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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Thursday, May 22, 2008
Motherboard Roundup May 2008

1. About this article - Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi@n

Which chipset works better with your brand new 45nm Core2Quad processor? That's the question we will try to answer today with a comparison of four motherboard based on different chipsets: Intel P35, X38, X48 and Nvidia's 790o SLi.

From that comparison we skipped P965 chipset, since the 45nm Quad processors are not supported.

All motherboards for this test were kindly offered by Asustek company. These are the Asus P5E3 Premium, the Asus Striker II Extreme, the Asus Maximus Extreme and the Asus Blitz Extreme. The last two models have been already presented in previous reviews, so they are just included for comparison.

Let's begin presenting the newly introduced motherboards, the Asus P5E3 Premium and Asus Striker II Extreme, all based at DDR3 memory.

- Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi@n

The P5E3 Premium/WiFi-AP@n is an "improved" version of the popular P5E3 Deluxe Wifi, carrying the Intel X48 chipset. However, the difference between the X38 and X48 is minimal and mostly noticed when coupled with a 1600FSB processor.

The X48 motherboard combines performance with energy efficiency; and supports DDR3 2000MHz dual-channel memory architecture and Dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 lanes. It also comes with 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. The P5E3 Premium/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 just 5 seconds.

AI Lifestyle Series of motherboards provide you better system performance to enjoy graphic-intensive games and applications. The audio feature 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.

LGA775 Intel® Core™2 Processor Ready

This motherboard supports the latest Intel® Core™2 processors in LGA775 package. It also can support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU. With new Intel® Core™ microarchitecture technology and 1600 / 1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz FSB, Intel® Core™2 processor is one of the most powerful and energy efficient CPU in the world.

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 2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600
The motherboard supports DDR3 memory that features data transfer rates of 2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066/800 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 28.8 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 EPU: Enables the Most Energy Efficient Motherboard in the World
Enables the Most Energy Efficient Motherboard in the World
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 50% 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 80.23% to help save the environment.
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.

In order to get familiar with the full features of the Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi@n visit the Asus website.

- Full specifications

CPU
Intel Socket 775 Core™2 Quad/Core™2 Extreme/Core™2 Duo/Pentium® Extreme/Pentium® D/Pentium® 4 Processors
Compatible with Intel® 05B/05A/06 processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm CPU
Chipset
Intel X48
Intel ICH9R
Intel Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus
1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 8 GB, DDR3 2000*/1800*/1600/1333/1066/800 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* Overclocking speed
** For the X.M.P. support, CPUs with FSB 1333 or above are recommended.
*** Refer to www.asus.com or this user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors List).
Expansion Slots
3 x PCIe x16 (blue @PCIe2.0 x16 mode, black @PCIe x4 or x1 mode) supports CrossFire Technology
1 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI
Storage
Southbridge
6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports Intel Matrix Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10
JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
2 xExternal SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
Support RAID 0,1,JBOD
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllersMarvell 88E8056® PCIe Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
Realtek RTL8110SC® PCI Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
Wireless LAN
ASUS WiFi-AP @n
- 300Mbps* IEEE 802.11n (Draft) and backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g / b
- Software Access Point mode
*300Mbps is IEEE 802.11n draft specification. Actual throughput will vary depending on the wireless environment and other parameters
Audio
ADI® AD1988B 8 -Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
Support Jack-Sensing, Enumeration, Multi-streaming
AI Audio 2
IEEE 1394
Agere® L-FW3227 1394a controller supports 2 x 1394a ports (one at midboard; one at back panel)
USB
10 USB 2.0 ports (4 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
- ASUS AI Nap
ASUS AI Lifestyle
- ASUS Express Gate

- ASUS WiFi-AP @n
- ASUS AI Direct Link
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Pure Copper 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 AI Audio 2
ASUS EZ DIY
- ASUS Q-Connector
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS AI Slot Detector
Overclocking Features
Intelligent overclocking tools
- ASUS AI Booster Utility
Precision Tweaker 2
- vDIMM: 65 -step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.00625V increment
- vChipset (N.B.): 49-step voltage control
- vFSB Termination: 16-step reference voltage control
- vCPU PLL: 65-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 to 150MHz at 1MHz increment
Overclocking Protection
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features
Multi-language BIOS
ASUS MyLogo 3
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
2 x External SATA
1 x S/PDIF Out
1 x IEEE 1394a
2 x LAN(RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
8 -Channel Audio I/O
2 x WiFi-AP @n antenna jack
Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB connectors support additional 4 USB ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector
6 x SATA connectors
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Chassis Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x COM connector
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
2 x4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
24 -pin ATX Power connector
Front panel audio connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD/AUX audio in
System Panel Connector
BIOS
16 Mb Flash ROM
DMI 2.0
AMI BIOS
PnP
WfM 2.0
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 AI Suite
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
ASUS Update
ASUS WiFi-AP @n Wizard
Image-Editing Suite
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x24.4 cm )




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