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Appeared on: Thursday, November 22, 2007
Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi


1. Introduction, features

Asus has a tradition of creating new products with innovating features. The Intel X38 Express chipset has been on the market for quite sometime and several manufacturers released a product series based on this chipset. Asus followed a different direction and with the P5E3 series, introduced a rather interesting feature called "ExpressGate". This feature allow users to have access to the Internet, check their email and login to MSN messenger without the need of any operating system. Apart from this newly introduced feature, the P5E3 Deluxe WiFi Edition is loaded with 802.11n Wireless, two PCI Express with x16 lanes and a energy efficient feature called ASUS EPU. Let's meet the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi Edition and its main features in depth.

- Main features

The P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n is an Intel® X38 chipset based motherboard that combines powerful performance and great energy efficiency. It also supports DDR3 1800MHz dual-channel memory architecture and Dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 lanes for extreme graphics performance. It also comes with the world’s first ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit), allowing the CPU power supply to be digitally monitored and fine-tuned with improved VRM efficiency in heavy or light loadings – attaining the best possible power efficiency and energy savings to help save the environment. The P5E3 DELUXE/WiFi-AP@n also supports 802.11n WiFi specifications onboard for faster data transfers, and ASUS Express Gate – an optional Linux OS bootup for instant access to the Internet in 5 seconds.

AI Lifestyle Series motherboards bring lifestyle and personal computing together. They provide you better system performance to enjoy graphic-intensive games and applications. The cutting-edge audio feature dramatically enhances the quality of voice signal. Thoughtful design allows you to set up your system easily. To create a peaceful environment, several new and improved innovations are included to reduce noise and temperature. Don´t change your way of life for a computer. Instead let the ASUS Lifestyle Series improve the quality of your life.

Intel® X38 Chipset

The Intel® X38 Express Chipset is the latest chipset designed to support 8GB of dual-channel DDR3 1333/1066/800 architecture, 1333/1066/800 FSB (Front Side Bus), Dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 graphics and multi-core CPUs. With the specially included Intel® Fast Memory Access technology, available memory bandwidth usage is optimized and memory access latency is reduced - allowing faster memory speeds.

 

PCIe 2.0

Double Speed; Double Bandwidth This motherboard supports the latest PCIe 2.0 devices for double speed and bandwidth which enhances system performance.

 

Dual-Channel DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1333

The motherboard supports DDR3 memory that features data transfer ratesof 1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066/800 MHz to meet the higher bandwidth requirements of the latest operation system, 3D graphics, multimedia, and Internet applications. The dual-channel DDR3 architecture doubles the bandwidth of your system memory to boost system performance, eliminating bottlenecks with peak bandwidths of up to 17 GB/s. Furthermore, the supply voltage for the memory is reduced from 1.8 V for DDR2 to just 1.5 V for DDR3. This voltage reduction limits the power consumption and heat generation of DDR3 which makes it an ideal memory solution.

 

ASUS Express Gate
Surf the Internet in 5-second-boot time without entering Windows

With a fast bootup speed of only 5 seconds, the ASUS Express Gate offers an optional Linux OS bootup that allows you to enjoy instant access to commonly used functions like accessing the Internet, VoIP, and Web emailing without entering the OS.

 

ASUS WiFi-AP @n
6 Times Faster than 802.11g WiFi Technology

With spec 300 Mbps transfer rates, 802.11n supports the latest WiFi specifications for better signal coverage, stronger signals and faster data transmissions in comparison to previous 802.11b/g standards. With two antennas, you will not suffer from signal loss like before. You can also enjoy the choice to set the device in AP-Mode or Client Mode.

 

ASUS EPU
Energy Efficiency

The ASUS EPU utilizes innovative technology to digitally monitor and tune the CPU power supply with improved VR responses in heavy or light loadings. It automatically provides power for higher performance or improve efficiency by 7% when the PC is running low intensity applications. Working together with AI Gear 3, this can help you attain the best possible power efficiency and energy savings up to 58.6% to help save the environment.

 

ASUS 3rd Generation 8 Phase Power Design
Longer Life, & Higher Efficiency!

