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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  • fitten - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    #5 Differences of 3% are usually in the noise of the type tests that most benchmark sites run. 3% is effectively 0% since that is beneath the precision of the tests. Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    Higher speed memory will only give you a real performance boost if you use one of the fastest processors. On a slower processor, all that extra memory bandwidth will not help at all (or very little) Reply
  • Carfax - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    I wonder, is Intel ever going to introduce processors with a FSB greater than 1066 before they go to CSI? All this DDR2 bandwidth is going to waste..

  • Darth Farter - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    what is the msrp for these boards, cause that $255/$248 prices on newegg/ZZF are hard to ignore... Reply
  • Pjotr - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    "i thought hypertransport was an amd thing, not an intel or nforce thing....."

    nVidia uses HyperTransport between NB and SB. They have since nForce1 on AMD and they also use it in X-Box, if you didn't know.
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    #5 - We didn't measure the difference in nF4 Intel and nF4 AMD at 2T. It was a subjective comment. So I have tried to better explain what I found in the paragraph you quote:

    "On the nF4 Intel platform, the performance impact of a 2T Command Rate appears to be rather small, as the nF4 Intel performance remains very competetive with the 955x as far as it goes. However, at just over DDR2-900, the nF4 Intel appears to hit a wall . . ."
  • Zebo - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    "it would have been better to include a fx-55 as competition "

    Not for INTC;)

    Man that's a nice chipset they got though so missed from nV:)
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    overclockingoodness -
    Both boards are rated at DDR2-667, but both easily ran DDR2-800 with the right memory, which is the next logical memory speed. We mainly wanted to see if DDR2-800 made any real performance difference, and the answer is no in Office and Multimedia, and yes in most gaming. For the future this also gives us a full set of benchmarks at DDR2-800 for comparison if we choose to use them.

    We also found the Asus 955X did a marginal DDR2-1066 in early testing so it seemed reasonable to at least test and report benchmarks at the very stable DDR2-800 in addition to DDR2-667. We won't be doing this with all future boards, but the tests did provide some answers to our questions.
  • mrwxyz - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    i thought hypertransport was an amd thing, not an intel or nforce thing..... Reply
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    On page 5 you mention 2T having less of an impact than with AMD boards.
    Does that mean it has absolutely zero impact then?
    There's a thread on the forums showing 2T for AMD haveing REAL WORLD impacts of maybe 3% slowdown, nothing more except in synthetic tests, so I suppose on the Intel board it makes maybe 1% difference.

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