Asus P5W DH Deluxe/WiFi In-Depth Overclocking Review

Motherboards/Intel S775 by KeithSuppe @ 2007-06-22

Asus has engineered their way into the hearts of Overclockers and the homes of PC-Users the world over. Asus pioneered the OEM market, introducing “Enthusiast” style motherboards long before the phrase “PC-Enthusiast” was coined. Asus motherboards are synonymous with overclocking and the P5W DH Deluxe/WiFi is no exception.

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Asus P5W DH Deluxe/WiFi

With the release of Intel's P35 Bearlake chipset and the documented performance of the 965, you might think any review of a motherboard based on the 975X chipset would read more like an epitaph. As it stands however, the 975X chipset, at least on paper is still Intel's flagship for Socket-775 and offers more rounded performance then the 965. As for the Asus P5W DH Deluxe, she may very well be the most popular motherboard based on the Intel 975X chipset ever released. Perhaps no other 975X equipped board has sold in such large numbers, unfortunately because of its popularity, the board has inspired a love-hate relationship among its owners. It is exactly this misplaced frustration which is at the heart of this article. Asus produced a great motherboard, the problems owners have endured emanate from within the 975X chipset's North Bridge and it's there we shall focus. Given there are many in-depth reviews written about the P5W DH, my detailing and testing all her features would be redundant.

Madshrimps (c)

Today we're going to focus on the design phenomenon in the 975X which adversely affects FSB overclocking including memory performance as it manifests itself on the Asus P5W DH. Until Core Duo was released with its extraordinary scalability no other Intel processor was capable of testing and taxing the 975X chipset’s limits. For those whom purchased a combination P5W DH and Core Duo they discovered rather quickly they hit an overclocking wall between 330FSb ~ 380FSB and while the Asus P5W DH has little to do with this, one of it's features most un-expectantly exacerbates the issue. We will delve into this in full detail on page-7. Several elements thrust the P5W DH Deluxe into the spotlight for this review, foremost being it's popularity among the Enthusiast (Overclockers, Gamers) segment and the best evidence of this can be found in Forums. There we find a thread titled Asus P5W DH - Problems + Fixes Thread. This is a thread surpassing 200+ pages and is growing everyday still.

The Forum topic may infer the motherboard is plagued with problems, on the contrary such a lengthy thread is indicative of a very large number of board owners, Enthusiasts whom wanted the best Intel had to offer a chipset supporting Socket-775 platforms. My goal in this article is to extrapolate from those 200+ pages and from the article authored by Tony of OCZ whom revealed the 975X phenomenon. Once I understood how certain design elements in the 975X and made a few adjustment in the BIOS my P5W DH sprung to life. With the X38 on the horizon the P5W may soon become a bargain and given the number of features as well as its overclocking potential the board may see a resurgence in sales. I will give a cursory overview of features then focus on pushing this board to its limits without any voltage or extensive cooling modifications. I intend to focus on and pay homage to the P5W DH's overclocking prowess. She's not the highest overclocker since the 965 came along and with Bearlake that FSB gap will grow, however; this review will reveal the P5W DH still has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Certainly one of the P5W DH greatest strengths is 100% stability overclocking the C2D around 400FSB. Although other chipsets allow higher FSB speeds, in day to day performance and with features such as Crossfire, the P5W is a well rounded board based on Intel's flagship.

Madshrimps (c)


To say the P5W DH is feature packed is an understatement. Asus has provided a long list of accouterments with this board some of which support the " Digital at Home" experience. The board is targeted for the PC-Enthusiast, Gamer and Overclocker and doesn't disappoint. The specification list below is most definitely the longest I've ever re-printed.

CPU Support:
  • Supports 90nm/65nm LGA775 processor package
  • Supports Intel Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Extreme
  • Supports Intel Pentium D / Pentium Processor Extreme Edition
  • Supports Intel Pentium 4 / Pentium 4 Extreme Edition
  • Intel Virtualization Technology ready

    Chipset Northbridge:
  • Intel 975X Express
  • 533 / 800 / 1066MHz front side bus
  • PCI Express x16 graphics
  • CrossFire support (dual PCIe x8 mode)

  • Intel ICH7R
  • Intel High Definition Audio
  • Supports six PCI Express x1 lanes
  • Supports up to eight USB 2.0 ports
  • Supports four SATA 3.0Gbps ports (with RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 capabilities)
  • Single-channel Ultra ATA-100 IDE port

  • Supports four unbuffered DIMM of 1.8 Volt DDR2 SDRAM
  • Supports 800/677/533/400 dual channel DDR2 memory architecture

  • Intel ICH7R Southbridge
  • 1 x Ultra ATA 33/66/100 (data transfer rate up to 100MB/sec.)
  • 4 x SATA 3.0Gbps ports
  • Intel Matrix Storage Technology
  • Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 5
  • JMicron JMB363 SATA/IDE controller
  • 2 x SATA 3.0Gbps interface (1 x shared eSATA port)
  • 1 x Ultra ATA 33/66/100/133 (data transfer rate up to 133MB/sec.)
  • Silicon Image SiI 4723 SteelVine SATA RAID processor
  • 2 x SATA 3.0Gbps interface
  • Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD and RAID 10