With power efficiency so important to operating temperatures, ASUS´ 3rd generation 8-phase VRM design leads the industry with its 95% power efficiency. High quality power components such as low RDS (on) MOSFETs for minimum switching loss & lower temperatures, Ferrite core chokes with lower hysteresis loss, and high quality Japanese-made conductive polymer capacitors all add up to ensure longer component life and lower power loss - creating more energy efficiency.

In order to get familiar with the full features of the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi Edition, please visit Asus special website.

- Full specifications

CPU
LGA775 socket for Intel® Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 Processors
Compatible with Intel® 05B/05A/06 processors
Supports Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU
Chipset
Intel® X38 / ICH9R with Intel® Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus
1600/1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz
Memory
4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066/800 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Dual channel memory architecture
*Refer to www.asus.com or this user manual for the Memory QVL(Qualified Vendors Lidts).
Expansion Slots
3 x PCIe x16 (blue @PCIe2.0 x16 mode, black @PCIe x4 or x1 mode) supports CrossFire Technology
2 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI
Storage
Southbridge
- 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
- Intel Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10
JMicron® JMB363(JMB368) PATA and SATA controller
- 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
- 2 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
- Supports SATA RAID 0,1,JBOD
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers
Marvell88E8056® PCIe Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
RealtekRTL8110SC® PCI Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
Wireless LAN
ASUS WiFi-AP @n
300Mbps IEEE 802.11n and backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g / b
- Software Access Point mode
Audio
ADI® AD1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Support Jack-Sensing, Enumeration, Multi-streaming
- Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
- AI Audio 2
- ASUS Noise Filter
IEEE 1394
Agere® L-FW3227 1394a controller supports 2 x IEEE 1394a ports (one at midboard; one at back panel)
USB
12 x USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 6ports at back panel)
ASUS AI Lifestyle Features
ASUS Power Saving Solution
- ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit)
- ASUS 3rd Generation 8-phase Power Design
- ASUS AI Nap
ASUS AI Lifestyle Features:
- ASUS Express Gate
- ASUS WiFi-AP @n
- ASUS AI Direct Link
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution:
- ASUS Fanless Design: Heat-pipe solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Stack Cool 2
- ASUS Q-Fan 2
- ASUS Optional Fan for Water-cooling or Passive-Cooling only
ASUS Crystal Sound:
- ASUS Noise Filter
ASUS EZ DIY:
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Connector
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS AI Slot Detector
Special Features
ASUS MyLogo 3
Multi-language BIOS
Overclocking Features
ASUS AI Booster utility
Precision Tweaker 2:
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.00625V increment
- vDIMM: 64-step DRAM voltage control
- vChipset (N.B.): 33-step DRAM voltage control
- vFSB Termination: 15-step reference voltage control
- vCPU PLL: 64-step CPU PLL voltage control
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 800MHz at 1MHz increment
- Memory tuning from 800MHz up to 3200MHz
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz up to150MHz at 1MHz increment
Overclocking Protection:
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x S/PDIF Out (Coaxial + Optical)
2 x External SATA
1 x IEEE1394a
2 x RJ45 port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
2 x WiFi-AP @n antenna jack
8-channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB connectors support additional 4 USB ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector
1 x COM connector
6 x SATA connectors
1 x CPU Fan connector
4 x Chassis Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x IEEE1394a connector
Front panel audio connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Header
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD audio in
24-pin ATX Power connector
2 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
System Panel(Q-Connector)
BIOS
16 Mb Flash ROM, AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
Manageability
WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE
Accessories
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
FDD cable
6 x Serial ATA cables
1 x 2-port Serial ATA power cable
ASUS Q-Shield
User's manual
ASUS WiFi-AP @n manual
3 in 1 Q-connector
1 x 2-port USB2.0 / 1-port IEEE1394 module
2 x Optional Fan for Water-Cooling or Passive-Cooling only
ASUS WiFi-AP @n omni-directional antenna
Support Disc
Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Suite
ASUS WiFi-AP @n Wizard
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Image-Editing Suite
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.4cm)

2. A closer look

The Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi Edition costs between 295 and 310 Euro (+shipping), as found in several online stores. I assume it's the highest (or one of the highest) priced motherboard in the market today. Asus with this series aims at the enthusiasts and the overclockers, and at this price range users should expect nothing less than absolute performance.

