With Intel's next generation of desktop CPUs - codenamed Conroe - supported by i975X core logic, i975X-sporting mainboards have come back in to focus. While it's not as clear cut as a simple BIOS update, with the new CPUs having new electrical requirements and thus a new spec of VRM (and realistically just a new Vcore minimum and new floating range), it's likely that at least one or two mainboards out there right now will support Conroe.
And if recent hints are anything to go by, today's review focus will be one of them. ASUS are long-term suppliers of a quality Intel-based mainboard, as we've seen time and time again. While their Premium SKUs usually carry a price premium to match, it's a fact that those boards are high-quality, quick, full-featured and pack a fearsome bundle. If you can afford it, what's not to like?
It's their P5WD2-E Premium that we take a look at today. An update to their P5WD2 Premium, which sported i955X, the -E is their flagship mainboard product supporting all current Intel CPUs on LGA775, including dual-core Pentium D, with a feature set to make almost any other Pentium board out there embarassed.
If ASUS then layer on a fine BIOS and engineer in the stability and performance they're largely famous for, the P5WD2-E Premium should be worth the premium in price, right? That's what we'll attempt to find out in today's analysis, so if you're in any way interested in top-end Pentium 4 or D, or simply want to peek at a board that might very well support Conroe (although we certainly can't say that's going to be the case, so don't shoot us if ASUS release a new revision just for that), you've clicked on the right link and are reading the right piece.
So spec first, then a look at the board in the flesh, followed by eval of presentation, bundle and BIOS. That'll then be topped off by the obligatory performance evaluation and final thoughts.