Physical Layout & Design
The physical layout of the Asus P5GDC-V is fairly good considering all the features that are packed onto the board.
The socket is clear of obstructions.
The socket area is pretty clear of any obstructions to heatsink installation. The only concern I have would be the position of heatsinks on the Northbridge and on the MOSFET. Both these passive coolers protrude off the board about 3cm (~1.25 inches) which may conflict with the installation of some larger heatsinks. To test how well the P5GDC-V can accomodate large heatsinks, we’ll use the massive Zalman CNPS7700-Cu (which we reviewed here recently) as a benchmark.
The monstrous Zalman CNPS7700-Cu fits perfectly on the P5GDC-V.
As you can see from the images above, we had no problems installing the onto the P5GDC-V. The socket is far enough away from the DIMMs, so the fins from the cooler do not block any of the memory slots. The CNPS7700 also clears both the heatsinks on the Northbridge and on the MOSFET.
In addition to the single aluminum MOSFET heatsink, Asus also has their ‘Stack Cool’ PCB mounted to the bottom of the motherboard. This extra layer of PCB is supposed to help dissipate heat generated by the MOSFETs and the CPU. This extra PCB did not conflict with installing of the Zalman or Intel stock coolers.
The “Stack Cool” helps dissipate heat around
the socket and MOSFETs.
On the Northbridge is a large black heatsink that is held in place with a spring clip. If you plan on using an after-market chipset cooler, it’s worth noting that the Northbridge has no mounting holes.
The PCI Express x1 slots are located near the bottom edge of the motherboard. I find this ideal since it removes them from being blocked by large video coolers. However, this means one of the legacy PCI slots is placed next to the x16 slot.
These days we area seeing more motherboard manufacturers put the old floppy connector in awkward spots, and the Asus P5GDC-V is no different. The floppy is located along the bottom edge of the motherboard making it difficult to wire if you actually use a 3.5′ drive. However, I suspect many of you have moved into the new millennium and gotten rid of floppies all together.
One annoyance of the P5GDC-V is the location of the CMOS jumper. It’s crammed up next to a PCI slot which makes getting your fingers around the jumper very difficult. Hopefully you won’t be needing this jumper much.
The rear IO of the Asus P5GDC-V is well appointed, notably the digital audio output in coax and optical flavours, and the IEEE1394a connection. I’m really happy to see Firewire making a mark on the rear IO panel these days.