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Intel 915P Shootout : ASUS P5GD2 Premium
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Saturday, 29th January, 2005

ASUS P5GD2 Premium (The Good - Part 1)

ASUS has merged a group of technologies encompassing troubleshooting, overclocking and cooling together into a suite they label as AI Proactive. This set of features is designed to work seamlessly in the background to enhance user experience with the motherboard. The P5GD2 Premium is part of the AI Proactive series and comes packed with all the technologies ASUS has to offer. The largest selling point of all AI Proactive motherboards is the new motherboard cooling methodology. While many manufacturers focus on overzealous designs, ASUS has gone back to basics. The AI Proactive cooling solution is called Stack Cool, and is entirely fanless, with no moving parts and zero power consumption. If you think that they have just slapped on a regular heatsink and called it a day, you'd be dead wrong. Stack Cool uses a second thin layer of PCB that is installed right below the CPU and MOSFET area. This seemingly nondescript blue PCB layer works by absorbing the heat generated from the area, reducing heat buildup. While we cannot confirm ASUS's claim of a 10° Celcius reduction, we do note that it is effective to an extent. Whether Stack Cool actually helps out overclocking efforts is a matter left for you to decide.

ASUS P5GD2 Premium.

Besides Stack Cool, the rest of the features part of AI Proactive is more common and can be found in similar implementations across other brands. ASUS uses Marvell chipsets for LAN capabilities, so the AI NET2 cable diagnostics and troubleshooting feature is actually Marvell's Virtual Cable Tester (VCT) technology. However, instead of just featuring the VCT software, ASUS has also integrated it into the BIOS, making AI NET2 OS independent and work immediately during POST. The P5GD2 Premium also features AI NOS dynamic overclocking technology, which can be set to give your system a boost in FSB speed depending on preset BIOS options. AI NOS works by detecting CPU loads instead of temperature, so it should give ASUS a slight edge from competing technologies. The purists need not worry as manual overclocking is still available. Lastly, AI Proactive offers Wireless LAN made easy. Since the P5GD2 Premium has built-in WLAN, WiFi-g combines a user-friendly wizard to help you setup your P5GD2 Premium as a bridge, network adapter or even access point.

ASUS Stack Cool, an innovative cooling solution to help channel heat away from critical components.

Motherboard packaging doesn't get better than this. The P5GD2 Premium comes with every bracket and cable available. Ten SATA connectors? No problem. Triple network? Wireless? Everything is included. Some might call it overkill, but this is what you get from an ASUS Premium motherboard. If you do not require as much features, ASUS does provide progressively scaled down versions of the P5GD2 Premium in the forms of the P5GD2 Deluxe and vanilla P5GD2.

How many of you disable the manufacturer's boot-up logo immediately with a new motherboard? Well, the P5GD2 has a notable cosmetic feature called MyLogo2, which allows users to modify the boot-up logo with customized styles or graphics. Users might like the idea of their PCs booting up with their own personalized logo. On the software front, the P5GD2 Premium is bundled with InterVideo's WinDVD Suite Platinum. This package includes WinDVD Platinum 5, WinDVD Creator Platinum 2 and WinRip 2.

To think that all these are just the storage cables while there are yet other bundled items in the entire package.

Brackets provided include external SATA, 2-port USB 2.0 plus Game Port and 2nd LAN port with two IEEE 1394b connectors.

This is the Dipolar wireless LAN antenna provided in the package. The cable connects to the WiFi-g antenna port on the motherboard's rear ATX panel.

InterVideo WinDVD Suite Platinum is bundled with the P5GD2 Premium.

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