  • Intel High Definition Audio (Azalia)
  • Realtek ALC882M HD Audio CODEC (Dolby Master Studio Certification)
  • Optical and coaxial S/PDIF support

  • 2 x Marvell 88E8053 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Realtek RTL8187L 54Mbps IEEE 802.11a/b/g WLAN controller (WiFi-AP Solo)

    IEEE 1394 (FireWire):
  • Texas Instruments TSB43AB22A IEEE 1394a host controller
  • 2 x 1394a ports @ 400 Mbps speed

    I/O Interface:
  • 1 x Floppy connector
  • 2 x Ultra ATA IDE connectors
  • 7 x SATA connectors (1 x shared eSATA port)
  • 8 x USB 2.0 ports (4 x rear, 2 x bracket, 2 x header)
  • 2 x IEEE 1394a ports (1 x rear, 1 x bracket)
  • 2 x RJ45 LAN port
  • 1 x WLAN antenna
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Output
  • 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
  • 8-Channel Audio I/O ports
  • 1 x CD-IN
  • 1 x 9-pin serial port (bracket)
  • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port

    Expansion Slots:
  • 2 x PCIe x16 slots, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
  • 2 x PCIe x1 slot, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
  • 3 x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.3 compliant

    Special Features:
  • ASUS EZ-Backup
  • ASUS MP3-In
  • ASUS DH Remote
  • Stack Cool 2

    Onto the P5W DH features ->
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    Comment from Massman @ 2007/06/22
    Wow, that's one great review. GJ L3D
    Comment from merrygoround @ 2007/06/23
    Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first set out to ........
    Comment from Unknown Soldier @ 2007/06/24

    I did 8000+ memory bandwidth(according to everest) on my P5W DH Deluxe on aircooling(Stock Intel Fan) with my Q6600 and had 1333 FSB at 3000Mhz(333x9) at 333Mhz memory and also just got under 8000 memory bandwidth with 418Mhz memory. Memory is Team Elite DDR2-800 which is rated at the settings above at 2.3-2.375.

    I got pics etc. but will post tomorrow if I remember.

    I'm outta here for the moment.


    Comment from Liquid3D @ 2007/06/29
    Originally Posted by Unknown Soldier View Post

    I did 8000+ memory bandwidth(according to everest) on my P5W DH Deluxe on aircooling(Stock Intel Fan) with my Q6600 and had 1333 FSB at 3000Mhz(333x9) at 333Mhz memory and also just got under 8000 memory bandwidth with 418Mhz memory. Memory is Team Elite DDR2-800 which is rated at the settings above at 2.3-2.375.

    I got pics etc. but will post tomorrow if I remember.

    I'm outta here for the moment.


    PLease do And thank you all for your comments !
    Comment from Unknown Soldier @ 2007/07/17
    Hi, Sorry for the late reply.

    Well originally I was using my Mobo's(Intel 975 Asus P5W DH Deluxe) auto mode and got the memory at 416.8FSB as per pic below. Note FSB/CPU running 4:5 ratio at 3Ghz.

    But I then to o/c my CPU myself and got better results.

    3Ghz air with 1:1 ratio at 333FSB

    At 3.2Ghz on air with 1:1 ratio at 356.4FSB - 8800GTS o/c to extreme on default air

    At this moment I run my CPU at 3Ghz as below .. but get just over 12000+ 3dMark06 since I installed the Zalman 9700 Cooler.

    Running 3.2Ghz runs hot but still stable.

    Comment from Unknown Soldier @ 2007/07/18
    My best Overclocks

    Intel Q6600 B3 @ 3.2Ghz (9x)
    Asus P5W DH Deluxe Bios 2004 Intel 975X 1426Mhz
    Asus GTS8800 320MB @ 675/936
    Team Elite 800Mhz 4x1Ghz - 356Mhz(712)
    Zalman CNPS9700L CPU Cooler
    WindowsXP 32-Bit
    3DMark06 - 12415
    Comment from SuAside @ 2007/07/27
    already posted this a good while ago elsewhere, but seems suited here.

    E6400 (2.13ghz) @ 3200Mhz with 1600fsb 1:1 and memory at 4-4-4-12 gives me a 17.6s 1M SuperPi with cores running 24°c i might add. NB is a lil' hot though in the summer.
    Comment from Unknown Soldier @ 2007/07/29
    Q6600 B3 @ 3.4Ghz stable .. does 3DMark06

    I got it as high as 3.5Ghz in Windows but it wouldn't complete 3DMark06.

    Been playing games and all at 3.4Ghz ... very stable. Notice the cool temps.

    My Zalman 9700