ASUS P5WD2-e Premium

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ASUS P5WD2-e Premium

Pros

  • Reliable, Lots of options

Cons

  • Costly

Bottom Line

An ideal choice for the enthusiast user.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

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If you enjoy tinkering and getting the best performance from your hardware, then this premium board from ASUS will delight. It's based on Intel's 975X chipset and it natively supports DDR2 memory up to 800MHz - providing good headroom for overclocking. The board will work with Pentium D and Pentium Processor Extreme Edition CPUs and it has support for next-generation 65nm (nanometre) CPUs, too.

Cooling of the board's components is well thought out. Heat sinks reside on the Northbridge and Southbridge chipsets, as well as on the fast-switching transistors around the CPU socket area. ASUS also implements its Stack Cool 2 technology, which dissipates heat from critical components through the circuit board itself.

This is the most reliable Intel board we have seen in recent tests, even with the ASUS non-delay overclocking feature enabled. Our tests finished a few seconds faster with this feature turned on, which adjusts the CPU speed depending on the system load. You can adjust speeds and voltages manually, too. The CPU parameter recall feature automatically kicks in if your system becomes unusable during overclocking, and restores your settings without you having to reset the CMOS.

The graphics card levers make the removal of large graphics cards awkward, but hardware installation is a breeze. Likewise, we had no problems with any of the board's drivers or settings. That's impressive considering we installed a brand new Extreme Edition 955 CPU and two ATI Radeon X1900XT cards in CrossFire configuration.

Connectivity includes a complete set of legacy ports as well as an external, hot-pluggable Serial ATA (SATA) port.

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