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Express Gate is a handy little tool that is basically a small Linux distribution on the Express Gate module. What can this do for you and how can it make your life a little easier? Well, suppose you have thoroughly hosed up the operating system, rendering it useless and need to get online and get some info to attempt a fix. Express Gate can help you in this instance. By choosing the "Web" Icon, you can go directly to the Internet to get that fix. The other option available is to use Skype. Both features are easy to use and in reality, provide much quicker access than booting into the traditional OS. On top of that, there is an update program that is included, so that as the OS on the Express Gate module is updated, there is a way to upgrade the OS.
As energy costs continue to skyrocket most, if not everyone, is scrambling for ways to reduce the financial burden of these energy costs. $100+ to fill up that full size pickup is getting to be too much for most people. With that thought in mind, Asus has included a small chip located under the MOSFET heatsink, so it really is not noticeable. To make this chip, or EPU (Energy Processing Unit), do its thing, a driver is included on the driver installation disc. Install it and the AI Suite of tools and you will be ready to take advantage of this feature. To verify that the EPU is doing its job, you must not be running any settings overclocked or it will pop up an error message alerting you to this fact. Testing this feature required running with all of the Intel specific energy savings features running, as well as the AI Gear 3 utility. By allowing the sytem to remain idle with just the normal system processes running, the idle power usage can be measured. This was done with the power saving features enabled and disabled, as well as taking these measurements under load as shown in the following graphs.
It looks as though the energy saving features do actually work. The Gigabyte board overall used less current, but the Asus P5E3 had a larger reduction in usage under loaded conditions.