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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Thursday, May 22, 2008
Motherboard Roundup May 2008

2. Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi@n - Retail package

The Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi@n is a highly priced motherboard. You can find it at the price range of 310~340 Euro (+shipping), as found in several online stores. Let's hope its performance to be also high.

The retail package follows the design of the Asus P5E3 Deluxe model with all the needed logos printed on the front reminding you of the the motherboard's basic 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

  • 1x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
  • 1x FDD cable
  • 6 x Serial ATA cables
  • 1x 2-port Serial ATA power cable
  • 1x ASUS EL I/Q-Shield
  • 1x printed WiFi-AP @n manual
  • 1x printed user's manual
  • 1x DVD-ROM with drivers/with various software
  • 1x 3 in 1 Q-connector
  • 1x 2-port USB2.0 / 1-port IEEE1394 module
  • 2 x Optional Fan for Water-Cooling or Passive-Cooling only
  • 2x ASUS WiFi-AP @n omni-directional antenna

The package is certainly complete, although there is not any retail game included. The board's layout is very "clean" as most of the components can be identified easily.

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

The 8-phase power design and the low heighted MOSFETs contribute to minimum switching loss & lower operating temperature. The Ferrite Core chokes offer a lower hysteresis loss, while they all have high quality, long life conductive polymer capacitors, according to Asus. The Asus P5E3 Premium has many copper heatsinks around the CPU area all well connected to the main copper heatpipe. Note that this configuration may not allow you to easily install third party bigger cooler solutions.

For extreme overclocking, users should take measurements to cool down SouthBridge/NorthBridge since the Intel X48 chipset gets pretty hot.

Four DDR3 DIMMs are available allowing installation of up to 8GB of memory:

Going further to the lower left side of the mainboard, we find six (6) SATAII connectors and of course an ATA133 connector. They're all colored in red for easier tracking.

The Southbridge is also covered with a passive copper heatsink carrying  the Ai Lifestyle logo. The copper heatsink gets really hot, so don't touch it after overclocking attempts :)

The newly adopted PCI-e v2.0 offers a higher bandwidth in order to efficiently feed the latest graphics cards. There are also three PCI-e slots: The blue ones support the PCIe2.0 x16 mode while the black one meets the PCIe x4 or x1 standards.

The motherboard also supports the AMD's CrossFire Technology. There is enough space left between the three slots, so you should not face any problems if you installed oversized graphics cards.

Several extra ports in additional brackets are also bundled and are offering additional expansion options. The I/O panel has the following ports and connectors:

  • 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

- Asus Express Gate

The Express Gate module is exactly what we have already seen in the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi review. It is rather unique feature that allows you in 5mins to access Internet. As you can see the feature works, provided that you have an internet connection.




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