The Value Connection of 6 Intel 945P Motherboards

Asus P5LD2: Fanless Design

Board-Revision: 1.02

BIOS-Version: 0603

The P5LD2 is an entry-level Asus motherboard for Socket 775. Although Intel's 945P chipset is used, the feature set of the Asus board clearly exceeds the chipset's offerings.

Asus is the only company to offer three x1 PCIe slots as well as three 32 bit PCI slots - all the competitors feature a maximum of five slots. Once again the floppy connector was placed at the edge of the motherboard, making it sometimes difficult to attach the floppy drive.

The board has an ITE controller that offers two UltraATA/133 channels for attaching additional UltraATA hard drives or optical drives. The reason for this additional controller is that Intel's ICH7 family does not allow for more than one ATA channel, which would be enough for just two optical drives, such as DVD ROM and burner.

Asus equipped the motherboard with color-coded connectors, making it easier to tell these apart. The sound system supports High Definition Audio with 7.1 sound and comes with an optical digital output.

Asus emphasizes its fanless design, which was first implemented with the Athlon 64 motherboard A8N-SLI Deluxe . This is no longer an unusual feature - some of the competitors are passively cooled, too - but Asus decided to use a three-phase voltage regulation system only. As a consequence, a Pentium Extreme Edition 840 with Hyper Threading will be tough to support.

Most Asus motherboards are exemplary in that their BIOS overclocking features include auto overclocking capabilities. In addition, Asus provides its AIBooster utility which makes these features accessible directly via Windows.