With every introduction of new chipsets and processors, one of the first products to reach reviewers is boards from Asus. This is really no surprise, since Asus is the largest independent motherboard maker in the world, and Asus has resources for development that many motherboard makers can only dream of.

We have noticed a trend over many years that Asus is particularly adept at designing boards for Intel processors. This makes perfect sense when you realize the very close working relationship that Asus engineers have with Intel engineers. It is the reason why you saw Asus pioneering PAT on the 865 Northwood chipset - just one of many innovations that Asus has brought to motherboards for Intel processors.

With the Intel preview of Dual-Core processors, Asus managed to deliver a board based on the new nForce4 chipset for Intel supporting dual-core processors - something that NVIDIA was not able to deliver by that time frame. We were very impressed with the performance of the Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe, so we were excited to take a look at the Asus board based on the Intel 955x chipset, the Asus P5WD2 Premium. Asus has implemented many unique options on this board - not the least of which are FSB options to 1066, and the promise of "semi-SLI" performance for the future.

This review is not another Intel dual-core processor platform comparison. This was covered in Dual Core Intel Platform Shootout - NVIDIA nForce4 vs. Intel 955X. If you are interested in how the nForce4 Intel compares to an Intel 955x in multi-tasking, you should take a closer look at the platform shootout. This review takes a closer look at the unique features, performance, and overclocking capabilities of the Asus P5WD2 Premium, which is based on the Intel 955x chipset. We also compare features, performance, and overclocking to the Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe, which is the Asus NF4 Intel solution.

Basic Features: Asus P5WD2 Premium


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  • chawkfan2002 - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    In reading your article you indicate the “Corsair CM2X512A-5400UL could reach DDR2-1066” I am trying to determine how the memory speed is actually DDR2-1066? Your illustration indicates the FSB at 1068MHz (1066MHz) do you have any screenshot that shows the memory speed at 1066MHz? If the FSB is at 1066MHz then the memory bus is only at 534MHz (FSB 1066/4=266 actual speed… Memory bus 266x2=533 Double Data Rate) I have tried the FSB at 266 and manually changed the memory speed to DDR2-800, Memtest+ still shows actual speed at 534MHz

    Any information you can provide on how to achieve the 1066MHz actual memory speed will be most graciously accepted.
  • Makyla - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    pwned Reply
  • ElFenix - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    just because a lot of people got it wrong doesn't mean it's right. the first definition is the only proper one. that is like saying that because it is popular, on the internet, to say "he should of done that" means that 'of' is a proper substitute for 'have.'

    as for heat sink, much of that is the same. i suggest you take a look here:
  • ElFenix - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    ""a fan doesn't actually cool anything, it just pushes air around"

    Try disabling the fans in your rig and A/C, take temp readings before and after and get back with us. Moving same temp to same temp isn't cooling. Moving cooler air (or water or other) to something that is hotter (chip, compressor, radiator, etc) most definitely actively cools it."

    no, the conducting of heat from the radiator to the air through natural processes cools it. an air conditioner actually moves the heat against the temperature gradient. a fan cannot do that. a fan, again, isn't actually cooling anything. just because there is a moving part moving the air at a faster than natural current does not mean that the cooling is active. it is not. you're still relying on the normal radiator-air interaction. now a peltier actually moves the heat. that is active cooling. a fan only passively cools.
  • Viditor - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    How about this board

    SUPER H8DCE Serverboard ( OEM White Box ) for System only
    Dual AMD Opteron 200 series Processor supported-940 pin ZIF Socket
    nVIDIA nForce Pro 2200 & 2050 Chipset
    Up to16/16/32 GB of ECC Registered DDR 400/333/266 SDRAM
    nVIDIA nForce Pro 2200 & 2050 SATA II controller for 8 SATA ports
    Dual nVIDIA nForce Pro 2200 & 2050 Gigabit Ethernet
    AC'97 audio CODEC high quality 6-channel sound
    2 X PCI-Express x16 + 2 X PCI-Express x4 + 3 X 32 bit PCI

    Dual dual Opterons with SLI...
  • Darth Farter - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    Wesley Fink,

    do you know at what msrp Intel puts them (955/945)?
    also for the nf4(&ati) dual core compatible boards?
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    #26 - As we said in the review, we were able to enable SLI on the 955x using the old, almost unavailable nVidia 66.75 drivers. However, none of our SLI-enabled games worked properly. It was our original intention to compare the SLI performance (and we have P5ND2-SLI benchmarks), but the "Semi-SLI" was not completely working. Until the P5WD2 SLI works, and works with readily available drivers, the fact there are 2 x16 slots on the Asus 955x is academic for SLI - a promise for the future. Reply
  • Capt Caveman - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    Small Win. If you go to Asus's website, they have updated it. They now list two editions of the P5WD2 Premium board and list the Wifi-TV Card as either bundled or optional. Of course, they have yet to email me back. Or offer the Wifi-TV Card.

  • niz - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    Its a shame that they didn't bother to benchmark comparative SLI performance between the two motherboards.

    I'd like to know whether the diffrerence between the PciE slot timings (x8/x8 and x16/x2-4) really makes any difference to SLI performance.
  • HardwareD00d - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    They will probably be able to reach DDR2-4096 speeds pretty soon by setting timings to 20-20-20-60 and hooking up a 9v battery to it. Reply

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