"An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation."

This quote from the American philosopher and pragmatist William James led us to try a few different testing methodologies for today's article. We are reviewing the Asus P5WDG2-WS motherboard along with comparison scores to the Gigabyte GA-G1 975X. While the two boards are targeted for completely different audiences, both utilize Intel's excellent 975X chipset. Asus will be releasing the P5WD2-E for the enthusiast market in the near future and we will directly compare it to the Gigabyte GA-G1 975X at that time.

Asus's new series of Main Station motherboards are designed specifically for high-end computer and workstation users. With the release of this series, Asus is concentrating on providing additional storage options, improved cooling performance, and scalability for the business user. The board will fully support the soon to be released Pentium XE dual-core CPU, which offers two independent 2MB L2 cache, 1066MHz front-side-bus, Hyper-Threading Technology, and Virtualization Technology for improved multi-thread operations.

The chart above lists the standard feature set available to manufacturers using the Intel 82975X chipset. The Intel 975X Express Chipset enables full support for multiple 2x8 PCI Express graphics cards, Intel Memory Pipeline Technology (MPT), Intel Flex Memory Technology , 8GB memory addressability, and ECC memory support.

The Intel MPT has been enhanced to offer improved pipelining to enable a higher utilization of each memory channel, resulting in better performance through increased transfers between the processor and system memory. Intel Flex Memory Technology allows different memory sizes to be populated and still remain in dual-channel mode.

The new architecture also supports both asynchronous and isochronous data traffic, with dedicated internal pipelines and specialized arbitration. In addition, the 975X chipset has improved electricals with optimized ball-out for better latency.

The 975X chipset offers full support for graphic based PCI Express x16 lanes that can be configured as two PCI Express x8 slots for multi-view or GPU capability. The 975X chipset fully supports ATI CrossFire technology. Further technical details of the 975X chipset can be download in PDF format at Intel's website.

Asus chose to augment this feature set with additional SATA II capabilities via the Marvell 88SE6141 chipset, PCI-X capabilities via the Intel 6702PXH chipset, and Firewire 1394a support via the TI TSB43AB22 chipset.

Let's see how this board compares to others.

Basic Features
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  • Tujan - Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - link

    Can you tell us what power supply was used on this Asus multi-layered board ? What kind of power muscle did get used. ? [ ]

    Thanks.Didn't see it right off in table of 'Setup.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - link

    We used the OCZ Power Stream 520. It is our standard power supply for testing. I have listed in the overclocking setup but not in the regular test setup. I will add that line in the next article.

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • Kensei - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    Cool quote from the man often referred to as the first US psychologist. The psychology building at Harvard, where he was a professor, is also named after him. And I'm pretty sure he got that honor without giving them a ton of money.

    Kensei
    Reply
  • Saist - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    just wondering how the board would compare using the Via Envy HT-S sound chip... Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    Would a Chaintech AV710 satisfy your question? ;-> Reply
  • Hikari - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    I have some horrible 945G board (don't ask, I use a 7800GT lol), and I can't even run PC2-6400 over 667, nor will the computer not crash if I put the bus over 205. :(

    So when are the 975x boards supposed to come out? I see some of the Intel boxes listed now in froogle (not usually in stock though), but not from Gigabyte, Asus, or anyone else yet. :) I'd be happy if it is before the 21st (my birthday). This Asus board looks like it'll be exceedingly expensive, though.
    Reply
  • rrcn - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    Boards featuring the 975X chipset should hit retail stores sometime this week. We'll see... Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    The 975x boards should be shipping in volume by the end of the year. We expect to see a small sampling of boards in the retail channel as early as next week but as always that could change. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    Right... I am gonna overclock my workstation system by 30%....

    "I'll overclock my server by 20% when 4 million people depend on it NOT TO CRASH!!"
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Right... I am gonna overclock my workstation system by 30%....
    :->

    I know the overclock testing was a bit much for a "workstation" board but it does give an indication to the quality of the components used on the board.
    Reply

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