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Digital-Daily : Motherboard Reviews : asus-p5ad2-premium

Asus P5AD2 Premium (Intel 925X) Review

Author: Aleksandr Mitrofanov
Date: 23.07.2003


Asus P5AD2
Chipset Intel 925X Alderwood
Processor LGA775 P4 FSB 800533 MHz
Memory DDR2 400533600
HDD 1x UltraDMA/100
8x SerialATA(2xRAID)
Additional 3 IEEE-1394a/b
Audio Intel HDA
8 USB 2.0
2x Gigabit Ethernet
WiFi-g
Price: ~250$ (Pricewatch.com)

Quite recently, we reviewed the Abit AA8 DuraMAX motherboard built on the latest Intel 925X chipset. And today it's time we tested Asus' most "wired" and "cool" motherboard (also built on the Intel 925X chipset) for latest Pentium4 LGA775 processors. This is Asus P5AD2 Premium, which is indeed a true high-end product: it offers a rich package bundle, most powerful expansion options and a number of proprietary technologies among which is support for the DDR2 600 (officially, Intel does not support that high speed), and Hyper Path2 - reduction in the memory operation latency.


Asus P5AD2 Specifications


Asus P5AD2

Asus P5AD2
Processor - Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott) with the bus speed 800/533 MHz;
- Socket LGA775;
- Support for HyperThreading processors
Chipset - North Bridge Intel® 925X Memory Controller Hub (MCH);
- South Bridge Intel® Intel 82801FB Enhanced I/O Controller Hub (ICH6R);
- Interbridge link: DMI
System memory - Four 240-pin slots for DDR2 SDRAM DIMM
- Maximum memory capacity 4GB
- Support for memory types DDR2 400/533
- Dual-channel memory access
Graphics - PCI Express x16 slot;
Expansion options - Three 32-bit PCI Bus Master slots;
- Two PCI Express x1 slots;
- Eight USB 2.0 ports (4 integrated + 4 additional);
- Three IEEE1394 ports (Firewire; one integrated + 2 additional)
- Integrated audio High Definition Audio 7.1;
- Two Gigabit Ethernet LAN controllers;
- WiFi (802.11g) controller
Overclocking options - FSB adjustable within 100 to 400 MHz in 1 MHz increments;
- Adjustable voltages on the processor, memory and chipset;
- Asus NOS (Non-Delay Overclocking System)
Disk subsystem - 1 channel for UltraDMA100/66/33 Bus Master IDE (with support for up to 2 ATAPI-devices)
- Support for SerialATA (4 channels - ICH6R, with support for RAID)
- Support for SerialATA (4 channels - Sil3114R, with support for RAID)
- Additional IDE Raid controller ( ITE 8212F chip, 2 IDE channels supporting ATA33/66/100/133 & RAID 0, 1, 0+1, JBOD with support for up to 4 ATAPI-devices)
- Support for LS-120 / ZIP / ATAPI CD-ROM
BIOS - 8MBit Flash ROM
- AMI BIOS with support for Enhanced ACPI, DMI, Green, PnP Features
- Asus EZ Flash
- Asus CrashFree BIOS 2
- Asus MyLogo2
- Multi-languages BIOS
Miscellaneous - One port for FDD, one serial and one parallel ports, ports for PS/2 mouse and keyboard
- Onboard power indicator
- STR (Suspend to RAM)
- SPDIF In Out
- Asus POST Reporter
Power management - Wake-up on modem, mouse, keyboard, LAN, timer and USB
- Main 24-pin power connector ATX
- Additional 4-pin power connector
Monitoring - Monitoring the temperatures of the processor, voltages, rotational speeds of the three fans
- Asus Q-Fan
- Asus PC Probe
Dimensions - ATX form factor, 245mm x 305mm (9.63" x 12")

Package

For Asus P5AD2, a completely new package design has been developed:


And this is only the wrapping - inside it there is one more box:


Package contents:

  • 1x Motherboard;
  • 1x software & drivers CD;
  • a third-party software CD (InterVideo suite) + description;
  • 2x ATA-133 cables, 1x ATA-33 cable, 1x FDD cable;
  • Ten (!) SerialATA cables + three power adapters (six connectors);
  • User's Guide + Quick Setup Manual in English;
  • 1x header for two additional Firewire ports + a RJ-45 connector;
  • 1x header for 2 additional USB 2.0 ports and a GAME-port;
  • 1x header for a COM port;
  • An aerial for the WiFi module;
  • The external module for plugging in SerialATA devices + power adapter (2 connectors);
  • 1x cap for the rear panel of the housing;
  • A sticker with the jumpers layout diagram + an Asus logo sticker.

Matching the high price of the product, Asus proved very generous at the package bundle. To start with, there are 10(!) SerialATA cables in the box.


The inquisitive reader might ask: "Why as many as 10 while there are merely 8 ports onboard?" The thing is, the board is bundled with a module to plug in external SerialATA devices.


Doesn't the header look familiar? We saw it formerly in Gigabyte products (e.g. K8NSNXP). Since the rivalry between the two companies is downright getting fiercer (to which there is a number of examples at the latest Computex), Asus firmly decided not to be second even at small things and accessory parts.


Since most PSUs on the market lack sufficient number of SerialATA power connectors, three power adapters (6 connectors) have been put into the box. And if we add one more adapter from the external module, we get 4 adapters with 8 connectors. Nor regular cables have been abandoned: the board comes bundled with two ATA-133 cables, one ATA-33, and a cable for the FDD. All the cables are proprietary (i.e. black with the Asus logo).

Then, since no GAME and COM ports are there on the rear panel of the board, they are implemented through headers. Besides, there are two extra USB2.0 ports on the header with a GAME port.

The next header is quite out of the ordinary: two Firewire (IEEE1394b) ports and one LAN connector (RJ-45).


A couple of words on the documentation. Along with the detailed user's manual, the board is bundled with a quick setup guide, as well as the description of third-party software (InterVideo WinDVD Suite), and a brochure describing the WiFi access setup procedure.

As regards the WiFi, there is a respective controller on the motherboard itself to which an aerial is attached.


In the bundle, there is a CD with a complete set of drivers, as well as a kit of Asus' proprietary utilities.

Conclusion: considering the price of the board, the package bundle definitely deserves a '5/5' mark.

Content:

  • Specifications
  • Layout
  • Expansion options
  • BIOS, monitoring
  • Overclocking and stability
  • Performance and conclusions




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