The retail package follows the usual design of Asus's AI Lifestyle motherboards, all the needed logos are there to inform about the motherboard's unique features:

Opening the retail box, we find many cables, various connectors and adapters.

Below is a list of what's included in the retail package

Compared to previous packages, we notice the two WiFi connectors, required in order for both the 802.11n wireless card and the remote control to work properly. The package is fully loaded! Asus has included an IR receiver and a remote control for use in a media center setup.

The board itself looks very "clean" as most parts can be identified easily. Let's see how the board looks like.

Let's take a closer look at the CPU area.

The Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi edition has many copper heatsinks around the CPU area. According to Asus, this design helps in lowering the CPU temperature by 10° Celcius and we assume that this claim is valid under specific conditions. We can see an 8 phase power design and low heighted MOSFETs for minimum switching loss & lower temperature. The Ferrite Core chokes have lower hysteresis loss, while they all have high quality, long life conductive polymer capacitors.

The copper heatsinks are interconnected with heatpipes, therefore heat dissipation should be very good. Their height is low so there shouldn't be any serious problems with big aftermarket coolers. There are four DDR3 DIMMs for up to 8GB memory configurations, usually most users report that the black ports behave better than the orange one's:

Passing to the lower left, we find six (6) SATAII connectors and of course the ATA133 connector. They're all coloured in red for the eye to be able to find them in an instant. There is a green led that lights up after the motherboard has been properly powered. The Southbridge is also covered with a passive copper heatsink featuring  the Ai Lifestyle logo. There are 7 additional fan connectors in various places for the easy installation of various cooling systems you might need:

Looking at the back panel, we find the 802.11n module from Azurewave with the codename AW-NA830 :

Going to the top left we can see the two PCI-e x16 lanes (blue colour) that fully support the ATI Crossfire technology. There's an extra PCI-e slot which can host a physics card either at x4 or x1. The newly adopted PCI-e v2.0 has higher bandwidth and several graphics cards are starting to use it, like Nvidia's 8800GT and the upcoming ATI 3800 series. There is enough space between them, so you shouldn't have any problem with oversized graphics cards.

There are several extra ports in additional brackets for the back of the chassis in the retail package. The I/O panel has the following ports and connectors:

The PS2 Mouse port has been replaced by two USB2.0 ports, while we don't like such a change, if you do have a USB2.0 keyboard it's a good addition.


3. BIOS settings
The BIOS follows what Asus has been using for sometime now. In order to get the best results, we used the BIOS update software to upgrade from the 141 version to the newest one, the 0504. The update is pretty straight and works just fine. Probably the best we've seen, compared to the one of other manufacturers.

The BIOS is separated in several tabs, each one holding several sub-menus with different options. The first tab shows the date, SATA drives and system information.

On the second tab named "AI Tweaker", users will find tons of features. The motherboard includes an auto overclocking system, called Ai Overclock Tuner with three different settings:

These options are easy to understand, even though only the last one applies for DDR3 memory. If you have a pair of X.M.P enabled DDR3 memory, then you can use this option. It works like Nvidia's SLI profiles...

Let's set now the Ai Overclock Tuner at Manual mode to be able to make some fine tunning:

The FSB can be set to up to 400MHz with the upcoming Intel processors. Most users will leave this option to Auto.

There are many memory dividers to play with, from 1:1 to 1:2. The memory dividers are affected from the selected FSB, so in order to have the highest possible options, leave the FSB to auto. We can see that the BIOS reads the memory timings and displays them.

There are several modes for memory regulation either to enhance the performance or the stability

Many options also under the Ai Clock Skew:

While the voltage control has changed compared to previous models, now the user can type the exact memory value and the BIOS will set it to the closest one available. Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi can set it with 0.02V interval that not many other manufacturers can:

For most of our tests we set DRAM at 1.90V. Notice that according to the used voltage the colour changes from blue to yellow, purple and eventually to red (max values):

Here is a list with all the available voltages and frequencies:

Under the Power tab, there are the usual temperature readings.

