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Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi-AP@n Review

ccokeman    -   April 24, 2008
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Conclusion

Performance-wise, the P5E3 is a mixed bag. Running DDR3 memory at the same timings as comparable DDR2 kits did not really cause a performance loss per se, but once the memory speeds and CPU clockspeeds are increased, the board just comes alive with performance increasing at leaps and bounds. If you count the overall wins and losses, the board does not fare as well as some of the boards tested. Performance against another X48 board shows comparable performance, so on that front repeatability is a big factor. Overclocking on an X48 chipset comes with its own set of rules despite the fact that it's cousin, the X38, offers similar performance. For one thing, the voltages needed were significantly less than what was needed for the same clockspeed on the P35 and X38 based boards. I found that lowering the volts worked well for me. After that it was pretty much point and shoot. Using this approach, I was able to reach 3.76GHz on my trusty Q6600.

The first glimpse of the AI Tweaker section of the BIOS had me thinking that this was a DFI LANParty board with the amount of tweaking options. Thankfully, everything is laid out quite well. The ability to adjust the performance level and having the GTL tuning for the CPU makes overclocking, trying for that last little bit of performance a truly fun time. One of the targeted selling points of the P5E3 Premium is the inclusion of the Energy Processing Unit. As tested, it did what it is supposed to do, which is save energy during system operation. During the testing phase of the review, I was surprised to see a reduction of 37 watts under load during the test. The idle savings were not as significant, but there was still a savings of 17 watts. While priced at $369, the performance potential is there. The price, although high, does reflect on the "premium" status of the board. As such, the expectation is that there is a benefit with that status. The features that Asus has included on the P5E3 are substantial and I could not see myself looking for a more feature-rich board. It has everything included: wireless and wired LAN, eight channel High Definition sound, all the USB connectivity you could need, energy saving features and so much more. During testing, things went as planned without usual intricacies to work through, which was a nice change of pace. If you want a "green" motherboard that comes with everything you need to get started, keep the P5E3 Premium WiFi-AP@n on your short list.

 

Pros

  • Extensive feature set
  • Overclocking capabilities
  • BIOS
  • HD eight channel sound
  • EPU for energy savings
  • Accessory bundle

 

Cons

  • Price

 

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