Chipset, CPU, and memory
At the heart of the L5000GA is Intel’s 865 “Springdale” chipset. As you probably know by now, Intel’s 865 chipset brings 800MHz bus operation and dual-channel DDR400 memory support among its long list of features. ASUS utilizes the “PE” version of the 865 chipset, which offers more performance than some of the other 865 variants.
ASUS’ decision to go with 865PE shows their commitment to providing a high-quality system with maximum performance and reliability. Many notebook manufacturers cut costs by implementing core-logic from SiS, or by integrating one of the less expensive 865 or even 848 chipsets from Intel. Even the specialty, custom gaming PC shops are guilty of doing this in one form or another in some of their high-end notebook lines.
ASUS is able to integrate 865PE easily into the L5000GA thanks to their booming motherboard business. As the world’s largest motherboard manufacturer, ASUS purchases chipsets in massive quantities. As a result, they’re able to acquire chipsets at lower cost than other manufacturers. This also applies to other devices that have been integrated into the L5000GA such as the Realtek AC’97 CODEC and 3Com Gigabit Ethernet controller.
When possible, ASUS also implements its own components. Examples of this include the 802.11g network adapter and of course, the motherboard. The end result allows ASUS to manufacture their notebooks at lower cost than other manufacturers. These savings are then passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices.
The front of the system opened
Note the touchpad and status LEDs on the front of the chassis
Paired alongside the 865 chipset is an Intel Pentium 4 processor running at 3.2GHz. It’s important to note that this is a desktop Pentium 4 3.2GHz, not one of the mobile Pentium 4 or Pentium 4 –M variants. The mobile Pentium 4 processors top out at 3.2GHz, but don’t support Intel’s faster 800MHz system bus, however they do consume less power and generate less heat than desktop Pentium 4 chips.
By integrating a desktop Pentium 4 3.2GHz, ASUS trades off power and heat for more performance, this is after all, intended to be a high-end desktop replacement gaming rig.
On the memory side, ASUS equips the L5000GA with DDR400 memory from Corsair. Corsair, in case you didn’t know, is well known for its high quality DDR memory. In fact we use it here on our testbeds. The ASUS website lists DDR333 for the L5000GA because it’s still the most popular SO-DIMM in the market, but ASUS USA’s marketing team is pushing for the qualification of Corsair DDR400 modules for use in the L5000GA. Our test system was equipped with 1GB of DDR400 memory.