Six 975X Enthusiast Motherboards for Today and Tomorrow

Motherboard Components

Asus removed the legacy serial port from the back panel, but still offers it as a slot module.

Asus deploys two Marvell 88E8053 Gigabit Ethernet controllers for PCI Express.

This board comes with a IEEE-1394a Firewire controller by Texas Instruments.

The positioning of the CMOS battery is not ideal, because you might have to take out the graphics card in order to remove it.

Thanks to the 88SE6141 SATA controller by Marvell, the P5WD2-W offers a total of eight SATA II ports and an additional UltraATA/100 interface for legacy devices. Please note that this latter interface is shared with the fourth SATA II port (see black connector).

In addition to the Southbridge's storage controllers, Asus provides a Marvell 88SE6141, which features four SATA ports and one UltraATA/100 interface. All drives may be used for level 0, 1 or 1+0 RAID arrays, or JBOD ("just a bunch of drives"). The motherboard also has one external SATA (eSATA) connector on the back panel, but Asus does not provide the cable that is required to attach eSATA drives (which is different from regular SATA cables).

This motherboard is powered by a four-phase voltage regulator; two of these are kept cool by this heat sink. Although we don't believe cooling only two out of four evenly-powered regulators is an advantage, the heat sink should not add much extra cost and is silent, so it doesn't hurt anything.