While at the Tools tab, we can find the Asus Express Gate feature that you can either enable or disable it:


4. Test configuration

For all the tests we used a beta BIOS that Asus provided us, the 0512 version. We have already seen a newer one available online (0601) that users should download and apply in order for the board to fully support all the latest processors.

Let's see now how our CPU was identified under CPU-Z:

All tests are performed with the same configuration as follows:

We used a variety of software, from benchmarks to games:


5. Everest Ultimate Edition 2007

Click for official website!EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC. The software has build-in several tests for memory and CPU/FPU.

We tested three motherboards that support DDR3 memory. The Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi found to be the fastest in the memory tests, compared to the other  P35 motherboards.

The CPU tests are also affected from the memory performance. In some tests, the P5K3 Deluxe WiFi came first, while in others, the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi ranked 1st.


6. SiSoftware Sandra

SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software. It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what's really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCIe, ODBC Connections, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc. Sisoft Sandra offers a variety of tests for Memory and CPU.

Again, the memory performance was better for the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi. At the CPU tests, the P5K3 Deluxe is still a great performer. In some tests the P5E3 Deluxe WiFi was faster, that should be considered as an indication that both motherboards are really very good.


7. PCMark05, 3DMark06

Click for homepage!PCMark®05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses. Below you can see all three available scores, memory, CPU and total.

At the Memory benchmark, the P5E3 Deluxe was faster, while at the CPU tests the best score came from the Blitz Extreme.

Click for homepage!3DMark®06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.

3D Mar06 tests both CPU/RAM and of course the graphics card. The Asus P5E3 Deluxe came first with 2158 points.


8. Science Mark 2.0, Pov-Ray, x264 Benchmark

Science Mark 2.0 is an attempt to put the truth behind benchmarking. In an attempt to model real world demands and performance, SM2 is a suite of high-performance benchmarks that realistically stress system performance without architectural bias.  Science Mark 2.0 is comprised of 7 benchmarks, each of which measures a different aspect of real world system performance.

Pov-Ray s a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports. We used Pov-Ray 3.7beta15 for all tests, since it supports Dual Core CPUs. We used the build-in benchmark as suggested from developers.

Both Pov-Ray and ScienceMark test results are dominated from the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi.

- x264 Benchmark

x264 Benchmark utilizes the next generation of Video Encoding benchmarks with support for x264 codec that is considered to be one of the most demanding for Video applications. Simply put, this test measures how fast your machine can encode a short, DVD quality MPEG-2 video clip into a high-quality x264 video clip. The author believes that "...it's ideal for a benchmark because the application (x264.exe) reports fairly accurate compression results (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encoding process, and it uses multi-core processors very efficiently..."

The benchmark procedure is very simple, you just run a batch file that encodes the same file five times. There are two kinds of results, for first pass and second. We sum and divide the results in order to get an average performance and we post the results below.

The x264 benchmark really tests the CPU/memory combination. The Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi came first in both FPS1/2 tests.


9. Maxon CineBench

MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such and Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more. MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based). The resulting values among different operating systems are 100% comparable and therefore very useful with regard to purchasing decision-making.

All tests were concluded with the R9.5 and R10 build and each result is presented in a different graph for your consideration. Note that all displayed index scores are the summary of CPU index scores.

At the CineBench R9.5 the P5K3 Deluxe and Blitz Extreme were equal, while at the R10 version, the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi came first.


10. SuperPI

SuperPI has become an utility to benchmark modern systems. In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi and he collaborated with Dr. Y.Kanada at the computer center, the University of Tokyo. This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95 and called Super PI.

The software offers up to 32M calculations of PI numbers, we summed all test results and we compare the performance of the tested motherboards

Very impressive performance from the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi, it managed to short down around 8M+4M+2M+1M calculation time by 2.5secs.


11. SYSmark 2007, WorldBench 6

BAPCo's SYSmark 2007 Preview builds upon its predecessors and is the next generation of benchmark utilities that unitiliaze real life applications like: Adobe After Effects 7, Adobe Illustrator CS2, Adobe Photoshop CS2, AutoDesk 3ds Max 8, Macromedia Flash 8, Microsoft Excel 2003, Microsoft Outlook 2003, Microsoft PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Project 2003, Microsoft Windows Media™ Encoder 9 series, Sony Vegas 7, SketchUp 5 and WinZip 10.0.

