By: Jonathan Kwan
May 5, 2007
The success of one product is highly dependent on the coordination of engineering and marketing teams. While the effectiveness of approaching a target group cannot be defined as difficult, the category this task resides in is definitely not in the 'easy category' either. By theory, creating an ideal product must reside within a certain criteria -- in general, sometimes it is hard being a reviewer in this regard in terms of rating a product based on how well it addresses the target group, as well as striking a balance between price, performance, features, design, and quality. After reviewing Asus' i975X based top end workstation class desktop motherboard roughly half a year back, the Asus P5W64-WS Professional, Asus is back again with the latest in its prosumer division. Known as the Asus P5NT-WS and nicknamed the "Hollywood Trio", it incorporates NVIDIA's 650i northbridge, but with a NF570MCP southbridge instead. A hybrid board? Yep! Let's examine various aspects of this board today.
Our review unit of Asus' P5NT-WS arrived in a pretty large box from Asus' offices in Fremont, California. Why such a large box? You may ask. The answer is quite simple -- it also holds our replacement unit of the Asus EAX1950PRO 256MB which we reviewed 2 weeks ago.
Filled with Styrofoam between the gaps, both of our evaluation units arrived in perfect condition -- there's actually not a single dent in the content inside.
As usual, the unit used for evaluation arrived in a retail package. With a grey color scheme (As contrasted from the blue variation theme used with the Asus P5W64-WS Professional), many similarities with regards to packaging exists. The implementation of a two piece box design, with an external piece that incorporates a flap at the top and encloses the actual box within -- once slid out the side, it will separate into two distinct pieces of packaging.
The inside flap displays feature highlights of the motherboard. The back of both the wrap and actual box shows identical information -- a diagram of the motherboard itself, as well as a specifications table.
Speaking of which, let's take a look at the specifications table, as obtained from the Asus P5NT-WS product page on Asus' website:
A shot at the CPU-Z Mainboard tab. Yes, contrary to popular belief and mistake made on various hardware sites, the Asus P5NT-WS is an NVIDIA 650i based motherboard. The difference is the southbridge; instead of the standard NF430MCP, the P5NT-WS incorporates the NF570MCP to enable non-native 650i features such as full 16 lanes available to PCIe x16 slots used in SLI mode. This is the same idea used on the hybrid board Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus. More on this shortly.
1. Introduction, Features, and Specifications
2. Bundle, Chipset, BIOS
3. A Closer Look, Board Layout
4. Test System; Benchmark: 3DMark06
5. Benchmark: PCMark05
6. Benchmark: Cinebench 9.5, SuperPI 1M
7. Benchmark: EVEREST CPU
8. Benchmark: EVEREST FPU
9. Benchmark: EVEREST Memory
10. Benchmark: EVEREST Memory Latency, HDTach 18.104.22.168
11. Onboard Sound, Overclocking, Conclusion