ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe WiFi+TV
Giving the motherboard a cursory examination there were virtually no apparent changes between the ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe and P5WD2 Premium. Of course, behind the passive heatsinks and looking a bit more closely there are some conspicuous changes between the enthusiast mainstream and flagship motherboards. First off, one of the important features to mention is that the P5LD2, as well as other recent ASUS motherboards, utilize Stack Cool 2 that is a fan-less and zero-noise cooling solution from ASUS that mainly transfers heat to the opposite side of the motherboard's specially designed PCB. Stack Cool 2 is supposed to lower the temperature of critical heat generating components by 20°C, but it will be interesting to see how well it can really perform. Another ASUS proprietary technology is AI Quiet that seeks to reduce the noise emitted from the computer by dynamically altering the computer fan speeds. Before we begin examining the actual motherboard layout, the ASUS WiFi+TV card is a great addition making this motherboard a candidate for a multimedia or HTPC (Home Theatre PC) machine. The TV tuner used on the ASUS card is a Philips SAA7131E, which should work with Linux MythTV once the appropriate V4L (Video 4 Linux) drivers are installed. Providing the WiFi capabilities is a Marvell 88W8335-TGJ1 802.11b/g wireless controller that unfortunately isn't as great as an Atheros + MadWiFi combination for Linux. At the end of the WiFi+TV card are various connectors for the WiFi, FM radio, and video input.
Getting back on track with the motherboard, above the DDR2 DIMM slots is the CPU fan header with its 4-pin PWM support while on the right hand side of the memory at the top is the Super I/O controller. The I/O controller is from Winbond with a part number of W83627EHG-A. Running parallel with the four DDR2 slots is the floppy disk connector, EZ-PLUG power connector and 24-pin EATXPWR connector. The P5LD2 can operate with simply a 20-pin motherboard connection but the EZ-PLUG connector is designed to be used with a 4-pin molex in the event you’re using dual graphics cards whether it is for future SLI cards or a multi-monitor environment. The memory slots on the P5LD2 officially support DDR2-667/533/400 and as the Northbridge utilized is an i945 there's a 4GB maximum memory capacity and no support for Intel's Memory Pipeline Technology. Running along the edge of the PCB is the IDE connector that is provided by the Intel ICH-7R Southbridge while lower on the board is an additional two IDE ATA-133 controllers, which is provided by the ITE IT8211F controller.
Next to the ICH-7R, which is passively cooled by a small aluminum heatsink, are four SATA 2.0 connectors provided by the Southbridge. Also in this near vicinity is the BIOS chip, 3-pin chassis fan connector, front panel headers, and two USB2.0 headers. Towards the rear of the motherboard near the expansion slots is the 3V CMOS battery and IEEE-1394a header. Meeting the Firewire needs on the motherboard is a Texas Instruments TSB43AB22A IEEE-1394 controller. Similar to the Abit AW8 and other popular enthusiast motherboards, the Realtek ALC882M audio codec is utilized on the ASUS motherboard. The expansion slots used on the P5LD2 are three standard PCI, one PCI Express x1, and two PCI Express x16 slots. The top PCI Express x16 slot actually runs at these speeds where as the secondary slot runs at PCI Express x4 or x2 speeds. Like previously stated, there is currently no NVIDIA SLI support for the Intel i945P (Lakeport) but it’s always a possibility for future driver revisions and unlike the i955X (Glenwood), there won't be support for ATI's upcoming Crossfire Technology.