Overclocking & Conclusions

Taking Stock: 915P DDR2, DDR and Gaming

In this review, we compared the Asus P5GD2 which uses DDR2 technology to the same chipset but using older DDR. While some may think that newer technology with bigger bandwidth should give the Asus P5GD2 a distinct advantage over the regular DDR version, our tests here show otherwise.

Results in gaming are mixed at best. In two of four tests (HL2 and Warhammer), the P5GD2 beat the 915P using DDR by a very large margin, but in Doom 3 and NFS:Underground 2 there was barely any difference at all! I suspect this has more to do with how the game is programmed rather than the technology playing it.

As DDR2 matures, we should see an increasing difference between the two 915P implementations.

Overclocking

Here we put the Asus P5GD2 through its overclocking ability. Using the BIOS, we drop the multiplier to 14x and the DDR2 frequency to 400MHz and push the board as far as it can go. Stability is determined by the board’s ability to run repeated loops of the Maya benchmark (very CPU and RAM intensive) while simultaneously running 32MB SuperPi.

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Amazingly the Asus P5GD2 managed to do 250MHz (1000MHz HT) using stock air cooling before the SATA controller dropped-out and stopped initializing the SATA drive. If it weren’t for the SATA controller, I’m certain that the P5GD2 can go much further on stock air.

Impressions & Conclusions

The Asus P5GD2 Premium is masterful product – it has everything you’d want and expect when upgrading to new technology standards like PCI Express and DDR2. The huge amounts of features is what will attract people to the Asus P5GD2 Premium compared to the competition.

Its ability to support a whopping 14 drives using 3 independent RAID controllers puts it way ahead of the competition. As if that weren’t enough, there are two Gigabit LAN controllers (one of the on the PCIe bus) and a build-in 802.11g wireless connection! Finally, the Asus P5GD2 supports Intel’s HD-Audio specification which means you get two audio channels support, Dolby DICE, and 7.1 audio through analog and digital connections.

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In addition to the main features Asus packs all the cables and accessories for you to take advantage of all the onboard features, including the innovative SATA extender bracket. It’s hard to see anyone wanting anything more.

In terms of enthusiast support, the Asus P5GD2 has all the essentials you need from voltages to frequency adjustments. A testament to the company’s ability, the P5GD2 sports a copper MOSFET cooler, a heat-spreading PCB, and was able to overclock to 250MHz with surprising ease on stock air cooling.

I did experience some problems with the Intel SATA controller failing to boot the computer at times. Increasing the chipset voltage to 1.6V seemed to make booting more stable, but not sure if this is a good long-term solution.

All in all, the Asus P5GD2 Premium is a product to be reckoned with – “Premium” isn’t even a word I would use to describe it! It has everything anyone would ever want and more. It’s clear that Asus intends this board for those who want it all with the latest technology. It overclocks easily and comes backed with an industry leading 3-year warranty!

Strong Points:

Other Considerations:

  • Massive drive support (14 in total)
  • Three RAID controllers
  • 2x Gigabit LAN (PCIe and PCI bus)
  • 802.11g wireless
  • Intel HD Audio support
  • Overclocks very well (250MHz on stock)
  • Cooling additions – Mosfet and coolstack
  • Software fan control, LAN cable tester, and dynamic overclocking (Ai NOS)
  • Huge amounts of accessories
  • 3 year warranty
  • SATA gave us problems at times.
  • Expensive package if you aren’t going to use all the features.
  • Asus’ BIOS overclocks 2MHz automatically.

Feel free to use our PriceGrabber service to find great deals on this motherboard!

 

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