Asus P5K3 Premium Black Pearl Edition Reviewccokeman - December 13, 2007
The list of accessories that comes with the "Black Pearl" is pretty sizable. Pretty much everything you need to get the board up and running is included. The list of items includes six SATA connectors, one SATA power adapter, a Wi-Fi solo antenna, Floppy and IDE cables, Firewire and USB expansion slot cables, blacked out I/O panel, two blower style fans, driver disc and the motherboard and Wi-Fi documentation.
The Black Pearl is designed to be used with both water cooling and air cooling. One of the problems with many socket 775 boards when water cooled is how to cool the power regulation circuits to the CPU. Sometimes a fan blowing over the heatsink covering these circuits helps. Sometimes it just creates extra turbulence in the airflow to or from the heatsink. Well, Asus has come up with a solution. It has included two blower style fans that mount directly onto the heatsinks to reduce temperatures of the vital components underneath.
The I/O panel that is included is blacked out instead of the usual chrome finish. A nice touch! The expansion slot cabling includes both USB and and Firewire connectivity.
To get connected to a wireless network, you will need to use the supplied antenna that screws onto the wireless LAN card. A neat little accessory that Asus included are the the Q-Connectors. They allow the user to make the front panel connections to the connector and then insert that onto the appropriate motherboard header. I found that the installation of the front panel wiring went much quicker using these connectors. The three that are supplied are for the front panel power and LEDs, Firewire and USB. Since the case that the P5K3 is installed in only has two unmarked switch wires, the Q connector is shown with the full compliment of wiring from a CM Stacker to show the added value of it.
Now that all of the components have been seen, let's get the board installed.