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Asus P5W64 WS Pro 975X Express Workstation Motherboard Review

Asus P5W64 WS Pro 975X Express Workstation Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The four PCI Express slots are configured in x16, x0, x4, x0 mode when one videocard is installed. When two graphics cards are installed, say for ATI Crossfire, the four PCI Express slots are split up in x8, x8, x4, x8 mode.
 86% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Asus Feb 07 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Asus P5W64 WS Pro

Workstation Quality Motherboard?

The downtime caused by faulty computer hardware can easily cost many more times than the hardware itself. That's why businesses invest in "expensive" workstation and server components. On paper the devices may look similar to their desktop counterparts, but workstation peripherals go through stricter quality control standards.

Of course this increases the price of the hardware but that's peanuts compared to the peace of mind that comes along with buying true workstation hardware. The Asus P5W64 WS Professional retails for $340 CDN ($290 US, £148 GBP) which is exactly where we expected it to be. The motherboard comes with all the onboard features a serious user needs; four PCI Express x16 slots for connectivity for up to eight monitors, dual Gigabit network cards for super connectivity, IEEE 1394a, plenty of SATA (and eSATA) with Intel Matrix Technology RAID support, USB2.0 and a high definition 7.1 channel Azalia audio codec.

It's possible to connect four independent videocards to the Asus P5W64 WS Professional thanks to the IDT 89HA0324 PCI Express switch that's hidden under the "Quartet" heatsink. Now before you get too excited, the P5W64 WS Professional is designed for multiple displays, not some insane four way ATi CrossFire setup. Of course the four PCI Express x16 slots are not just limited to videocard use and you can insert any PCI Express peripherals you choose including SCSI controllers or 10Gb network cards. When running more than two PCI Express cards, the PCI Express bus is split up into x8, x8, x4, x8 modes across all four slots.

The P5W64 WS Professional motherboard is a breeze to work with, and your IT tech will have no problems setting this system up and running smoothly. The Gigabit network cards and additional Marvell 3.0GB/s Serial ATA II controller both run thought the PCI Express bus, so neither will run into bottlenecks.

The performance of the Asus P5W64 WS Professional is very high, and it performs particularly well in workstation type tasks. If you feel like playing a game or two when the boss is not around, the P5W64 WS Professional is also good at that... assuming you have a sufficient videocard. ;-) While I highly doubt you'd be overclocking a workstation system like this, if you decided to the board is up to the challenge. There are decent options in the BIOS, and in PCSTATS case we reached 400 MHz.

The Asus P5W64 WS Professional is aimed at a very specific market. It's designed for the user who requires a heck of a lot of video outputs and requires mission critical stability. This platform is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and XP Professional operating systems. The Asus P5W64 WS Professional is a premium motherboard, but when you buy a platform like this you won't have to give it another thought for years to come.

PCSTATS Recommended Product Award

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Contents of Article: Asus P5W64 WS Pro
 Pg 1.  Asus P5W64 WS Pro 975X Express Workstation Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Accessories and Thermal Solution
 Pg 3.  Asus P5W64 WS Professional highlights
 Pg 4.  Intel's 975X Express Chipset
 Pg 5.  Overclocking the Asus P5W64 WS Professional
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SYSMark2004
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SuperPi, PCMark05
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 11.  — Workstation Quality Motherboard?

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