Memory frequency selection + Auto, DDR2-400, DDR2-533, DDR2-600
PCI/PCI-E x1 bus setup -  
PCI/PCI-E x1 frequency divider setup + PCI-E=Auto, 90-150 MHz at 1 MHz steps; PCI=33.33 MHz, Auto, To CPU
PCI IRQ manual assignment -  
FSB frequency setup + 100-400 MHz at 1 MHz steps
CPU multiplier + x8-x28
CPU core voltage control + 1.3625-1.7 V at 0.0125 V steps
Memory voltage control + 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1 V
Chipset voltage control + Auto, 1.5 and 1.6 V
PCI-E bus voltage control -  

We used BIOS 1004, the latest available BIOS version at the time of our tests.

Preliminary test results

  ASUS P5GD2 Premium Intel D915GUX
Return to Castle Wolfenstein, 800x600x32 229 233
Adobe Photoshop 7.0, script execution 00:08:23 00:08:21
DivX 5.1 Pro encoding 00:07:20 00:07:21
7-zip archiving 00:07:38 00:07:38

References


Reviewed by iXBT.com - this product has passed our lab tests
Dmitry Majorov (destrax@ixbt.com)
September 29, 2004

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