ASUS P5GD2 Premium Wireless Edition
- Package and Contents
It is unusual for a motherboard manufacturer to put two motherboards based on different chipsets in the same high performance profile; however, ASUS isn't afraid to with the P5GD2. When it comes to packaging, ASUS uses the exact same bundle in both boxes, as both motherboards share the exact same components, just laid out differently. This helps save money as a separate bundle isn't needed. The only difference is the user manual which is dedicated for the P5GD2 as the motherboard does differ slightly in layout and features to the P5AD2.
Now we get to the motherboard itself where ASUS only slightly alters the layout and features. The power connectors, IDE and FDD connectors are located in the exact same layout as the P5AD2, meaning this layout is extremely efficient for cooling. Expansion slots are where we see a change with one PCI Express x16, three PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI legacy slots. You will notice an extra PCI Express x1 slot above the PCI Express x16 slot and the Firewire B controller is located where the removed PCI slot would be located.
The chipset of choice on this particular motherboard is the I915P chipset. Using this chipset will reduce costs slightly over using the I925X chipset; however, with the two motherboards being almost identical, most will be looking at an I925X solution from ASUS. The exact same cooling sinks are used that were on the P5AD2, so no changes here.
Firewire B also makes itself known on the P5GD2. The same Texas Instruments two chip solution is included to give you three Firewire ports - one is a 6 pin Firewire A and two smaller 4 pin Firewire B ports are located on a separate bracket with the additional LAN header.
The same two LAN controllers make their appearance again. The PCI based 8001 and the PCI Express 8310 Gigabit Controllers give wired LAN access while an 802.11g wireless LAN gives you a cable free option.
ASUS once again adds two extra Mass Storage options, the Silicon Image four port SATA PCI RAID Controller and the ITE IT8212F two channel IDE RAID controller.
Overclocking options and setup remains the same as the P5AD2 motherboard. Our highest FSB speeds were identical to the I925X big brother.
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