Impressions & Conclusions

Asus has been pushing the P5GDC-V recently with banner ads on tech sites (like our’s). It’s for this reason I was very excited to review the product and set it through our tests.

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With features like DDR and DDR2 support, and onboard video, the Asus P5GDC-V takes direct aim at businesses and individuals concerned about cost and flexibility of upgrading. You can essentially take the Asus P5GDC-V out of its box and run it with nothing more than your old IDE drive and your dusty DDR333. For companies, this is a great benefit as it allows you to stretch the cost of upgrading over a longer period since you can continue using older parts for a while longer. 

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As great as this flexibility may be, in the end I feel the P5GDC-V is a hard sell. The ability to support DDR2, in addition to DDR, isn’t much of a feature when you consider the marginal/negligible performance gain with DDR2 currently. Price is also an issue since there are many 915P motherboards that are cheaper and just as functional (not to mention alternatives from cheaper chipset manufacturers like SiS).

Despite some tough alternatives available on the market, the Asus P5GDC-V does have some strong features. It supports Parallel and Serial RAID on two controllers for up to 10 different drives, IEEE1394a connections, Intel HD Audio, SPDIF output, Gigabit LAN on PCI-Express, and of course support for the latest PCI-Express and DDR2 technology.

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Performance-wise, the P5GDC-V performs on-par with all other 915P DDR motherboards we have reviewed here. DDR2 performance yielded some improvement, but only in a select number of tests. Asus supports the P5GDC-V with a generous 3 year warranty so you know your investment is safe.

The Asus P5GDC-V Deluxe is all about flexibility – upgrade as much or as little as you want. It has all the current and legacy connectivity, so when you’re ready to move forward the P5GDC-V will be able to deliver. For those customers looking for this kind of upgrade freedom, then the P5GDC-V Deluxe is a product that fills this specific need. Businesses and OEM builders concerned with upgrade costs and stretching asset value should seriously look at the Asus P5GDC-V.

Strong Points

* Dual memory support (DDR and DDR2)

* On-board video so you can use the product right away

* BIOS fan controls and decent overclocking features

* Intel HD audio (with optical and coax SPDIF output)

* 3 year Asus warranty

* Great drive connectivity (10 drives total)

* Dual RAID controllers (Parallel and Serial ATA)

* Marvell Gigabit LAN on PCI Express bus

* Firewire connections (one right on the rear I/O panel)

Issues to be Aware Of

* DDR2 and DDR RAM cannot be running together at the same time.

* DDR2 performance increase was marginal in testing.

* Floppy connector may require longer cables.

* Only 2GB of DDR2 capacity compared to 4GB total for DDR.

* Onboard video not powerful enough for serious gaming. Image quality was inferior to ATI.

* Technology flexibility increases price of product.


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