Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
ASUS P5WD2 Premium WiFi-TV Edition
- Excellent performance in graphics and multitasking, Digital TV on board.
- Troublesome bios
All up, we love the amount of features and innovations this board offers, but are disappointed that our test board was temperamental
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
Our first impressions were not overly positive. After building up this Intel 955X-based board with our test components, we could not get it to boot without it telling us that our CPU was overclocked. Triple-checked BIOS settings suggested that our CPU was indeed running at 2.8GHz and was being identified as a dual-core part. Updating to the latest BIOS did not solve the problem. However, we soldiered on, and we did eventually get performance results out of this board. Its results were excellent, particularly in the multitasking tests and in the graphics tests.
Its features were also excellent. It comes with a multifunction PCI card that can provide you with 802.11a/b/g wireless networking, FM radio reception, plus analog and digital TV reception.
That's the fancy part of the board. The more common features include an integrated four-port Intel SATA RAID controller and a two-port Silicon Image SATA controller. One of the ports attached to this controller is located externally on the rear port cluster of the motherboard. Conveniently, this cluster also features a FireWire port, a parallel port and two Gigabit Ethernet ports, which are controlled by Intel and Marvell controller chips, respectively.
An expansion bracket with a serial port and another with a game port make this package one of the most versatile.
What we find interesting with this board is the addition of a second PCIe 16X slot, which runs in 4X mode but can house a second graphics adapter. This could come in handy if you wanted to run more than three monitors, although the second graphics card would need to be able to run in 4X mode. Even more interestingly, ASUS supplies an SLI connector with this board, even though Intel chipsets do not support two graphics cards running in SLI mode. ASUS calls this connector a GT Soft Bridge, and it may be used for unspecified future upgrades.
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