SYSmark 2007 Preview is an application-based benchmark that reflects usage patterns of business users in the areas of Video creation, E-learning, 3D Modeling and Office Productivity. This new release includes a robust and refreshed set of applications. All results are directly comparable between various configurations and operating systems.

The highest overall rating was for Asus Blitz Extreme, while all three tested motherboards were very close.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,130470-page,1/article.htmlPC World has developed a new benchmark for testing PC system performance, WorldBench has reached six (6) number and now is compatible with Windows Vista. Much like as SysMark, it uses various real life applications (Adobe Photoshop CS2, Autodesk 3ds max 8.0 SP-3, Firefox 2, Microsoft Office 2003 with SP-1, Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9.0, Nero 7 Ultra Edition, Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator 1.5 and WinZip Computing WinZip 10.0) and with pre-defined usage patterns calculates a total score that can be used to evaluate a system's performance.

The highest score in this test comes from the Blitz Extreme with only one point difference from the P5E3 Deluxe Wifi and the P5K3 Deluxe WiFi.


12. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

- Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (DirectX9)

The game's plot focuses on the amnesiac character Wayne Holden, his father, Gale Holden, and the past and future of the planet E.D.N. III. After a particularly vicious battle against a large Akrid known only as "Green Eye", Gale is supposedly killed, and Wayne lost on the icy planes of E.D.N. III . The planet of E.D.N III is perpetually cold and snowy, originally inhabited by a species of aliens known as Akrid, who forced humanity to abandon E.D.N. III by strength of numbers and surprise, which can be found in many and varied forms.

They all share one trait; Thermal Energy, or T.Eng., as it's called in the game. This powerful energy source, found only in Akrid bodies, made humankind determined to fight them after having to retreat from this new menace. They created the Vital Suit, or VS, technology, essentially heated mechs with mounted weapons and powered by T.Eng.

In order to benchmark the graphics cards, we used the Demo version that includes a "Performance Test" function. We used the default demo visual settings for all the test. There are two test results from two different animated courses that being reported as "Snow" and "Cave":

Let's now see the performance of the tested motherboards:

More or less, all tested motherboards had exactly the same performance.


13. Overclocking

1st Test

In our first test, all tested motherboards must achieve the highest overclocking speed with all the BIOS settings left to Auto. This means that each motherboard must calculate how much voltage the CPU needs in order to be absolutely stable while operating in higher clock speed. The memory dividers and the memory/FSB/MCH voltages are also left to Auto. In other words this is the easiest overclocking you can do. For this test we use a retail Intel E6600 with it's CPU multiplier locked at x9 and we raise the FSB until we get a perfectly stable system (Orthos2004+PovRay running). An additional 8cm fan was used for further cool the whole system.

Keeping the CPU multiplier at 9x, the P5K3 Deluxe WiFi achieved the highest CPU speed with all the BIOS settings left to Auto. The Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi was somewhat lower with 3420MHz.

2nd Test

Apart from the maximum overclocking speed, we have to find the maximum possible FSB frequency with our used CPU. Again all BIOS settings are left to Auto and the CPU multiplier is dropped to 6x. The memory timings and the dividers are also left to auto. An additional 8cm fan was used for further cool the whole system.

The performance of all the tested motherboards was similar with 490MHz FSB for the P5E3/P5K3 Deluxe WiFi and 480MHz for the Blitz Extreme.

3rd Test

Our final overclocking test is intended to find how good a motherboard is in overclocking the memory. In this test we used one pair of SuperTalent's DDR3-1600CL7 with the following settings:

By raising the FSB we tested the stability until we "hit the roof". All the tested motherboards had a similar performance, while the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi edition went somewhat higher...

- Overclocking stability

During our overclocking attempts, we didn't noticed any serious problems. The motherboard would post after any failure with the corresponding message prompting us to change the BIOS settings and simply try again.


