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Market Survey, Part 2: Six Premium Pentium 4 LGA775 Boards

Asus P5AD2-E Premium (Intel 925XE)

Board revision: 1.03

BIOS version: 1003

The P5AD2-E Premium is based on Intel's flagship chipset, the 925XE, supporting 133, 200, and 266 MHz FSB clock speeds (denoted FSB533, FSB800, and FSB1066 respectively). The highest of these is currently only needed for running the astronomically expensive Extreme Edition processors, though it does guarantee successful overclocking when attempting to take an FSB800 processor up to FSB1066.

Asus fulfills computer enthusiasts' every wish with this board, offering a wealth of options - from changing voltages in the BIOS, to different memory clock speed settings allowing the FSB1066 to reach DDR2-711. Asus also offers the possibility of overclocking fast P4s by deactivating the performance requirement bit. You can even turn off the Pentium processors' C1E energy saving mode (04A stepping and higher), though that's usually not a great idea.

Four SATA connections were not enough for Asus, so the Sil3114 from Silicon Image was added, offering an additional four ports and support for RAID 0, 1 and 0+1. Asus didn't forget extra UltraATA ports either, for which an ITE chip is on hand.

Asus is the only one to offer standard "factory FSB overclocking" of its board, running P4 processors at 202 MHz instead of 200 MHz. This has no effect on stability, as it is within tolerances. This slight "cheating" has an impact on benchmark results too, making Asus the fastest of the pack.

Asus P5AD2-E Premium (Rev.1.05)
PlatformSockel LGA775
NorthbridgeIntel 925XE
SouthbridgeIntel ICH6R
BIOS1002 BETA 005 (10/22/2004)
MemoryDDRII-533 to 711
USB 2.04 / 4
IEEE1394/Firewire1 / 2
Serial COM Portnone / 1
Parallel LPT Portnone / 1
Gamenone / 1
LAN1 / 1
WLAN1 / none
SATA8 / 2 (then 6 onboard)
Audio analog8 / none
Audio digital2 / none
Connectorsonboard only
PCIe 16x1
PCIe 1x2
IDE (PATA)3 (6 channels)
Fan 4 pins (CPU)1
Fan 3 pins (System)3
Mass Storage Controller
ICH6R2x IDE (ATA100)4x SATA (RAID 0,1,0+1)
Silicon Image 3112R RAID4x SATA (RAID 0,1,0+1,5)
ITE 8212F IDE RAID2x IDE (ATA133 RAID 1,0,0+1)
Marvell 88E8053 PCIe1x 1 Gbit/s LAN
Marvell 88E8053 PCIe1x 1 Gbit/s LAN
Marvell 88W8310 PCI1x 54 Mbit/s WLAN 802.11g
C-Media CMI9880 7.1AC97
TI 1394b2x 1394b (800 Mbit/s)1x 1394a (400 Mbit/s)
Clock Setting in BIOSMeasurement
200.0 MHz (FSB800)202.3 MHz (+1.15 %)
266.6 MHz (FSB1066)268.0 MHz (+0.75 %)
SPD Memory Timing RecognitionTiming Result
FSB800 settingCL3.0-3-3-4
FSB1066 settingCL3.0-3-3-8