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Asus P5W DH 975X Core 2 Ready Motherboard Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Asus
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Introduction and Specifications

Introduction


With the release of the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors in mid-July, Intel has finally created a desktop product that was able to take back the performance crown from AMD.  However, unlike what many of us expected, existing LGA775 motherboards are not compatible with Conroe-based Core 2 Duo CPUs because of a voltage regulation issue.  The modifications were simple, but required hardware changes, so enthusiasts looking for a Core 2 system are going to need to upgrade their motherboard as well.


Even though Intel officially unveiled the 965 chipset during the Core 2 launch, Intel still stands behind the 975X chipset as the premiere enthusiast platform for their processors.  There are several existing motherboards from various manufacturers that are seeing modifications and re-releases to the market for Core 2 Duo users.  Others, like this Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard, are brand new designs that were held until the Core 2 launch.  Offering support CrossFire and the Core 2 Extreme X6800 CPU (of course), this board might be a part of the best gaming system you can build.


Specifications (from Asus.com)

















































































CPU

LGA775 socket for Intel® Pentium 4/Celeron CPU
Support Inte Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition & Intel Pentium® D Processor
Support Intel 65nm, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme
Support Intel next generation Mulit-Core CPU
Compatible with Intel 05B/ 05A and 04B/04A processors
Intel EM64T and Hyper-Threading Technology ready

Chipset

Intel 975X
Intel ICH7R

Front Side Bus

1066/ 800 MHz

Memory

Dual channel memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. 8GB DDR2 800/ 667/ 533 ECC and non-ECC memory
Intel MPT (Intel Memory Pipeline Technology)
ASUS Hyper Path3

Expansion Slots

2 x PCI Express x 16 slot for discrete graphics card
2 x PCI Express x 1
3 x PCI

CrossFire

Support ATI CrossFire graphics cards (both @ x8 mode)
ASUS two-slot thermal design
ASUS PEG Link

Storage/RAID

Intel ICH7R South Bridge:
  *1 x UltraDMA 100/66/33
  *3 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s with Intel® Matrix Storage Technology with RAID 0, 1, 5 support
Jmicron JMB363 controller
 *1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66
 *1 x External Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s (ASUS SATA-on-the-Go) and 1 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s with RAID 0, 1, JBOD support
Silicon Image 4723 Hardware RAID controller (ASUS EZ-Backup)
  *2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s with RAID 0, 1 support
  *Support RAID 10 cross Intel® ICH7R and Silicon Image 4723 controller

LAN

Dual Gigabit LAN controllers
  *2 x Marvell 88E8053 Gigabit LAN Controller, both featuring AI NET2
Wireless LAN: 54Mbps IEEE 802.11g (ASUS WiFi-AP Solo™)

Audio


Realtek ALC882M High Definition Audio 8-channel CODEC
Support Multi-streaming, Jack-sensing and Jack-retasking functions
Anti Pop Function
Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out on back I/O port
Features Dolby Master Studio technology
- Dolby Prologic IIX
- Dolby Headphone 
- Dolby Virtual Speaker
- Dolby Digital Live


IEEE 1394a

TI 1394 controller supports 2 x 1394a ports

USB

Max. 8 USB2.0/1.1 ports

ASUS AI Lifestyle Features

Stack Cool 2 patented fanless cooling system
"SATA on the Go" External SATA connector
AI Quiet

Overclocking Features

AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System)
ASUS PEG Link
Precision Tweaker: 
- vDIMM: 12-step DRAM voltage control 
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125 increment 
- SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection): allowing FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment 
- PCIe x16 Frequency: allowing PCIe x16 frequency from 90MHz up to 150MHz at 1MHz increment"
AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio. Fixed PCI/PCIe frequencies.
ASUS AI Booster utility
ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Other ASUS Special Features

CrashFree BIOS 3
EZ-Flash2
Q-Fan2
Multi-language BIOS
MyLogo2

BIOS

8 Mb Flash ROM,AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3

Manageability

WOL by PME, WOR by PME, Chassis Intrusion, PXE & RPL

Back Panel I/O Ports

1 x Serial Port
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
2 x RJ45
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x IEEE1394a
1 x External SATA port
1 x WiFi-AP Solo™ antenna jack
8-Channel Audio I/O

Internal I/O Connectors

2 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
1 x IEEE1394a connector
CPU /  2 x Chassis(system) / 2 x Power Fan connectors
Front panel Audio connector
ASUS EZ-Backup jumpers
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD audio-in connector
MP3-In connector (Red)
SPDIF out connector
System panel connector
Azalia Digital Header
24-pin ATX Power connector
4-pin EATX12V Power connector

Support CD

Drivers
Make RAID driver Disk for Intel ICH7R and JMB 363
ASUS DH Remote Application
ASUS WiFi-AP Solo™ Wizard
ASUS PC Probe 2
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
InterVideo® Media Launcher (OEM version)
Anti-virus software (OEM version)

Accessories


1 x ASUS Q-Connector set (USB, 1394, system panel; Retail version only)
InterVideo® MEDIA LAUNCHER Suite (OEM version)
1 x Optional Fan
1 x IEEE1394a port module
2 x SATA cables
1 x SATA power cable for 2 devices
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x IDE cable
1 x FDD cable
1 x I/O Shield
1 x 2-port USB2.0 module
User's manual


Form Factor

ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

Advanced Thermal Design

ASUS 8-Phase Power Design
ASUS Stack Cool2
ASUS Fanless Design: Heat-pipe Thermal solution

ASUS Digital Home Accessories

1 x Asus DH Remote™
1 x ASUS DH Remote™ Receiver
1 x ASUS MP3-In™ module
1 x ASUS WiFi-AP Solo Antenna
2 x ASUS EZ-Backup™ SATA cables

ASUS Digital Home Features

ASUS EZ-Backup™  
-  2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s support hardware RAID 0 or RAID 1 mode 
-  Plug and play: Default setting in RAID 1 mode, no driver, no BIOS configuration required

ASUS WiFi-AP Solo  
54 Mbps IEEE 802.11g and backwards compatible with 11 Mbps IEEE 802.11b 
- Software Access point mode  
- Station mode : Infrastruceure mode and Ad-Hoc mode

Asus DH Remote™  
- Power 
- Quick Power 
- Noise Off 
- EZ WiFi 
- Full Screen 
- AP Launch 
- Media Control Zone

ASUS MP3-In™

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