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ASUS P5AD2 Premium (Intel 925X Express)
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 3rd January, 2005
Rating : 5 out of 5 stars   (Most Innovative Product Award)


Introduction

ASUS has always been known for producing quality motherboards. While not exactly overclocker-centric like ABIT, EPoX or DFI, they are still trusted by many enthusiasts as the best bet with great performance, good stability and quality components. This time around, ASUS has dropped a bombshell with the new ASUS P5AD2. The board is based on the Intel 925X Express chipset and comes with a chock-full of the latest and the greatest. PCI Express, WiFi-g (IEEE 802.11g), Gigabit LAN, DDR2, RAID, High Definition Audio, you name it, the board has it (we're still looking out for the kitchen sink to arrive).


As a little refresher, the 925X Express is the new performance chipset from Intel. Codenamed Alderwood, the 925X Express brings about an array of new features to the world of Pentium 4s. We see a new socket revision again in the form of the Land Grid Array (LGA775). The 925X Express also brings about PCIe x16 graphics and DDR2 memory to the P4 platform. However, one of the problems with such radical changes is that purchasing a motherboard based on the 925X Express means you will have to change just about every other component in your system. AGP cards and DDR memory cannot be used anymore, which is one of the reasons the chipset got off to a rocky start.

Besides the new NorthBridge, the 925X Express is also married with the ICH6R SouthBridge. The ICH6R delivers Intel's HD Audio, advanced Matrix Storage Technology and PCIe x1 ports for next generation devices. We have previously covered Alderwood technologies quite extensively and you can read the full article here.

Intel 925X Express block diagram (Source:Intel)

On to the ASUS P5AD2, this board is one of the top-tier performance Intel P4 boards from ASUS and is second only to the P5AD2-E (based on the 925XE Express chipset). The P5AD2 comes in two flavors, a Deluxe and a Premium edition. Both boards are essentially the same except that the Premium has better connectivity and network solutions. Our labs received the Premium edition, and we must say that we're impressed. As we delve into the specifications and the features of the board, we think you will be too. Read on for our in depth review.

The ASUS P5AD2 Premium board at a glance. Notice that it is packed to the brim.

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