14. Asus ExpressGate 1

- ExpressGate - Page 1

As we mentioned during our introduction, one major new feature of the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi is the so called "ExpressGate". So what is this exactly? Asus has included an optional Linux based OS bootup that allows you after almost 10 seconds to enjoy instant access to commonly used tasks like Internet, VoIP, and Web emailing without entering the main OS (e.g. Windows).

The idea behind all this was to include a lightweight on-board OS in order for the user to have quick access to it's main applications without the need of booting to the OS installed in the HDD. Of course the user can't see or use this partition under Windows since the BIOS forbids it. That means that the user can't modify or add more applications to the Express Gate OS, something that Asus should consider changing. For more information, please visit Splashtop website.

Someone may wonder for the importance of this feature. First of all it's interesting to be able to access the Internet without the need of an optical disc drive or a  USB thumb drive. The current implementation from Asus was very good as you will notice in the following pictures

After powering up the motherboard the user will come up with the following screen. You can select exactly what you want to do, enter the Express Gate, enter BIOS, shut down motherboard or simply proceed with the normal boot process. The whole process is controlled by a timer that can be adjusted in the BIOS. If you don't do nothing, then the system by default will proceed with the normal booting (hard drive).

Let's select the left icon, that allow us to enter the Web. The system automatically sets everything up, like keyboard/mouse support and of course assigns an  IP address. The desktop is as follows:

There are six languages currently supported (English, German, French, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, & Traditional Chinese), we would like to see more languages supported in the future. At the bottom is a simple task bar with several icons:

Selecting the configuration panel we can see various submenus:

The Network is auto configured and of course you can also create a dial up connection if that's how you access the Internet. WiFi can also be enabled but by default it's disabled.

Several screen resolutions are available, we had to manually change ours from 800x600 to 1280x1024

Volume Control is present for both the speakers and the mic

And finally the shutdown/restart/bios buttons

The "About" screen shows us more information about Splashtop


15. Asus ExpressGate 2

The default application for web browsing comes from Splashtop

Opening our website, everything looks fine, 

we didn't found any major rendering differences compared to FireFox

More pictures...

The Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi SplashTop has an option to connect to your MSN account via an internet service called meebo. After logging in you can communicate with your friends the way MSN works.

Asus offers a Windows updater that can be used to update Splashtop,

You have to download the entire kernel file from Asus. The whole package weights around 120MB. The update process is very easy:

The user can backup/keep his bookmarks, contacts, etc...

The newest Splashtop version was 1.0.3.9


16. Final words

Asus has been introducing very interesting models with several unique features for enthusiast and experienced users. The Intel X38 Express chipset offers a better memory performance as this was confirmed in all our tests. So if you are looking for a passage to a DDR3 memory configuration with a very fast motherboard, then the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi Edition is a perfect choice.

So that's about it? No really, there are more features to mention before concluding this review. The X38 Express chipset offers two PCI-e v2.0 with official ATI Crossfire configuration. Too bad that Nvidia's SLI isn't supported as things would be much less complicated for most users. So what else is there to mention? Almost to forget, the Express Gate. A rather interesting approach from Asus that uses an embedded live Linux distribution (SplashTop) installed in an onboard memory that allows you to access the Internet in less than 10 secs without the need of a hard disk drive and of course without even an operating system installed. From our short experience, we liked Express Gate, even though it's very limited. This means that you can't add more applications or tweak it, at least for now :-)

Concluding this review, we feel that this motherboard aims to the people who want a top rated motherboard with many features and of course at a corresponding price. At this moment, users will find the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi edition at the retail price of 295-310 Euro! That's probably one of the most expensive motherboards ever sold in the market. Now for the good news, if you don't want the Express Gate feature and the WiFi 802.11n module, Asus offers the P5E3 Deluxe for 260-280 Euro, so in the best case you can save up to 40 euro. That sounds as a better bargain.

If you can afford such an expensive motherboard, then the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi Edition won't disappoint you. It's loaded with many features and its memory/cpu performance is very good. There are no serious problems with overclocking and overall the Intel's X38 chipset is future proof, until the next generation of motherboards is released (Q2 2008).

Retail package
Features
Price
Bios
Performance
Overclocking performance
Overclocking stability


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